Tag Archives: jewellery design

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

 

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

Why choose a private tuition class at the London Jewellery School

Tutor Anna Campbell has recently taught a number of private tuitions for us. She makes the case for choosing a private tuition and gives the case study example of one of our private students

 

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Title: Pieces made during a private tuition (by the tutee and tutor)

 

At the London Jewellery School we offer over a hundred different courses ranging from one evening to one year. But many people aren’t aware that we also offer private tuition. Our private tuition sessions are typically one day in length (10-5pm), one to one sessions with an expert tutor covering the topic/s of your choice.

But a private tuition is more expensive than a one day class so why choose one?

 

You get a course tailor made just for you

You can pick and choose projects from our classes that you would like to do. Alternatively, you can ask to cover something that we don’t have a class for and we will endeavour to find a tutor.

 

You get one to one tuition

Based on what you want to cover, an expert tutor will be chosen to help guide you throughout the day. Your tutor is hand picked by our management team based on the projects you would like to work on.

 

You get more done

When you are working one to one we find that you can cover more in the time as you have a dedicated expert working just with you at your pace.

 

Good use of your time, especially if you’re not based in London

We regularly have private tuition students that are not based in the UK. This summer we had a private tuition student who came over from Japan! She did a number of days of private tuition with us and covered beading, silver clay and polymer clay with different tutors.

Even if you are from the UK it can still be more economical in terms of time and money. For example, if you would like to do projects from intermediate and advanced beading you would have to pay for two days of courses and travel to us twice. But you could cover projects from both in one day (note – not all of the projects!)

 

Dedicated private tuition space

We have a dedicated private tuition space in our new studios in the heart of Hatton Garden which means we now have more availability of dates and times. We are open 7 days a week so can accommodate weekends as well as weekdays.

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The dedicated private tuition workshop at the London Jewellery School.

How do I arrange a private tuition?

Contact us by email on info@londonjewelleryschool.co.uk with as much detail as you can about what you would like to cover on your private tuition. Do include links to photos of the kinds of things you would like to achieve. This gives the management team the information they need to advise on what can be achieved in a day and to choose the tutor with the skills you would like to learn.

Also, please include a number of potential dates as we need both the room and tutor availability to match up with your availability. Please provide a phone number we can contact you on to help us do this quickly.

 

What have others covered in private tuitions?

Here are some things that have been covered in previous private tuition sessions. Please note, sometimes more than one day is necessary depending on the complexity of the work and number of projects you would like to make.

 

  • Making an engagement ring
  • Making a special gift e.g. for an anniversary, birthday etc
  • Jewellery business tailored advice
  • Support with a commission
  • Working in gold
  • Help in developing a collection
  • Glass and enamel work
  • Beading and wirework
  • Silver clay

 

Case study

K has recently taken voluntary redundancy from her work and would like to build up a part time jewellery business. After some discussion with our management team she booked two days of private tuition with me to work on silver clay projects.

 

K was able to pick and choose exactly what she wanted to learn from 4 different classes at LJS. These were:

Beginners metal clay

Intermediate metal clay

Soldering on metal clay

Fingerprint jewellery

 

Private tuition day 1

We covered topics from beginners metal clay and soldering on metal clay including

  • Silver clay earrings
  • A silicone mould and moulded silver charm
  • A cubic zirconia stone set pendant
  • Silver clay stud earrings
  • Silver clay cufflinks
  • Torch firing silver clay (all pieces were torch fired)
  • Soldering stud earrings and cufflinks

 

Private tuition day 2

We covered a mix of metal clay projects including

  • Fingerprint jewellery
  • Pendant with keum boo (gold leaf) and gold paste
  • How to make a silver clay bail
  • Silver clay ring with embellishment

 

(note – to cover all the projects K had to purchase some additional silver clay on day 2).
Would you like to know more about planning a private tuition? Give us a call on 0203 176 0546 to discuss what you would like to do.

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

Spotlight on Kim Styles Jewellery!

In August we ran our 2016 Jewellery Maker of the Year competition and were overwhelmed by the outstanding entries!  And so many of you have been wanting to know more about our winners and what inspired their winning pieces!  So today we are talking to Kim Styles of Kim Styles Jewellery about her Morganite and Sapphire Cluster Ring that won second place in our competition!

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Congratulations Kim!  Your Morganite and Sapphire Cluster Ring is simply gorgeous.  Can you tell us a bit more about the piece and the inspiration behind it? 

Thank you LJS!   I have been making some very pretty rings for clients and I thought it was about time I had one of my own as a show piece so potential commission  clients can see at first hand exactly what I do.

 

How and when did your jewellery making journey start? 

I started my jewellery making journey way back , my 3D foundation course tutor suggested jewellery might be a good direction for me as I loved making small highly detailed things.  I signed up for a four year degree course at Sir John Cass in London,  ‘Jewellery, Silversmithing and Allied Crafts’ and from the very first day I knew it was what I wanted to do.

 

Have you had any formal training?  If so where did you train? 

I trained at Sir John Cass in London.  I graduated in 1987 with an honours degree and after that I worked for various well known jewellers in and around London for a few years.

 

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

I find inspiration all around me, my best pieces come from the most unexpected sources, like a piece of twig with large pods on it that I found at the edge of a road, or a neighbours flamboyant Passion Flower growing over the fence.  Once something sparks my imagination I have to make it!

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Floral Cluster Ring by Kim Styles Jewellery

 

What are your favourite techniques or medium? 

My favourite medium is precious metal, silver is lovely to work with but my absolute favourite is yellow 18ct gold, so rich and easy to work with.  My favourite techniques are piercing, forming and shaping metal and soldering.  I also love engraving all the very fine details on the leaves and flowers I make.

 

What are your favourite tools? 

My most treasured tool is my grandfathers Archimedes Drill, but my piercing saw and my torch are the ones I use constantly every day.

 

Do you offer workshops or classes? 

I do occasionally offer one to one classes upon request.

 

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

My Spring Necklace, the first life size floral necklace I made.  My Peridot Garden Ring which was a commission and my Morganite and Sapphire Cluster ring.

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Spring Necklace by Kim Styles Jewellery

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Peridot Garden Ring by Kim Styles Jewellery

 

What is next for Kim Styles Jewellery and what do you hope to achieve in the next 18-24 months?

I have a packed itinerary of craft fairs for the next few months, including ‘Handmade at Kew’ and ‘Desire Winchester’ among others, interspersed with a few commissions and probably some new rather quirky designs.  Over the next 18-24 months I hope to widen my client base,  see my work in more galleries and continue to build on the success of the last couple of years.

 

Do you have a website?  How can we see more of your work?

I do have a website: www.kim-styles-jewellery.co.uk  and post examples of my work on my Facebook Page and Twitter.     I also sell my jewellery on Etsy in my Etsy Shop.

Examples of my work is also on display and can be seen in the following locations:

Rostra Gallery, Bath.

The Spring Center, Havant.

The George, Fordingbridge.

 

Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, Kim.  Your work is just stunning and we are so thrilled you shared it with us.  All of us here at LJS wish you the very best of success!

Thank you LJS, it’s been a pleasure talking to you and I am so thrilled to achieve 2nd place in Jeweller of the Year!

 

 

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

Winners of our 2016 Jewellery Maker of the Year Competition!

Just in case you missed our recent Facebook Post, the winners of the 2016 Jewellery Maker of the Year Competition have been announced!

Huge congratulations to our winner, Vlad Zoldak! Vlad is officially the London Jeweller School Jewellery Maker of the Year 2016 for the stunning ‘Interstellar Ring’!!!  Our judging panel were utterly amazed by Vlad’s beautiful and unique design, fine craftsmanship and presentation!

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Interstellar Ring by Vlad Zoldak – 1st Place

And let’s not forget our amazing runners up! In second place is Kim Styles Jewellery for her gorgeous Morganite and Sapphire Cluster Ring, and in third place is Robyn Golding for the beautifully innovative ‘Green Fingers Ring’! 

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Morganite and Sapphire Cluster Ring by Kim Styles – 2nd Place

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Green Fingers Ring by Robyn Golding – 3rd Place


Congratulations to you all! Your prizes will be winding their way to you soon.  And we will be interviewing each of our winners to find out more about them, their jewellery making journey and what inspires their work, so stay tuned for those posts!

And a massive thank you to all who entered the competition and shared your beautiful work with us!   If you haven’t seen it yet do have a look at all of our amazing shortlisted candidates and their entries on our previous Blog.

Jewellery Design Inspiration Classes

Tutor Anna Campbell has been focussing on jewellery design recently and is writing a couple of blog posts for LJS about the subject. Here is a focus on our classes that help you develop your jewellery design skills.

If you have been making jewellery for a little while or have attended a few of our classes you will know that we tend to teach you different techniques in the majority of our sessions. These techniques are designed to help you develop the skills you need to get to the next level of jewellery making. However, we often don’t have time in these classes to also think about jewellery design and inspiration and there does come a time in your development as a jeweller when you need to focus on this in order to develop your own signature style. Luckily we do have a few classes that focus on design and inspiration.

 

Fashion jewellery

Our one day fashion jewellery class starts with a look at fashion trends in jewellery. You create a mood board and then work from this to develop your own piece or pieces. The Fashion Jewellery class focusses on the use of beading, wire, fabrics, buttons, ribbons etc to create statement pieces with tutor support and learners on this course tend to go in their own directions rather than make pieces with the same techniques as other learners.

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Example Design Mood Board

Jewellery Design

Our one day Jewellery Design class is especially for those who would like to spend a day really thinking about design, inspiration, sketching and developing ideas. It’s a real treat to have a jewellery professional working with you in a small group and providing one to one advice. Bring along your sketchbook and prepare to keep drawing and developing your design inspirations. We have lots of resources to give you ideas if you’re stuck as well as practical advice.

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Jewellery Design and Ideas Development

Technical drawing for jewellery

This one day course in Technical drawing for jewellery is a beginners level course for those that would like to learn how to draw accurate technical drawings for jewellery making. This skill is important if you are making pieces on commission as it allows you to check designs with your clients before you start making. Additionally, it’s a skill you need if you would like to use computer aided design (or just pass on your designs to a CAD specialist) for 3D printing, for manufacturing or for your portfolio.

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You will look at some examples and then learn basic techniques for mapping out and creating high quality black and white outline drawings.

 

6 week jewellery design and drawing evening class   

For all of the above in one course why not attend our 6 week jewellery design and drawing evening class.

 

Covering: 

Week 1 – Fashion Jewellery. Creating a mood board to encourage you to focus on design, colours and style and help you visualise who might wear your jewellery

 

Week 2 – Fashion Jewellery. Use a range of beads, buttons, ribbons, fabric, chain, etc to create a piece of fashion jewellery inspired by the mood board you created in week 1

 

Weeks 3 & 4 – Jewellery Design. Over 2 classes you will learn how to make basic design sketches and various methods of using inspiration from photographs, magazines and the world around you to create jewellery designs. The classes will also look at the key elements of a design and choosing the right materials for your idea

 

Weeks 5 & 6 – Technical Drawing. Learning the basic techniques of mapping out and creating high quality black and white outline drawings from different angles to provide either to your customers, jewellers for manufacturing or as part of your own design portfolio.

 

We’d love to hear from you if you have taken one of these classes. What did you find valuable? What other design classes would you like us to provide? Let us know your feedback and thoughts in the comments below.

AUTHOR: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs