Tag Archives: jewellery inspiration

Don’t Step On A Bee Day 🐝-Tuesday 10th July

The buzz on the street is that bees are pretty important to this little rock we call home.  The bee population in some countries has halved over the last decade and their pollination discos affect far more than just honey production 🍯.

Our busy worker mates are essential to a healthy environment and the diversity of the food that we eat. Friends of the Earth wax lyrical about their importance and what we can do to help save their depleting populations. So, here I am showing you some be(e)auties we can be(e)jewel ourselves with as a reminder to not step on our fuzzy friends. Hurting them, hurts us in more ways than one.

Alex Monroe with his world renowned Bumblebee necklace is a modern British classic.

This childlike bee drawing on a signet ring from Monroe is still fit for a Queen.

Goldsmiths Fair favourite Max Danger’s new collections are responding to his research into bees and beekeeping.

Beehive handmade brings us this dainty piece. Be(e)cause simplicity is sometimes the way.

Hopefully the bees were finished with this honeycomb when the jeweller snaffled them for this organic tessellation treat.

So let’s attempt to halt the plight of the bumble bee, get inspired by their busyiness and make a beeline for your jewellery bench or one of our courses.

 

 

 

 

Clasps 4,000 Years of Fasteners in Jewellery by Anna Tabakhova

This week I have been taking a look at jeweller and collector Anna Tabakhova’s book ‘Clasps: 4000 years of fasteners in Jewellery’ which details a fascination with the fastener throughout the ages and I’ve already changed my attitude towards the clasp as just a means to an end.

From Egyptian times the oldest removable clasp followed on from the simple knot. Older styles of closure would have been perishable so ancient clasps remain a mystery. The discreet closure created by two simple joining folds date from 2000 BC.

Interlocking twists, nesting boxes, slot and slide, pin and hinge, ball and loop, double hooks, screws, and sliding balls or a junction box where two slides meet in a decorative feature, pins with safety chains are all details as aesthetic solutions to join sides. Like the puzzle clasp by Petr Dvorak, here, attention has not been spared but painstakingly lavished on an intricate fixing to keep this piece about your person.

Rings and pendants traditionally act as the focus for fancy settings, enamelling and elaborate details. Here we see necklaces where the clasp is not pushed to the back but is the focus point of the piece as, more conventionally, a pendant would be. And fasten your seat belts for the section on transforming jewels, from necklaces to tiaras with clever mechanisms. Day (well a very fancy day) to-night pieces with a series of catches. A bird brooch whose wings can fly off to become earrings.

The author set out to make an art book and technical manual based on historical research which began with her own collections, then moved on to museum and private collections. This resulted in a marvel of inspiring colour images and 28 original illustrations which could give you the closure you need for your next collection or inspire a lifetime of clever clasps for your jewellery making. So not just pretty pictures (although this book does provide a wide range of beautifully selected pieces throughout the ages). Surely there must be a catch!? Nope, the clasp isn’t for everyone apparently. Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel is quoted as saying ‘I hate clasps! I got rid of clasps’ and the figure-hugging designs that resulted from this aversion are detailed in these pages.

 

I had a very nice time consulting this book that acts as a cross-section of jewellery through time, without ever realising that I had a particular interest in what keeps pieces together. I also enjoyed chancing upon this little scene above from the authors’ Twitter feed. In conclusion, it’s clear that the appreciation of clasps is not a simple open and shut case.

Want to try making your own findings to keep your pieces on your person? Try our Make your own Silver Findings class.

Catch you later.

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

Pantone Colour of 2018-Ultra Violet-will purple reign again?

Said to communicate originality and visionary thinking towards the future, Ultra-Violet makes a welcome entrance to kick start 2018- a bit of forward thinking is just what we need. Take a look at how these jewellers have also taken to this shade to inspire your own creations this year.

Jewellers have many a purple shade of stone they can turn to in celebration of this announcement from Pantone, such as types of Sapphire, Tanzanite, Tourmaline and of course Amethyst. Though there are many who have favoured alternative materials to celebrate the colour purple too.

Tara Locklear uses materials away from their natural environment to create bright and beautiful pieces. Her work often exposes the colourful layers of recycled skateboard decks in her bold pieces, as with this cheeky pair of earrings.

Here we see a paler shade of concrete tinged with gold for a neckpiece of intriguing forms.

All colours seem to naturally resonate with Britta Boeckmann’s work in wood and resin including including this bold shade.

 

You might feel you want to go all out with Ultra Violet this year, change your world, paint a feature wall. Or you could take a splodge from Xenia Walschikow’s palette and put your paint to a portable decorative use.  These experiments in the colour of the moment are the makings of what will become statement neckpieces and bold gestural earrings.

Our pal purple pops up again to offset these strong, yet light and flexible neck art pieces by Walschikow.

There is always room to ‘kick it old skool’ with a twist when working with a strong colour. As we see with this pink topaz in its unusual contrasting yellow lozenge setting.

Whatever medium you favour in your making, maybe try letting in some purple tones to guide your future this year with Ultra Violet.

January Birthstones-Garnet-Give me strength

Weary or rested from celebrating or resting over the December break, January may feel like a rough month to have a birthday. But these January folks are not down-hearted. They are ambitious leaders, who love to learn new things and take living seriously. They also have a cracking birthstone in garnet to back them up, thought to bring strength, good health and prosperity.

This beautiful rock can be found in many colours but most commonly in the red of almandine and pyrope garnets. Iron and magnesium cause the colour differences in these stones.

Garnet has been used in digit decoration from Romans times, with these simple styles still holding their own in contemporary adornment as we see here in this mercury ring by Astley Clarke.

It is thought that the name garnet derives from the Latin for pomegranate ‘granatum’, due to the similarities of colour of the fruity innards. This is a possibility explored in detail by ‘Winged Lion‘ jeweller Sergey Zhiboedov with their garnet pomegranate pieces.

 

Another fruity offering comes from Alison Maclead with this ring that suggests a cluster of berries or grapes.

 

London Jewellery School tutor Helen Walls often illustrates the point that a single gem against silver is a winning combination and proves this again with a simple blood-red garnet droplet from a textured hoop.

So if it’s a little or a lot of your birthstone you wish to pin down to your crown. Have no fear to start the year, take the lead and get some inspiration in one of our classes.

Strong the force is with these ones

The latest Star Wars film is out soon. Hurray hurrah. It would be tempting to parade the range of jewellery that directly references this ongoing intergalactic saga. Let’s face it any ring set that reminds you of the ‘I love you, I know’ moment can only be a good thing, although I would insist on wearing both of them right now to make the late Carrie Fischer proud. So, let’s voyage to a galaxy not so far away and a time not so long ago to fill this space (the final frontier) – sorry, that’s the other one)).

What came first the deco or the droid? -when looking at the ring below I can’t help but wonder if George Lucas was a fan of Art Deco jeweller Gerard Sandor.

Gerard Sandor ring

The exhibitors at the Goldsmiths Fair in October this year provided a plethora of inspiring jewels that feel like they could nod to that future/past in spacetime.

Evgeniia Balashova utilises 3D printing techniques to very different ends with her varied portfolio of work, yet retains an overarching feeling of innovation with a simple use of colour and a mixture of precious materials and newer technology. I feel like this neck-piece gives an impression of the flowing robes and sometimes earlobes of our Star Wars motley crew.

star wars

Susi Hines Orbis collection have a definite planetary appearance and their dark encrusted spheres are indeed reminiscent of the Death Star. This collection was inspired by Renaissance mapping of the world and is described as celestial globes with hidden surprises in these kinetic rings.

 

Finally you can look to these earrings by Margaux Clavel for a dainty homage to the regal dressing up box of Padme Amidala.

Clavel-Margaux

 

May the force be with you and in your making too.

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

 

Jewellery inspiration – Pantone color of the year 2017

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The Pantone colour of the year is a result of research into trends in fashion and home interior design so it is worth being in the know. The colour of the year for 2017 is greenery. LJS tutor Anna Campbell looks at some jewellery inspiration for this colour trends.

 

Pantone are a commercial printing company known for their colour matching system. However, they have become most famous for their announcement of the colour of the year. This is discussed and agreed by industry insiders and is often influenced by fashion and interior trends that work well in advance and is just as important for jewellery makers.

The colour for 2017 is Greenery 15-0343 ‘a refreshing and revitalising shade symbolic of new beginnings’.

There are many green gemstones that will fit in with this trend including emerald, tourmaline, peridot, tsavorite garnet, labradorite, demantoid garnet, beryl, jade and apatite as well as other forms of jewellery including enamelling and beading.

Take a look at some examples to inspire you.

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Green bead bracelet from gifts with a cause

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Art deco earrings from Wixon Jewelers

 

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Resin ring by Sylwia Calus

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Emerald choker by Vanleles

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Robert Procop drop earrings

 

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Green diamond bracelet by Glittering Stones

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Open heart pendant by Tiffany

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Bronze clay labradorite necklace by Anna Mazon

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Sylvan green enamel bracelet

 

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Emerald ring by Niquesa

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

 

Christmas themed jewellery

Have you got your christmas jumper? Anna Campbell has been looking for some Christmas-themed jewellery to wear over the holiday season…

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Wire wreath earrings via Shiney Rocks

 

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Swarovski christmas tree brooch via Morning Glory Antiques

 

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Sterling silver cracker bracelet charm via Nick Hubbard

 

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Silver deer earrings via Kaya Jewellery

 

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Red glitter bulb earrings via Claires

 

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Christmas tree cufflinks via DH Gate

 

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Christmas holly brooch via Rosie Bull Designs

 

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String of fairy lights necklace via Village Silversmith

 

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Poinsettia bracelet via Around the beading table

 

 

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Holly necklace via CSL Designs

Are you inspired to create some Christmas-themed pieces this festive season?

Author:  Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs