Tag Archives: How to projects

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

Free Jewellery Tutorial: Make a Beaded French Knit Necklace with Anna Campbell

Here at the London Jewellery School, all of our tutors are highly trained in a wide number of jewellery making techniques.  And they all love sharing their knowledge, skills and passion with the next generation of jewellery makers and artists.  Tutor, Anna Campbell, has created a short video tutorial on how to make a beaded french knit necklace using a French Knit Dollie.  Anna usually recommends the Clover Wonder Knitter as it has a wider hole in the centre which is great for larger beads.

 

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.

If you want to learn more jewellery making techniques you can find our face to face classes here, online courses here and a selection of other videos on our YouTube channel.

 

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

FREE Jewellery Making Workshop on 23rd & 24th July @Southbank Centre from 12-4pm!

FREE Jewellery Workshop - Fashion Uncovered 23rd & 24th July (2)

 

Fancy doing a spot of making this weekend?  We would love to you join our founder, Jessica Rose, for a FREE jewellery making workshop as part of Fashion Undressed Festival at the Southbank Centre on 23rd and 24th July from 12-4pm!

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You will learn how to make a funky perspex charm bracelet which is yours to keep and there will be loads of other workshops celebrating style and creativity – from the street to the catwalk, along with art, culture and performance.  It is sure to be a great day out!

For more information about the event  click here!

We hope to see you there!

Make sparkling Valentine’s earrings

London Jewellery School tutor Gail Florio provides a step by step guide to making these diamond shaped Swarovski earrings with blood red heart in simple bead and wire weave -perfect for a Valentine’s Day date. And it’s just one of many free jewellery making projects you can find on our website.

Gail is a beader and milliner, specialising mainly in bridal accessories. Living in London with her husband, young daughter and 2 cats, she teaches at LJS and also runs her own bridal business, Florio Designs.

Finished piece 1

Materials Used

  • 0.3mm Silver Plated Copper Wire
  • Clear AB & Siam 4mm Swarovski Crystals
  • Siam 8mm Swarovski Crystals
  • Silver plated Fish-hook Earring Findings

Step 1

make crystal earrings

Step 1 – It’s important that you layout your design on a bead mat first so that you can see if it actually works before you start. It will also help you see which crystals are next. These earrings consist of 81 4mm crystals and one 8mm crystal. The earring on the left is the weaved version and on the right, the crystals waiting to be weaved.

Step 2

make crystal earrings

Cut 1 metre of 0.3mm silver plated copper wire (You could also use beading thread and 2 beading needles). Slide your first clear 4mm crystal on to the centre of the wire and bring one side of the wire through the crystal to form a loop. The loop will form the bottom of the earring, usually this is pulled tight, but if you leave some space, you could then add dangles.

Step 3

make crystal earrings

Split the wires in two and slide on 2 clear crystals to one wire, then take the other wire and go through both crystals from the other side. Pull both wires so that the 2 crystals sit nice and tight on your first crystal. The facets in the crystals mean that that they should fit closely together. Do be careful of overworking your wire too as it can break.

Step 4 

make crystal earrings

Follow Step 3 with row of 3 crystals (1 clear, 1 red, 1 clear). Continue with the following pattern; Row 4 (1 clear, 2 red, 1 clear), Row 5 (1 clear, 3 red, 1 clear), Row 6 (1 clear, 4 red, 1 clear), Row 7 (1 clear, 5 red, 1 clear), Row 8 (1 clear, 6 red, 1 clear), Row 9 (1 clear, 3 red, 1 clear, 3 red, 1 clear).

Step 5 

make crystal earrings

You’ll now start to see your pattern take shape. Once you have reached row 9, you will then start to decrease in crystals per row to form your diamond shape. Row 10 (1 clear, 2 red, 2 clear, 2 red, 1 clear), Row 11 (7 clear), Row 12 (6 clear), Row 13 (5 clear), Row 14 (4 clear), Row 15 (3 clear), Row 16 (2 clear), Row 17 (1 clear).

Step 6

make crystal earrings

Add an 8mm red crystal to both wires to sit on top of the diamond (optional). Using your round nose pliers, form a loop around the bottom jaw and wrap the wires around tightly above the large crystal, trim off the excess wire and tuck the ends in with your chain nose pliers. Open the loop of an earring fish hook and slide on the diamond weave and close loop.

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The finished earrings

Designer Tips

  1. Don’t be tempted to unpick your rows if you make a mistake as you are likely to break the wire. Start again!
  2. Reverse the colours and have a clear heart in a red surround, or use Pink!
  3.  Use flush cutters rather than side cutters to trim off your excess wire, it will be neater.

Extra Projects

make cystal earrings

Extra Project 1: Diamonds are forever! Experiment with different patterns. For this pattern; Row 1 (1 clear), Row 2 (2 Clear), Row 3 (1 clear, 1 green, 1 clear), Row 4 (1 clear, 2 green, 1 clear), Row 5 (1 clear, 3 green, 1 clear). Start to decrease your rows. Row 6 (1 clear, 2 green, 1 clear), Row 7 (1 clear, 1 green, 1 clear), Row 8 (2 Clear), Row (1 clear).

make cyrstal earrings

Extra Project 2: Flower power! These earrings also consist of the 5 row formation. Row 1 (1 black diamond), Row 2 (2 Black diamond), Row 3 (3 black diamond), Row 4 (1 black diamond, 2 pink, 1 black diamond), Row 5 (1 black diamond, 3 pink, 1 black diamond). Decrease. Row 6 (1 black diamond, 2 pink, 1 black diamond), Row 7 (3 black diamond), Row 8 (2 Black diamond), Row (1 black diamond).

Make a woven cord and chain bracelet

IMG_0128bLooking for a new jewellery idea to try over the Easter break?

Or perhaps you need to amuse the kids.

The latest step-by step-project on our website might be just the ticket.

This cord and chain bracelet, from designer and LJS tutor Hayley Kruger, is a versatile project that can be worn by men and women depending on how you style it.

You can chose to add beads or charms or leave it plain, use chunkier chain, IMG_0122bweave ribbon rather than cord or weave the cord on both sides of the chain.

Why not choose jewel and neon colours for a Spring look or an oxidised black chain for a striking look.

Once you’ve mastered the technique of adding the cords, the only limit is your imagination.

And because the bracelets don’t require dangerous tools, they make a great IMG_0156bchoice for a family crafting session.

And don’t forget to check out all the other step-by-step projects on the website.

Happy jewellery making and happy Easter.

Jewellery making project: textures for metal clay

Goldie Bronze Pendant and Earrings 1 rszIf you want to create truly unique metal clay or polymer clay jewellery, you’ll want to take a look at our latest step-by-step project on creating texture sheets.

The project, from LJS tutor Mary Ann Nelson, takes you through the process of working with UV light and photo polymer plates to turn black and white images into textures.

It then explains how to use that texture to create your own unique pieces.

The earring and pendant set shown here and in the project uses an abstract design but you can use the same technique with simple black and white drawings. You can learn more about this in our Prints and Drawings in Metal Clay class.

Make your own beaded heart earrings

Finished piece 1

We’ve added another step-by-step jewellery making guide to our projects page.

These Swarovski Crystal earrings by Gail Florio are prefect for a Valentine’s night out and easy to make by following six simple steps.

Our collection of projects for you to make at home cover the wide range of techniques we teach at LJS – beading, polymer clay, silver metal clay, felt and wire wrapping are all there and more will go up each month. Have a look for great gift ideas or just for yourself.

Happy making.

 

Make beautiful jewellery gifts with our free project tutorials

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If you are looking for new ideas to create beautiful jewellery gifts take a look at our projects page for a range of ideas with step-by-step instructions.

For example we’ve just added this lovely polymer clay Blue Bird necklace (above) by tutor Emma Ashworth.

Here the birds are delivering a Valentine message but it could equally be birthday wishes (choose a polymer clay motif in the colour of the person’s birthstone) or a Mother’s Day card.

If you are looking for Valentine’s ideas we also have instructions for a Rosy Red Bracelet and a Wire Wrapped Heart, and look out for another exciting project coming very soon.

And if you are inspired by this project why not come to one of our full day polymer clay workshops?

 

New Project: make your own spring rose necklace

We’ve added a lovely new silver clay project for you try at home to our projects page.

The spring rose necklace by Jessica Rose uses a number of metal clay techniques to create a pretty piece with an attractive clasp.

There are step-by-step instructions and photographs of each stage.

Enjoy making the necklance. Please send us pictures of your versions.

And look out for more projectson the website soon.