Tag Archives: Diploma

Advanced Jewellery Diploma review – back to school again!

Back in September 2015, after a year of jewellery making in an evening class, I took the plunge and decided to use up a good chunk of annual leave on a two-week Advanced Diploma in Creative Jewellery Course at London Jewellery School.

Real school wasn’t easy peasy for me. As it turns out, I am a stealth dyslexic who muddled through, mildly stressed-out, until a lecturer found me out through the help of a particularly nonsensical essay. So I was slightly nervous rather than excited going into my two-week staycation learning holiday. I already knew I really enjoyed making jewellery, but had been making my first pieces in a very excited, thankful-it-was-going-well kind of way and was a little undisciplined when it came to perfecting techniques. I still work a little in this manner, cracking on with each new idea, as it’s what I enjoy about making. The structure of this course, with specific days for designing and the various methods of making (and focussing on the different techniques within this), really helped to control my natural inclination to work in a scattered way. Although this course was ideal to rein in and consolidate ideas, I feel it would be equally beneficial to students approaching these weeks looking for creative inspiration.

Having whole days devoted to making was such a treat, I felt like a proper jeweller. All the tutors are practising, exhibiting and selling their work, so the conversations in the classes were often helpful beyond the subject being covered and I felt genuinely encouraged by people who knew their onions.

Speaking of onions… One of the areas where I had little formal training and had practiced at home the least was wax carving and so in that way that it felt that it was stretching me to learn – these two days of designing and making were a little like going back to school. I love the products (or should I say produce) of these days. These bad boys are perfect for me, they are heavy, ridiculous and pun-tastic. The expertise of the tutors was there to make the heavy and ridiculous aspects non-essential qualities of this design. This advice always assumes that you may want to start your own business; these pieces could be made lighter and more wearable and it considers the cost of casting as well as the customer experience of the piece.  I also could not have managed to create such spheres without the patient help of an expert.

Onions

Another thing that attracted me to sign up for this particular course was the prospect of the work placement, usually a week long, that staff will help you to arrange within an area that is of interest to you. I did mine with JC (Just Castings in Hatton Garden) and it was an invaluable insight into the process of casting, CAD design, plating, 3D printing and finishing jewellery to professional standards –but this is another story in itself. I wear the silver ‘haribo’ ring I made there every day. Along with many other pieces from my happy little jewellery holiday.

I would recommend (and have recommended) treating yourself to this course, I signed up after a quick visit to the studios but there are taster classes and you can visit on an exhibition day (next one is 7th July 6.30-8pm, no need to book). Essentially I left the course feeling like I had achieved real goals I didn’t even realise I had at the beginning and with a certificate to prove it!  It also led to the potential to sell my work, something that I have mostly kept in my back pocket until the opportunity to sell through an immersive art show last December presented itself.

Polishing up your potential

The small class sizes at the London Jewellery School means that you get a lot of expert tuition in the classes, making it possible to cover a range of techniques in these weeks. The course description gives a really good idea of what you will learn but here is a quick run through of my experience on the course.

The course starts with a design day, a great chance to think about what you want to make and ways to go about making pieces for the projects ahead. As we were a very small group, we also had time to start experimenting with resin.

Day two was for learning cold connections, truly riveting stuff! This involves looking at ways to join materials without soldering, a great technique for moving pieces or mixed media. I made a decorative hinge that I later used for an oyster card holder, various animal shapes as testers to hold metal pieces together, a technique I later used on a Perspex and sea glass silver ring.

Fold forming was next, a really fun and loud technique for creating shapes and textures through excessive hammering. We made silver origami frogs amongst other experiments (I attempted my usual crane but a simpler design that another student knew was more effective), seen here with the squashed frog necklace. When fold forming goes wrong it can still be pretty interesting (I love this piece but would recommend a simple boat as a fail-safe alternative.)

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The two days of mixed media jewellery making were a total dream of experimenting and resolving ideas through different techniques. Making a sea glass, silver and perspex ring with rivets, a wooden neckpiece with a tube of multi-coloured macramé and perspex fastenings to hang from, some ‘Banana handbag’ earrings and a spirit level cuff. So not a bad haul at all. This was so useful as a chance to explore different materials and how to work with them. Great for exploring colour, shape and using bits and pieces you may not have considered using before.

The two days of stone setting were honing specific techniques that could be employed in any piece after the course and also resulted in 3 wearable items. Each of these techniques was challenging in its own way and I felt that each was improving my making skills in a recognisable way. These were channel, collet and claw settings and pictures of these 3 pieces were posted on the Schools’ Instagram account, a small gesture that was really encouraging, as probably only friends would have seen my work before.

Bean

Bean ring (magic beans for growth)

The last day of the taught course was recycling silver. I had done a little bit of silver recycling before so didn’t expect that going through the process in a structured manner would shed that much light on a technique. However, melting my silver scraps in the crucible on this day produced a really fun ‘Bean’ ring, a product of the natural shape and texture that can be achieved with this technique. I had already made some cast vegetable jewellery so it fits into my little collection nicely and its smoothness makes it distinctly more wearable than my Romanesco Cauliflower ring. One of the tutors recently reminded me to follow up the ‘food jewellery’ and get selling my work. This really illustrated to me how much they genuinely care about nurturing any ambitions you might be trying to shy away from and keep you making jewellery! Magic beans indeed!

Interested in finding out more about the Advanced Diploma in Creative Jewellery? Our next intake is Monday 4th September 2017. Take a look at our website for more information. Have questions? Give us a call on 0203 176 0546

Lil Adams is the London Jewellery School Sundays Studio Manager. Lil studied Fine Art in Leeds and lived in Melbourne before travelling about and settling in London. She now works at the British Architectural Library and enjoys making jewellery with found and natural objects and is shamelessly addicted to casting.

 

 

Diploma in Creative Jewellery – An Alternative to a Degree in Jewellery Making (Part 2)

In Part 1 of our series about how some of our Diploma graduates are getting on!   In Part 2 we talk to George Galula of GV Jewellery who is one of our 2014 Diploma in Creative Jewellery Students and who has also completed our Advanced Jewellery Diploma!

George is heavily inspired by nature, flowers and animals and amazing culture from Art and people and creates stunning mixed media designs using copper, silver, leather, pearls resin and clay to name a few.

 

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Resin Rose Ring with Silver Glass Beads

So George, tell us a bit about how you started your jewellery making journey and what ultimately made you decide to do a diploma with LJS?

I started taking short courses in different school in 2011 which really helped my confidence in designing and making jewellery.  I decided to do diploma course with LJS, because I want to gain more experience and knowledge and develope my skills in making creative jewellery using different techniques.

What was your favourite part of the diploma?
My most favourite part of the diploma was the Intermediate silver class.   I learned all of the necessary techniques required to create more complex silver jewellery pieces.  But, I really enjoyed all the subjects that were part of the diploma course.

 

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Silver Fold Formed Flower Ring with Black Pearl

What was the most challenging part of the diploma?
The biggest challenge for me during the course was to be more creative design-wise, and to use more advanced techniques to create more complex and creative designs.

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Mixed Media Bangle made from Resin and Clay Pipes

What difference has doing the diploma made to your jewellery skills, designs and/ or business?

Since completing the Diploma, I’m much more confident and have increased my knowledge and skills significantly, and developed my creativity and uniqueness. I really work with all my heart.

 

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Sarangola Necklace – crafted from 16th Century Clay Pipes with Ceramic and Resin

What would you say to students thinking about doing a diploma with the London Jewellery School?

Go for it, have fun with what you are doing. Have a dream and believe everything is possible. And also take your time to create the right collection – you won’t regret it!

Where next for you and your jewellery making?

I want to design and make more jewellery, take part in some exhibitions, have a pop-up shop, share my knowledge and skills and run a successful business.  Am hoping to cross lots of these off of my list in 2016/2017 :-).

How can we see more of your work?  

My website gallery has images of my work – http://www.georgegalula.co.uk, and I post regular images of my latest work on Instagram.

Thank you George for taking the time to talk to us – we love your beautifully creative work and are thrilled that we played a part in your jewellery making journey.  We just can’t wait to see what comes next for you!

 

 

 

Diploma in Silver Jewellery launching in June

A number of students and would-be students have told us they are looking for a long course focusing only on silver – so we are very pleased to announce that London Jewellery School is launching a Diploma in Silver Jewellery.

silver diploma Collage

We already offer a wide range of one day workshops and week-long courses in silver but the team believes there is demand for longer courses giving students who have ambitions in silver jewellery to develop silversmithing and bench skills.

The 26 week course (one day a week over two terms) will take would-be silver jewellers from basic techniques through to being able to design and produce their own silver collections. They will also learn to work with other materials such as wood and Perpsex as well as wax carving to create designs that can be cast in silver or other metals.

Course fees include all materials, tuition by professional jewellers in a group no larger than seven, and work bench days in the London Jewellery School studios.

silver bench Collage

The course kicks off for the first time on Tuseday 23 June and you can find all details of the Diploma in Silver Jewellery here.

 

 

Jewellery Diploma – Students Showcase 2012

We are proud to announce that seven talented LJS students have recently completed the Diploma in Creative Jewellery, an intensive year-long course held at the London Jewellery School. We were so impressed by the work they had made throughout the course and for their final exhibition that we just had to share some of the pictures of their pieces with you…

Below you can see the marvelous creations of; Zoe Richardson, Rose Astor, Menna Lloyd, Paula Maxera, Zohreah Azarnoosh, Sam Peliza and Rachel Zion Sicsic

The Jewellery Diploma last 1 year and runs one day per week for three terms with intakes in January and September each year as well as a summer intensive option starting in July. The course is open to people from all walks of life of different ages and abilities. To find out more and to download a free application pack visit www.jewellery-diploma.co.uk

Until next time,
Happy Making, LJS x

Diploma in Creative Jewellery – A Real Alternitive to a Degree in Jewellery Making

With the rising cost of university fees to a staggering £9,000 per year in 2012, many students are looking towards more vocational and affordable courses, that are not only more geared towards learning the practical elements of working in the trade but also minimize student debt.

So it’s not wonder that new ‘Diploma in Creative Jewellery’ from London Jewellery School has been such a success. For almost a third of the price of just one year of a degree course, students learn all the practical jewellery making skills needed to set up their own jewellery business or studio or to work for other designers within the trade.

The Diploma focuses on combining a mixture of traditional jewellery skills such as silversmithing, stone setting, wax carving and enamel but is unique also in its focus on more contemporary methods and materials such as resin, perspex, metal clay, fashion jewellery and polymer clay. This is an innovative aspect of the course that reflects what is happening in the jewellery industry as a whole, as the rising cost of precious metals are causing jewellers to look toward these other methods and materials to ensure the affordability and sustainability of their craft.

Each week of the year long course focuses on a different aspect of jewellery making and design taught by professional jewellers who have worked in the industry or run their own jewellery business and so are well placed to share their experience with budding jewellers. The course is also unique in its focus on the business skills required to set up and run a jewellery studio and many of the students are encouraged to take up practical internships in neighboring Hatton Garden or other jewellery related organisations to further their understanding and engagement in the trade.

Diploma student, Zoë Richardson enrolled in the course as an alternative to going back to university…

“I’ve always wanted to complete a course in jewellery making, but the thought of going back to university for another three years, along with the rise in cost of fees really put me off. The diploma course at LJS has been a perfect alternative as it allows me to touch on a wide variety of techniques and materials, and it’s all very practical and hands on. Most people hate getting up on a Monday morning, but I love it because it means I’m spending the day at the London Jewellery School!”

Zoë Richardson, 2011

There are two intakes a year in January and September to coincide with the academic year. For full details about the course and information on booking, the London Jewellery School can be contacted on the details below:

Tel: 0203 176 0546

Info@londonjewelleryschool.co.uk

www.londonjewelleryschool.co.uk/diploma