Tag Archives: Jewellery Making Project

Exciting new 10-week Silver Jewellery Comprehensive Course!

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Our Silver Jewellery classes are hugely popular here at the School and more and more of you are learning how to craft your own silver jewellery during our 1-Day courses.  But some of you have been asking for a longer course that will allow you to quickly develop professional silversmithing skills by coming regularly to us for a period of time.  Due to popular demand, we have been working hard behind the scenes to create a comprehensive short silver course and are thrilled to announce the dates for our new 10-week Silver Jewellery Intensive Course!

This is a practical and intensive course designed to help you quickly build your skills with a focus on traditional silversmithing techniques and skills.

Suitable for complete beginners or those who have some silversmithing experience; week by week you will build your skills so that by the end of the course you are a confident and professional silversmith able to work independently on your own jewellery designs.

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Stacked Silver Bangles
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Water Casting
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Collet Setting
Spend 1-day per week with us for 10 consecutive weeks and learn all of the essential silversmithing skills including 6 stone setting techniques, and leave us as a confident and professional silversmith able to work independently on your own jewellery designs.   Suitable for complete beginners or those with a bit of silversmithing experience alike!
The new course includes the following:

Week 1 – Beginners Silver Jewellery
Week 2 – Soldering Masterclass
Week 3 – Intermediate Silver Jewellery
Week 4 – Stone Setting (week 1) – Bezel, Tube and Flush
Week 5 – Stone Setting (week 2) – Bezel, Tube and Flush
Week 6 – Stacked Silver Rings and Bangles
Week 7 – Water Casting
Week 8 – Intermediate Stone Setting (week 1) – Irregular, Collet & Channel setting
Week 9 – Intermediate Stone Setting (week 1) – Irregular, Collet & Channel setting
Week 10 – Make your own Silver Findings

The first cohort of the 10-week Comprehensive Course starts on 29th April!  We can’t wait to see lots of accomplished silversmiths blossom before our eyes!

You can find out more including dates, prices and payments plans on our website here.

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

Exciting New Class – Metal Clay Guided Workshop!

London Jewellery School Blog - Guided Metal Clay Workshop

 

Tutor Anna Campbell will be hosting our first ever Metal Clay Guided Workshop on Thursday 30th June, but what is it?

Would you love to work on your own silver clay projects in our well equipped workshop with an expert tutor on hand? Do you find you achieve more during a class than you ever can at home?

At LJS we are trialling the metal clay guided workshop, an opportunity for you to work on your own designs and project ideas and to have help and support from an expert tutor and your fellow students. The idea for this workshop has come from feedback from our more experienced students who wanted a way to develop their skills and work alongside other metal clayers in a supportive and inspiring environment.

Who is the guided workshop for?

The metal clay guided workshops are designed for intermediate and advanced silver clay students. These sessions are different from our usual classes as there will be no organised tuition, you bring along your own designs and ideas!

What kinds of projects can I work on?

It is up to you! The workshop day is self-directed.

Some examples of projects you might like to work on

  • Cufflinks and stud earrings for soldering
  • Silver clay brooch (I suggest the large screw in silver brooch pin from metalclay.co.uk sku number K059A)
  • Pendant
  • Earrings

 

Project brief

We ask you to email us at least a week before the workshop session with a brief project outline. This is so I can prepare and ensure I am able to help you with what you want to do. Please include details of any equipment you would like to use e.g. the kiln.

Ensure you email this through to info@londonjewelleryschool.co.uk at least 7 days before the class or we cannot guarantee the support you require for the workshop.


What do you need to bring?

You need to provide all the materials you will need for the day including your silver clay. We do have some materials available to purchase in our pop up shop but we can’t guarantee that we’ll have what you need on the day so get organised in advance. You are welcome to phone us a week in advance to set aside any items you would like to purchase on the day in order to ensure it is available. Otherwise we recommend www.metalclay.co.uk for online orders or Cooksons Gold for buying in person in London.

 

What do LJS provide?

We will provide the following for use on the day

  • Silver clay tool kit e.g. mat, clay roller, textures, cookie cutters etc
  • Dehydrator for quick drying of the clay
  • Torch firing and soldering equipment
  • Kiln
  • Barrel polisher
  • Pickle
  • Expert silver clay tutor on hand to answer questions and provide one to one support

 

Can I use a different metal clay?

You are welcome to use silver Art Clay or PMC. We will not be accepting workshop attendees using other metal clays at this time because of the contamination of tools. If you are interested in working with other metal clays in the future please do let us know and we will consider scheduling a session if there is enough interest.

 

What if I can’t do 30th June but am still interested in attending?

As we are trialling this style of workshop it would be great if you could let us know if you would like to attend a guided workshop in the future. This would give us an indication if it’s worth adding more dates to the calendar. Please email us on info@londonjewelleryschool.co.uk to let us know!
If you have any further questions about the guided workshop do get in touch by email or phone. I hope to see you there!

 

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

Metal clay tool – the humble baby wipe!

Copy of start your own jewellery business (1)

In today’s Blog, metal clay artist and tutor Anna Campbell outlines the many uses for baby wipes as a tool when creating metal clay jewellery!


One of the great things about metal clay is that you don’t tend to need expensive tools to get started, so for this tool review I decided I wanted to choose something people might not have thought to use. UK metal clay artist Joy Funnell was the person that first got me into the idea of using baby wipes for working with metal clay. Baby wipes are inexpensive and easy to get hold of in shops and supermarkets (for environmental reasons, I do recommend you buy biodegradable wipes).

You might be surprised at how versatile they are!

London Jewellery School Blog_Baby-wipes-for-metal-clay_Tool-reviewBiodegradable Baby Wipes

So how can the humble baby wipe be used with Metal Clay?

1. Keeping your clay moist

When you’re working with clay and have some lump clay out of the packet it is always best to wrap that lump clay up before continuing in order to keep it nice and fresh. However, you don’t always want to be wrapping it up and opening it, wrapping it up and opening it etc. So, put the clay onto a plastic mat and drape a baby wipe on top. This keeps it nice and moist.

When I’ve finished working with the clay and have some left I’ll wrap it up tightly in clingfilm and put a moist baby wipe around the clingfilm and then put this into a tupperware box.

2. Filing and smoothing your dry clay

Once your clay is completely dry you will want to file and smooth out the edges. Often we do this with sanding pads but a baby wipe is perfect for this as it helps to round off edges neatly and to get a nice smooth finish before polishing. You can do this just by wrapping the wipe around your finger to smooth the clay or, alternatively, wrap a tool in the baby wipe. I often use a cocktail stick to get a fine point.

London Jewellery School Blog_Tool Review_Smoothing Metal Clay with a Babywipe

Source: Metal Clay Today

3. Manipulating dry clay

If you have dry clay but want to change the shape, wrap it in a baby wipe for 15 minutes. When you unwrap it you should find that the clay is malleable. I use this technique for manipulating bails to ensure they are the correct size (with thanks to Tracey Spurgin for this tip).

Do you have any metal clay tips and tools to share? We’d love to hear them in the comments below or via our instagram, twitter or facebook pages.

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

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.

make crystal earrings

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?