Tag Archives: Handmade jewelry

10 jewellery books for your christmas list

When it comes to books for jewellery and inspiration we still prefer leafing through a physical book rather than a digital one. Here are a few of our favourites, old and new, and some ideas for your christmas list…

1. For pure inspiration:

The fabulous jewels sold by Christies and the stories behind them:

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Christies: the jewellery archives revealed by Vincent Meyland published by ACC Art books

 

A lavish look at precious metals and gemstones alongside beautiful photos of how they have been used to make jewellery:

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Jewel: a celebration of earth’s treasures, foreword by Judith Miller. Published by Dorling Kindersley

 

We love the ‘500’ series which also includes books on earrings, art necklaces, bracelets. We’d love a set of them all! Full of inspiring photos of pieces made by artists using traditional and nontraditional materials:

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500 earrings: new directions in contemporary jewelry. Published by Lark books

 

2. For how to guides

Written by our founder Jessica Rose, this book of bead and wire projects also looks at how to get inspired using mood boards and collages:

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Bead and wire fashion jewelry by Jessica Rose. Published by GMC

 

A classic must have book for all silversmiths:

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The complete metalsmith by Tim McCreight. Published by Davis Publications.

 

From using bought mounts to making your own, this book covers a large range of stone setting techniques:

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Stonesetting for contemporary jewellery makers by Melissa Hunt. Published by Search Press Ltd

 

A practical guide to what to do when things go wrong!

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Successful jewellery maker: problems, solutions and best practice by Frieda Munro

 

30 metal clay projects collated by Making Jewellery magazine editor Sian Hamilton:

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Metal clay jewellery workshop: handcrafted designs and techniques by Sian Hamilton. Published by GMC

 

3. For jewellery business

This book, written by a successful jewellery business owner based in London, discusses all aspects of setting up your business:

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Setting up a successful jewellery business by Angie Boothroyd. Published by A & C Black Publishers Ltd.

 

Looking at the business side of being a jewellery artist:

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How to create your own jewelry line by Emilie Shapiro. Published by Lark Books.

 

What jewellery book have you got on your Christmas list? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

10 wirework christmas decorations to inspire you

This Christmas tutor Anna Campbell has been inspired to make her own wirework Christmas decorations. Have a look at some of these fabulous ideas:

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Wire christmas ornament hangers via WireExpressions

 

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Holly decoration via Earth Balance Craft

 

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Celtic tree ornament via Nicholas and Felice

 

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Christmas globe via Eni Fenyvesl

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Christmas wreath via Louise Goodchild Designs

 

 

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Beaded angels via Dotty Beads

 

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Swarovski snowflake via Rosie Willett Designs

 

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Wire christmas tree wall hanging via Better Homes and Gardens

 

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Beaded star and tree via Minimalisti

 

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Snowman via wiremajigs

 

Are you inspired to take one of our one day wirework jewellery classes? We have a couple of places left for December classes and have classes scheduled into 2017

Beginners wire weaving

Beginners wire wrapping

Wire jewellery with Linda Jones

 

Do share your creations with us on Facebook or Instagram!

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

 

New jewellery classes and revamped favourites

As you may have noticed, our tutors have been working on some exciting new additions to the courses we offer at LJS for both beginners and more advanced practitioners and we’d love to invite you to book a place!

These new classes include:

Silver jewellery

Silver stacked bangles

Make your own silver findings

Granulation and fusing

Channel setting in silver

Collet setting in silver

Grain setting in silver

Silver clay jewellery

Make a metal clay charm bracelet

Evening and taster classes

For those of you that are working in London during the day, check out our new evening and taster classes:

Stacked silver rings taster (1 evening)

Stone setting 10 week evening class (10 weeks)

Soldering and stone setting in silver (5 weeks)

Perspex jewellery taster (1 evening)

Mixed media jewellery (5 weeks)

Guided workshops

Based on feedback from you, we also now have silver and metal clay guided workshops. These are designed for those with some experience who would like to work on their own projects using our facilities with an expert tutor on hand to answer any questions.

Silver guided workshop

Metal clay guided workshop

Phew! Lots of exciting new courses to tempt you with! But we haven’t forgotten some of our old favourite classes. Tutor Helen Walls has designed all new projects for our beading classes.

Beginners beading

Designed for complete beginners or those who would like to practice and develop their skills.

Earring project

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In this project you will learn how to

  • Make your own bespoke earring wires
  • Use bead caps
  • Make neat and even loops in wire
  • Open and close jump rings

Stacking bangles


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In this project you will learn how to

  • Make your own bangles from wire
  • Create your own finish on the bangles including a hammered texture
  • Add charms and beads to your bangle

Necklace with decorative components

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You will learn how to

  • Add beads and charms using wire and jump rings
  • Add chain

Double-row necklace

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You will learn how to

  • Use stringing materials e.g. tiger tail
  • Effectively design your piece so it hangs well
  • Use crimps
  • Professionally finish your pieces

Intermediate beading

Designed for those that have attended beginners beading or those with some beading experience, you will learn a wide variety of more advanced skills on this one day class

Cluster cocktail ring and single stone cocktail ring

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You will learn how to

  • Make and size your own ring with wire
  • Wire wrap beads to decorate your ring
  • Make a wire ring with a focal bead

Tassel earrings

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You will learn how to

  • Make your own bespoke earring wires
  • Create a rosary link
  • Add chain to make a tassel

Bracelet

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You will learn how to

  • Design your own bracelet with multiple components
  • Create a rosary link chain of beads
  • Link elements with wire and jump rings

T bar and toggle clasp

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You will learn how to

  • Make your own bespoke findings to match your jewellery designs
  • Make an effective toggle clasp out of wire

Lariat necklace

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You will learn how to

  • Make a lariat clasp in your choice of shape
  • Make a cluster bead pendant
  • Attach chain

Advanced beading

Designed for those that are ready to take their skills to the next level, some more advanced and complex skills and the opportunity to work on your own mixed media project with tutor support

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You will learn how to

  • Weave beads and chain to make a cuff
  • Design your own mixed media variation including cord, buttons etc
  • The same techniques can be used to make other types of jewellery including earrings

Structured earrings

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You will learn how to

  • Make your own wire frames
  • Add beaded elements
  • Use these design to make a pendant, necklace, lariat etc

Freestyle project

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You will learn how to

  • Use the techniques you have learnt to design a statement piece with tutor support
  • Experiment with mixed media including wire, beads, chain, buttons, cord, fringing, ribbon etc

Hopefully we have something new to tempt you to come and visit us in our new studio at Hatton Garden! If you have any ideas for courses you would like to see please do let us know. We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

Spotlight on Robyn Golding Jewellery!

In August we ran our 2016 Jewellery Maker of the Year competition and were thrilled by the amazing designs entered!   So many of you wanted to know more about the designers behind the winning entries.
In part 1 of this series we featured Kim Styles who won 2nd Place in the competition.  And in part 2 we spoke to Vlad Zoldak who won 1st place for the amazing Interstellar Ring design.  Today we are speaking to Robyn Golding who won 3rd place for her innovative, mixed media Green Fingers Ring!
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Huge congratulations Robyn!  Your Green Fingers Ring is so unusual and innovative!  What was the inspiration behind the ring?

My inspiration came from the recycled materials I use in my work, as well as many found objects – in this piece it was from a small sapling, relating the piece into gardening enhanced by the literal interpretation of having green fingers.

 

How and when did your jewellery making journey start?

My interest in jewellery started at a very young age, I have grown up with my mum collecting, making and selling jewellery and always bringing home weird and wonderful items. I also grew up with the stories of my grandad making glass animals in Brighton and was always interested in following in this by creating my own jewellery/wearable art.

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Have you had any formal training?

I studied jewellery design at Hereford College of Arts and graduated with a 2:1 upper second class in 2013.

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Where do you typically find inspiration for what to make next?

I have always been a magpie for collecting items on my travels at home and overseas, I have a huge collection of items that I draw inspiration from and use within my work, such as rocks, glass, plastics, bubble wands and much more. I also spent most of my childhood growing up by the beach and I love beachcombing, this has inspired my most recent collection of jewellery called ‘I can hear the sea’.

 

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What are your favourite techniques or medium? 

With my recent collection, I am using a lot of silver granulation, I love this technique as it is simple and can achieve excellent quick results, I also love to use lots of found objects within my work as I love the idea of recycling, repurposing and the history in a piece.

 

What are your favourite tools? 

I am a bit unconventional when it comes to some of the tools I use, although my torch, piercing saw and pliers and like extra limbs for me I also like using less conventional tools such as spoons to help stone setting and nails as centre punches, whatever is comfortable to achieve the desired finish.

 

What is your favourite thing(s) that you have made to date? 

As previously mentioned I am working on a new collection ‘I can hear the sea’ and since moving away to the countryside in 2015 my love for the sea is very important. I love all the pieces I make and get attached to a lot of my work once its completed which makes it very hard to part with but I am especially fond of some of the early pieces I made from my plastic doll series of work as I feel these reflect the beginning of my journey into becoming a mixed media jeweller.

 

What is next? 

I hope to build up my collection of work and eventually practice fulltime as I currently only make part time whilst working full time, I also aim to participate in more craft shows and build up my online presence.

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Where can we see more of your work?

My work can be found on instagram @ruegold.jewellery,  Facebook: Robyn Golding’s Proximo Jewellery and I sell my work on Etsy: Robyn Golding Jewellery.

 

Thank you for taking the time to talk to us!  We just love your work and can’t wait to see your new collection and what happens next for you!   

 

 

So what exactly is metal clay?

You may have seen that we have metal clay classes at the London Jewellery School but what exactly is metal clay and how can you use it? Metal clay artist and tutor Anna Campbell updates you on the latest developments

Metal clay has been around since the 1990s but many people have never heard of it so I thought I would give a general overview and a rundown of the latest products available on the market. This year there have been a lot of exciting advances and new brands/products entering the market so the metal clay market is growing.

Just to note, I am focussing here on the brands that are easy to purchase in the UK without import costs. There are other brands available but at the time of writing these are not as easily accessible as those featured here.

 

What is metal clay?

All metal clays have the same basic structure – metal particles, a binder to bind the metal particles together and some water to form the clay. This can be moulded, shaped and textured before drying and firing – either with a jewellers torch or in a kiln to form metal.

All metal clays can be hallmarked by the assay office.

 

Silver clay

The two main manufacturers of silver clay are Aida (Art Clay Silver Clay) and Mitsubishi (PMC3). We use Art Clay Silver Clay in our classes at the London Jewellery School but if you have used one you can use the other in exactly the same way. Fine silver clay is also known as 999 meaning that for every 1000 particles, 999 are silver and 1 is copper.

Silver clay is available in different forms which lend themselves to different ways of designing. These are clay, syringe, paste and paper.

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Silver clay and syringe by Jeanette Landenwitch

 

Syringe

The syringe allows you to do finer silver work e.g. filigree. It is also useful for filling in any cracks or gaps in your work. Both Art Clay and PMC have syringe clay available.

 

Paste

Paste is a watered down version of clay that acts like a glue, perfect for sticking two pieces of clay together. Artists like Terry Kovalcik also use paste for painting amazing designs on their pieces.

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Pendant, painting with paste by Terry Kovalcik

 

Paper

Silver clay paper is a flat, dry sheet of clay that can be cut, woven and folded. I have recently written a blog post on origami with silver.

 

PMC flex

PMC flex is a type of fine silver clay that is flexible and has a longer drying time. Perfect if you find you need a little more time to create your pieces, it can be torch or kiln fired.

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Art Clay Silver 950 – sterling silver clay

 

Sterling silver clay

Sterling silver is also known as 925. This means that there are 925 particles of silver to 75 particles of copper. Sterling silver is widely recognised in the UK and is stronger that fine silver so is perfect for making rings, bangles or other pieces that need more strength. You can also roll it out a little thinner as it maintains its strength and is a little stronger in the greenware stage (when dry but before firing) although still take care when you’re filing! It carves and engraves well. However, it does have to be kiln fired, torch firing is not sufficient.

Previous incarnations of the sterling silver clay needed a two firing system using carbon but this year both Art Clay (Art Clay 950 Sterling silver clay) and PMC (PMC sterling onefire) have released one fire clays. For more information you can have a look at a previous blog post I wrote about trying out Art Clay 950.

For those that are selling their metal clay pieces sterling silver clay is an attractive option as customers know what it is and are confident buying hallmarked sterling silver however the need for a kiln can put people off.

 

Gold

At the time of writing 3g of Art Clay gold is £259.95! Youch! It may not surprise you to know that I have not tried using it! However, there are other ways of adding gold to metal clay. I have had success with accent gold for silver which is 24 carat gold that you can paint onto fired on unfired silver clay. It is still costly, £92.95 for 1 gram, but a little does go a long way as you are only painting a layer onto the surface of the clay.

You can also use keum boo, a gold foil that is adhered to fired silver clay. You can learn how to do this on our one day intermediate metal clay class.

 

Base metal clays

Base metal means non-precious metals e.g. bronze, copper, iron and steel.

 

Copper

Copper clay is available from a number of manufacturers, for a full list see here. Art Clay Copper (at the time of writing) is the simplest of the clays to fire as it can be torch or kiln fired. Copper clay is an affordable option although not everyone likes to wear copper jewellery. However, it could be a good option for making larger pieces like bracelets.

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Bronze clay neckpiece by Anna Mazon (made from Goldie Bronze)

 

 

Bronze

I have enjoyed experimenting recently with bronze clay. I have been using Goldie Bronze. It is also very affordable and comes in many different colours. It arrives in powder form and is easy to make up into clay with ordinary tap water (I have a two minute video on how to do that here). This allows you to mix up the amount you need when you need it. Hard is great for making bangles and rings whereas soft is easier to carve and texture so a mix of both has, in my opinion, given me the best of both worlds. Firing Goldie Bronze does also have to be done in a two part schedule in the kiln in activated coconut carbon and, if you do it right, it works! In the UK you can purchase Goldie Bronze from Metal Clay Ltd. Metal Clay have also recently started stocking the Aussie Metal Clay brand and I’m looking forward to having a play with it. There are other brands of bronze clay on the UK market including Metal Adventures and Prometheus.

 

Other base metals

Other metal clays available include brass clays and iron clays.

 

Final thoughts

The original fine silver clay is still the most reliable to fire. However, it is among the more expensive of the metal clays to work with so doing some experimenting with other metal clays could prove worthwhile, particularly if you have a design for a larger piece in mind. I really wanted to make a chunky bracelet in metal clay and am currently doing so in Goldie Bronze. The cost of the same amount of clay in silver would have been prohibitive.

You do need to fire the majority of metal clays in a kiln (with the exception of art clay copper) but you may be able to find a kiln firing service in your area if you don’t have one yourself.

The final thing to note is that you do need separate tools for working with the different metals. Contamination from one type of clay to another can result in the piece not firing correctly and all your work is wasted. My main set of tools is for silver clay (as I started working in it I have more tools for silver!). I have a box of tools, texture sheets, clay roller etc that have just been used for bronze clay. Make sure you mark your tools clearly. In practice it hasn’t meant buying too many duplicate tools and I think the opportunity to try other metals has made the added investment worthwhile.

For a more in depth run down of the different brands of clay on the market see this excellent article from Metal Clay Academy

If you’ve been inspired to try a silver clay class why not join us for a day? The following classes are in silver clay:

Beginners metal clay class

Intermediate metal clay class – in this class you get the chance to add gold to your silver clay in one of the projects.

Would you like to try working with paper clay? Enrol on our silver paper clay class.

 

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

 

Adventures in wax carving – Week 2!

So last week I posted about week 1 of my 5 week Wax Carving Evening Class at the London Jewellery School.  We have now had our second week of our class and it is fair to say that we were all getting into the swing of things and powering forward with our designs!  Some of us made some changes to our designs this week as we had had the chance to think about our pieces and how we would realise them in wax!

So it was pretty much straight to business this week!  We all worked hard shaping the wax and scraping away and refining the waxes.  It was a very quiet class as we were all concentrating so hard!

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Everybody hard at work on their designs! 

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Our lovely tutor, Sophie Arnott, putting us through our paces 🙂

My own design is coming on.  I pretty much have the organic shape carved out and am just refining the surface with sandpaper and steel wool to make sure it is nice and smooth as any flaws in the wax will be picked up in silver (and are much harder to sort out once cast!).  I will waft my piece under some heat to remove any little curls of wax remaining so it is completely nice and smooth for casting.

Next week I will start burring out the underside of the ring to make the ring lighter (as it would be very heavy in solid silver, not to mention expensive to cast!) to make it nice and comfortable to wear using a ball burr in a pendant motor.  And I will hopefully make a start on my second design.

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My wax carved ring – almost finished 🙂 

I am really enjoying the course so far and although I still love fabricating pieces completely by hand from sheet metal, wire and tubing, I can see how this technique could be incorporated into my designs and collections.  Plus it is incredibly therapeutic peeling away layers of wax!

I can’t wait for week 3 and seeing some of the finished waxes of my fellow students!  Have a great week and will post pictures of how everyone is getting on next week!

 

Author: Karen Young

London Jewellery School Blog_Karen Young Bio

 

Adventures in wax carving…Week 1

I have been a silversmith for almost 7 years now, and have learned my trade exclusively through short courses including many of the London Jewellery School’s courses.  I love the fact that there is always a new skill or technique to learn in jewellery making as it is such a vast subject, and try and get into the classroom a couple of times a year to expand my skill set and try something new.  I always find that some time in the classroom rejuvenates my enthusiasm for this wonderful (but sometimes frustrating craft), and always pushes forward my designs and inspiration.

I largely hand-forge my jewellery and love the process of taking sheet metal and wire and transforming it into something that people will treasure forever.  However recently I have struggled to realise some of my design ideas using traditional silversmithing methods and began to wonder if carving my designs in wax might be the answer.  I decided to sign up for the 5-week wax carving evening class at the London Jewellery School, so sorted my childcare out on Tuesday evenings in October and November and started to look forward to the class!

I thought it might be interesting for you to see how I get on!  So over the next 5 weeks I will be sharing my wax carving diary with you!

Last Tuesday was week 1 of class!  The class is full and there are 7 of us so will be nice to get to know everybody over the course of the 5 weeks.  Interestingly there are only a couple of us with jewellery making experience – the vast majority are complete beginners so it will be nice to see their jewellery making journeys and watch them catch the jewellery making bug!

The evening class I am taking is taught by our silver and wax carving tutor, Sophie Arnott who has her own UK jewellery brand Anvil and Ivy and is also the founder of Carved Workshops which runs short wax carving course near her home in Essex.  A trained silversmith, Sophie now almost exclusively carves her jewellery designs out of wax.  I have known Sophie for a couple of years now after meeting her on a stone setting evening class at LJS, and know how passionate she is about wax carving so was very excited to be taking this class with her.

So, after making our introductions Sophie spent some time taking us through the different types of materials and tools we would be using over the next 5 weeks.  The great thing about wax carving is that the tools required are actually quite minimal compared to the likes of silversmithing, so my husband will be relieved that the scope for new tools is limited!

We also started to talk about the type of projects we could work on and what it is possible to achieve in the 5 weeks.  Sophie worked with each of us to establish what we wanted to work on during the course and helped us tweak designs to make sure they were realistic.

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The first task was to learn how to load the special spiral wax saw blades into a saw frame and then Sophie spend some time teaching us how to choose our wax ‘profile’, mark out and cut our ring slice ready to start on our design next week.  And then it was over to us!  We spent a bit of time playing with wax offcuts to get used to sawing the wax (it is pretty different from cutting metal!) and filling the wax flat before moving on to cut out and prep our slice of wax that we would be using for our 1st project.

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Before we knew it the 2.5 hours were up and we had to pack up – I think we all could have kept going as we were all having fun!  I am just itching to start working on my design next week (and might do a bit of practicing at home this week).  I can’t wait for week 2!

Author: Karen Young

London Jewellery School Blog_Karen Young Bio

Spotlight on Vlad Zoldak – our 2016 Jewellery Maker of the Year!

In August we ran our 2016 Jewellery Maker of the Year competition and were thrilled by the amazing designs entered!   So many of you wanted to know more about the designers behind the winning entries.
In part 1 of this series we featured Kim Styles who won 2nd Place in the competition.  And today we are speaking to Vlad Zoldak who won 1st place for the amazing Interstellar Ring design.
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Interstellar Ring by Vlad Zoldak
Huge congratulations Vlad! Your Interstellar Ring is breathtaking!  Can you tell us a bit more about the piece and the inspiration behind it?
The inspiration for the ring came out of the stone itself really. When I looked at it for the first time after it arrived I couldn’t help myself wondering what made it possible that such stone grew here. The stone immediately felt like frozen block of crystals clear blue water that may have landed here from place not known to us yet. I loved the stone from the beginning and it is one of my favourite stones to this day. I knew that I wanted to keep as much of the stone on display as possible so I had to think of the best way to set it. The choice of material and design came out naturally as just silver and good old soldering is really what I love about making jewellery. I knew that I wanted to set the stone in strands of silver square wire to resemble the geometric cut of the stone but the idea with different lengths strands came later and resembled crystallising water.
How and when did your jewellery making journey start?
I always loved silver jewellery. I lived in Camden Town for a time and I grew to admire the craftsmanship of some of the jewellery makers at our local market. I began to think about jewellery making more, and found myself searching for jewellery courses that would fit my family and work commitments. I found the London Jewellery School and I liked what they had to offer so I went for it!
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Silver and gemstone ring by Vlad Zoldak 
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Have you had any formal training? If so where did you train?
My only formal training that I had was at the London Jewellery School. I took several courses on subjects that I knew I wanted to concentrate on. I then took everything that I have learned there to my studio and began to experiment.
Where do you typically find inspiration for what to make next?
I primarily work with stones set in silver or plain silver. The inspiration always come directly from stones that I buy the design comes later. On pieces without stone I gain inspiration from pretty much anything; my surroundings, nature, my family…etc.
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What are your favourite techniques or medium?
Good old soldering and 925 Silver.
What are your favourite tools?
My torch, saw and dremel.
Do you offer workshops or classes?
Yes, I offer free classes to my 4 year old son 😉. No I don’t have immediate plans to provide any classes or workshops but that is something I would eventually like to do.
\What is the favourite thing(s) that you have made to date?
A pair of earrings that I made for my other half.
What is next for you and your jewellery business and what do you hope to achieve in the next 18-24 months?
I am currently working on new collections but also a few one-off pieces. I will be spending a lot of time in my studio in order to prepare for jewellery shows and fair that I would like to be part of.  I am also looking to complete few more courses to develop my techniques.
Do you have a website? How can we see more of your work? [Please include web address or the likes of etsy shop links plus your social media channels]
I am currently updating my website and blog as they no longer served the needs of my business. However, you can find me on Etsy, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

 

Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, Vlad.  Your work is just outstanding and we are so proud to have played a small part in your jewellery making journey.  All of us here at LJS wish you the very best of success!

 

Behind the scenes at Create and Craft TV

Metal clay tutor Anna Campbell made her live TV debut for the London Jewellery School on Create and Craft TV last week. She gives us a behind the scenes look at what goes into making the show

 

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Earlier this year our founder and director Jessica Rose appeared for the first time on the shopping channel Create and Craft TV, showing a metal clay starter kit in action. It was very popular and Jess and the Create and Craft team decided to bring more London Jewellery School products and online courses to the channel. It was decided to continue the focus on metal clay. In January this year I had filmed the ‘torch fired stone setting in silver clay’ for Jewellery School Online so a stone setting kit was put together, along with the online course, to sell on the shows. Jess asked me if I would like to do the live TV demos and, of course, I said yes!

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Screen tests and samples

There’s a lot of work that goes into preparing to go on live TV. Firstly, I needed to travel up to Peterborough, where Create and Craft film their shows, to do a screen test. This was a fifteen minute demo of what I can do to check that I would be OK on camera. There’s a whole list of things you can and can’t say, can’t wear (some patterns etc can look funny on camera!) and there was even a helpful video to watch of dos and don’ts!

I had my screen test with presenter Martyn Parker who had just been on air so must have been ready for a break! To be honest, in my view it didn’t go that well! My metal clay wasn’t behaving but I was able to keep talking and was passed to go on live TV! It was a great learning experience and made me really think very carefully about getting everything ready for the real thing.

I needed to have lots of samples of finished pieces that could be made with both the beginners kits and the stone setting kit to show. This really helps people get inspiration about the finished products that can be made with the tools and the online classes. I also needed some ‘here’s one I made earlier’ pieces so there was no waiting around on the show. Luckily, Jess had the finished samples that she had used previously for the beginners kits so I could focus on the stones. I went to LJS to pick up some samples from the stone setting silver clay class and put them on chains and cords. I also made some more pieces myself to take for display and to show as work in progress.

 

On the day

My shows were at 4pm and 7pm on 7th October. I was glad that they were later in the day as I could travel up from home and back in a day.

When I arrived I went into the green room to get ready. I got changed and did my makeup and hair (sadly there are no make up artists to do that for you!). Then I was able to go into the studio to set up the display of jewellery and the demonstration area. You have to be quiet in there as the live show is filming in the same studio so I tried not to drop anything!

The staff in the studio were so helpful, helping me set up the jewellery, unravelling chains and generally remembering the stuff that I might have forgotten! There was a bit of concern about the torch firing demonstration. It is something we do safely every day in our own studios at LJS but I understand that they don’t regularly use butane torches and so were a bit wary!

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First live show

I was so lucky to have Natasha McCarty to work with as my first presenter on live TV. She had previously done a show with Jess and was excited about the silver clay. She really helped keep me at my ease and I so appreciated that as I was nervous. I did find that the time flew by and I quickly just got on with talking about the clay and doing the demonstration and forgot the five cameras that were pointing at me!

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Feedback and making new samples

After the first show I went back to the green room for tea and custard creams! The producer came down to talk to me and asked if we could change the second show slightly to get to the polishing of a piece earlier. I could understand why, it’s important for people who hadn’t seen it before to be able to see how the clay turns into silver and the firing and polishing is the magical part.

This did mean, however, that I had to quickly made some new samples for the later show. I did this and dried them on the top of the kettle!

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Final show

My final show of the day was with Andy Love. He had been on air during the previous hour so I didn’t get much time to talk to him before the show started but he was also great to work with. I did two torch firing demonstrations in this hour (I’m sure they loved that!), one demonstrating the basic kit and one showing the glass setting.

Then it was time to pack everything back up to get the train home.

It was a long, tiring day but I really enjoyed the experience and hopefully I will get a chance to do it again!

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

Goldie bronze tutorial – Bronze tassel necklace

 

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Tutor Anna Campbell has been testing out and reviewing products for Metal Clay Ltd including Goldie Bronze one of the Goldie clays that is now available through Metal Clay in the UK. Anna wrote this free beginners tutorial to help get you started.

 

In this project you will learn how to roll your clay to an even consistency, how to use a stencil to cut out your design and how to add embellishments after firing. It’s the perfect first project for a beader who wants to try out bronze clay.

Please note, Goldie Bronze needs to be kiln fired. If you don’t have a kiln you can follow these same steps to make a pendant in Art Clay silver clay and torch fire your piece instead.

Also, ensure you clean your tools thoroughly when making pieces with different types of metal clay to avoid cross contamination.

 

Tools and materials

Goldie bronze mid (Approximately 10g, mixed and ready to use. See the video tutorial for instructions)

Playing cards

Clay roller

Mat

Deep texture

Olive oil or badger balm

Quik art stylus or needle tool

Quik art clay saving stencil 55180

Sanding pad

Cocktail stick

2 x flat pliers e.g. snipe nosed and flat nosed

Kiln

Aluminium firing pan

Coconut carbon

Heat proof gloves

Barrel polisher or brass brush and 3M polishing papers

2 x black aluminium jump rings, 0.81mm (or other jump rings)

1 x black tassel (mine came from a strand of gemstones I had already purchased. You can also buy tassels at upholsterers or haberdashers)

Rubber necklace or chain

 

 

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Goldie Bronze comes in powder form, you just need to add water. Mix up your clay as per the instructions, see the video for extra guidance

 

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Choose a deep texture as these work best with bronze clay. Lightly oil your texture (with olive oil or badger balm) to ensure the clay doesn’t stick.

With metal clay we use playing cards or spacer slats to roll out our clay to an even thickness. Put eight playing cards each side of the texture, ensuring they overlap the texture. Put the clay in the middle and roll it out, ensuring the roller is touching the playing cards on both sides

 

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Take the clay off the texture and put it on a mat, lay your stencil on top, press it down firmly to ensure it doesn’t slip around. Cut the shapes out with your stylus. Ensure your stylus needle is vertical and touching the sides of the stencil. Do this slowly and regularly remove your stylus and clean it of any residue clay

Note – I used the smallest stencil shape to complete this piece

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Leave the clay aside on a flat surface to dry completely

 

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File the edges with a sanding pad to neaten them

 

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It can be difficult to get the sanding pad into the small holes so use a cocktail stick. You can also wrap a small piece of sandpaper around your cocktail stick if you need additional friction to file inside any holes

 

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Pour 1cm of coconut carbon into your stainless steel pan. Place your piece/s on top of the carbon. If you have made more than one piece make sure you leave at least 1cm gap in between each piece

Fire in your kiln on a full ramp up to 350 degrees centigrade for 30 minutes

 

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Safely remove the stainless steel pan from the kiln – either use heat proof gloves or wait for the kiln to cool completely. Leave the pieces in the pan (they are fragile at this stage as the binder in the clay has burned away). Cover the pieces over with at least 1cm of coconut carbon and fire on a full ramp To 820 degree centigrade for 40 minutes. Wait until the kiln is cool before removing the pieces

 

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I used a barrel polisher to polish the bronze. You can also polish by hand using a brass brush and soapy water to start with then use the 3M polishing papers to rub the piece.

Use your pliers to open a jump ring and add the tassel to the piece, closing the jump ring. Also add the rubber necklace with a jump ring
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We hope you enjoy making this project!  Have a go and let us know how you get on by sharing pictures on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

 

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs