Tag Archives: jewelry making

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

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

Diploma in Creative Jewellery – An Alternative to a Degree in Jewellery Making

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It’s Summer time here in the UK and whilst the holidays are in full swing, we are busy getting ready to welcome our new Diploma Students in September for a year of fun, hard work and creativity!  We offer a number of different Diplomas and options here at the London Jewellery School, but our signature Diploma is our 1-Year Diploma in Creative Jewellery which is a great alternative to doing a degree in jewellery, as you can work flexibly around other commitments and work as you spend 1 day a week with us!

This comprehensive Diploma Course is fantastic, as it introduces you to a wide range of jewellery making techniques, both traditional and contemporary, and really helps you to find your jewellery making ‘voice’ and unique style.  The Course will take you from a beginner in jewellery making to a professional standard and focuses on combining a mixture of traditional jewellery skills such as silversmithing, stone setting, wax carving and enamel but is unique also in its focus on more contemporary methods and materials such as resin, perspex, metal clay, fashion jewellery and polymer clay.  Although, the focus is on mastering the technical skills and techniques, over the Course of the diploma you will also learn essential skills for starting and running your own jewellery brand including technical drawing, photographing your jewellery  and a jewellery business day focusing on branding, USP and all the legalities of running your own business.

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Diploma exhibition pieces by Maria Lampitelli, Julia D McKenzie, Maysooun Homsi Touban and Kemi Awokiyesi (in April 2016)

The Course runs over 3 terms of 12 weeks and Classes run 1 day per week with a maximum of 7 students per Class.  Each term, your work will be marked by an expert Tutor and constructive feedback will be given to ensure you are progressing and pushing yourself and your jewellery designs forwards.

We understand that the Diploma is an investment both in time and money, so, we offer 3 flexible payment plans to help you along the way.

We are proud of the fact that our Diploma Course changes the lives of our Students and opens them up to a world of techniques, friendships and experiences.

We have spoken to some our former Diploma Students about their Diploma experience and how they have gotten on since they graduated.  This week we talk to Zoe Porter of Zoe Porter Jewellery and next week we will be hearing from George Galula of GV Jewellery and Linski Kilcourse of Linskiloolar Jewellery!

So Zoe, tell us a bit about how you started your jewellery making journey and what ultimately made you decide to do a diploma with LJS?

I started taking night classes with an incredible Danish jeweller in Wellington to try something new and quickly fell in love with silversmithing. It was a hobby that only developed when I went travelling around Europe for a year and realised how much I missed it. That’s when I started looking into diplomas in Europe and the U.K. and The London Jewellery School offered exactly what I was looking for.

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Zoe Porter Jewellery – Walnut Pendant

What was your favourite part of the diploma?

Learning so many new techniques and processes was great but the work experience I did with Just Castings, Hatton Garden really opened my eyes to a heap of possibilities I hadn’t realised when working with both silver and gold.

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Zoe Porter Jewellery – Pineapple Cufflinks

What was the biggest challenge for you during the diploma?

I had only worked with silver, gold and stones before the diploma, so the mixed media pieces were something I had difficulty with at first. It was however during the design of my final piece that I tried my hand at woodcarving for the first time and really enjoyed it!

What difference has doing the diploma made to your jewellery skills, designs and/ or business?

There were processes I knew nothing about, such as wax carving, that now play an integral part in my design process but one of the most helpful (and simplest) things I learnt was how to recycle silver and gold and make my own wire and sheet metal.

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Zoe Porter Jewellery – Molten Ring

What would you say to students thinking about doing a diploma with the London Jewellery School?

Just do it! The amount you’ll learn and take home from the course is great. Take notes – more than you think – and sit down and practice.

Don’t be scared to make mistakes, you can always melt it down and start over.

Where next for Zoe Porter Jewellery?

I’ve just launched my website and the response has been great. As a certified Fair Trade Gold user I think it’s really important to educate people on where their gold and silver is coming from and I’m hoping to visit Fair Trade mines in Sotrami, Peru, and help raise awareness.

For now, I’m just enjoying myself, working mostly on commissions and loving designing and making a number of engagement rings. They’re really special and personal pieces to be trusted with.

How can we find out more about you (website, Facebook, instagram?)

I sell online via my newly launched website – www.zoeporter.co.nz and I post regularly on Facebook and Instagram.

Thanks Zoe – good luck with your business and we are so thrilled to have played a small part in your jewellery making journey!

Our Diploma Classes are quick to fill up, so book now to avoid disappointment. There is currently availability for September intake 2016. For more details on Course dates and how to enroll, please visit the London Jewellery School website www.londonjewelleryschool.co.uk or call 0203 176 0546.

And due to popular demand we have loaded up the 2017 January and September dates onto our website for those of you who like to plan ahead!

Until next time,

Happy Making! x

Top jewellery exhibitions and events in London!

London is a very inspiring place for jewellers and we are lucky to have some annual events and exhibitions that help get the creative juices flowing! Here are some recommended events to put in your diary!

 

  1.    Goldsmiths Fair

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Source: http://www.goldsmithsfair.co.uk/about-goldsmiths-fair/

 

The prestigious Goldsmiths Fair is held in September/October each year at the grand Goldsmiths hall at St Paul’s. This two-week extravaganza is not to be missed, as it is a dazzling display of 100’s of independent designer-makers in the world of silver, gold and precious jewellery.

Find out more here: http://www.thegoldsmiths.co.uk/exhibitions-promotions/goldsmiths%27-fair/

  1.    IJL, International Jewellery London

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Source: http://www.jewellerylondon.com/Archive/exhibiting/thenewvenue/

 

Held in early September, this giant scale exhibition at London’s Earls Court promises to inspire, as the place to discover the latest trends, source new and exciting products, network and attend the industry’s leading seminar programme. Great for buying supplies but beware of overspending when bringing your credit card!

Check it out at – http://www.jewellerylondon.com/

 

  1.    Dazzle

A free exhibition open to the public which is taking place this year at the OXO tower. The jewellers themselves range from graduates to established artists. They are not there all the time but this one is not to be missed… http://www.dazzle-exhibitions.com/

 

  1.    Collect

We’re already looking forward to Collect in February 2017, the UK fair for contemporary objects which includes jewellery.  Presented by the Craft Council and taking place at the Saachi Gallery it’s sure to be a well curated exhibition

http://www.craftscouncil.org.uk/what-we-do/collect

 

  1.    V&A

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Source: http://www.ejal.com/project.php?projNo=39&catNo=5&nextNo=0

 

The Victoria and Albert Museum in central London is hailed by many to be the greatest museum of art and design and when it comes to jewellery it never fails to disappoint. With a full range of permanent and often temporary jewellery exhibitions, inspiration is offered in abundance.

See what’s currently on here – http://www.vam.ac.uk/.

 

  1. Craft Central Open Studios

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Source: https://twitter.com/craftcentraluk

 

Craft Central is a pioneering not-for-profit organisation dedicated to building a strong future for craft and design. Every year they hold open studios where members of the public can meet the jewellery and craft designer makers in their studios and take a look at their latest collections. Three of our tutors have studios here so pop along to the open studios to say hello!

For full details of the next open studios event please see – http://www.craftcentral.org.uk/madeinclerkenwell.

 

  1. Cockpit Arts

Cockpit Arts have two London studios and support craft practitioners with their business incubator service. They have two open studios a year where you can visit makers of many different crafts, including jewellery, and buy directly from them.

http://cockpitarts.com/shop-cockpit/open-studios/

 

  1.    London Fashion Week

Anyone who’s anyone in fashion can be seen strutting their stuff at London Fashion Week and although it is a trade only event, London Fashion Weekend is open to members of the public. Get your tickets and shop, get a goody bag and browse the catwalk to see what’s next in the world of fashion. For full details see their website –http://www.londonfashionweekend.co.uk/

 

  1.    LJS

Last but by no means least, we at LJS run events throughout the year including our diploma student exhibitions, suppliers event, expert talks and the (now) legendary London Jewellery School Christmas Party! To keep up to date with future events make sure you are subscribed to our email newsletter.   
Let us know what you think of the events you go to and share any that are in your local area with us via our instagram, twitter or facebook pages or in the comments below.

Author: Anna Campbell

 

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

Could you be our 2016 Jewellery Maker of the Year?

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We are so excited about launching our competition to find the London Jewellery School Maker of the Year 2016!  Taking part is a great chance to promote your work, get exposure and, of course, bag some fab prizes.

The competition is open to everyone – you don’t need to have taken a Class with us – you just need to love making and creating beautiful jewellery, and we are accepting entries from jewellers in the UK and internationally!

The competition will be judged on:

Design – we are looking for innovative and original designs that are all your own!

Technique – we are looking for excellent application of one or more jewellery making techniques!

Presentation – great photos and presentation of your work is essential for selling and creating a great impression.

 

How it works:

One entry only please – multiple posts on the competition Facebook Post will be deleted and your entry may be disqualified! And no links to your shops please – this is a design competition!

Simply post between 1-3 pictures of your selected piece of jewellery that has been handmade by you along with a comment about what the inspiration for the piece was and the title of your piece on our Facebook Competition thread that you can find here.

Your piece can be any design and made up of any material, the only requirement is that it has been made by you.

The deadline for applications is Sunday 21st August 2016.

The top 5 entries will be announced on 31st August and added to our website and promoted as the finalists by LJS on our blog and social media channels.

The winner will be announced on Friday 5th September 2016.

This competition is in no way affiliated or endorsed by Facebook.

 

The Prizes:

1st – £250 Voucher for LJS (which can be used on any Classes (face to face or online) + a fab selection of Tools for your jewellery making Toolkit
2nd – £100 voucher and a selection of Tools for your Toolkit
3rd – A signed copy of Jessica Rose’s Bead & Wire Fashion Jewellery Book.

Competition Photos 05

Competition Prize 02

The Judges:

The competition will be judged by a panel of LJS Tutors who are all professional and established jewellers.

If you have an queries or questions please contact us at karen@londonjewelleryschool.co.uk!

Good luck to all those who enter!

Men’s Jewellery Part 1 – Father’s Day is coming…

London Jewellery School Blog_Men's JewelleryFather's Day 19th June

With father’s day rapidly approaching in the UK (19th June in case you need to mark it on your calendar!) tutor Anna Campbell has been having a look at some of the trends in men’s jewellery. In the first part of this series on mancessories (is that a new word?!) she has been looking at cufflinks.

Cufflinks are a traditional form of men’s jewellery for those that choose to/have to wear formal shirts. However, they are a great way to show a little personality! Which of these would suit the fathers in your life?

Traditional

Douglas Spell Cufflinks

Sterling silver oval cufflinks by Douglas Spell

 

Personalised

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Personalised cufflinks by Oh So Cherished

 

Initials

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Initial cufflinks by Penelope Tom

 

Hipster

Hipster-Beard-Cufflinks-1024x670Hipster beard cufflinks by Iron + Oak

 

Skulls

theo fennell skull cufflinks

18CT Yellow gold skull cufflinks by Theo Fennell

 

Tattoo inspired

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Silver ASOS swallow tattoo inspired cufflinks

 

Steampunk

Steampunk Cufflinks

Vintage watch movement cufflinks by Steampunk Jewelry Designs

 

Traveller

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Silver coordinates cufflinks by Sally Clay

 

Sport

Football Cufflinks

Football cufflinks by Jewel Co

 

 

Patriotic

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Union flag cufflinks from Menswearstore

 

Gardener

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Enamelled silver welly cufflinks by David-Louis Design

 

Cyclist

Cyclist cufflinks

Bike chain cufflinks by Katie’s Bike

 

Happy Shopping for all those Fathers and Father figures out there!

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

 

Bella’s jewellery looks good enough to eat

There’s a new addition to the wide range of London Jewellery School taster classes and this one is quite mouthwatering – jewellery based on some of our favourite sweet treats.

Polymer clay specialist Bella Skye is joining the ranks of the LJS tutors with a class on creating “sweetie jewellery” including Oreo pendants and Love Heart Rings.

So we decided to find out more about her fascination with jewellery good enough to eat.

sweetie jewellery

Oreo, Love Heart and lollipop jewellery by Bella Skye

What gave you the idea of creating things like Oreo pendants?

I’ve always loved classic British and American sweets, they’re like a part of our culture. So when I found out I could make sweetie-like jewellery, I was hooked.

I looked everywhere for classes, but couldn’t find any for this specifically, so I trained myself through the internet and books.

Do you make other things in polymer clay?

Yes, I’ve made polymer flowers for necklaces and even little polymer people.

It’s so versatile you can make pretty much anything with polymer.

What other types of jewellery do you make?

I love Swarovski crystals and anything that sparkles.

Creating wise, I love working with pliable materials like copper and silver clay too.

If you had unlimited resources what piece of jewellery would you make?

That’s a great question! I’d make a rotating time-turner necklace like the one in Harry Potter…so I can travel back and forth in time.

And finally what is your favourite biscuit (edible kind) or snack to fuel your making?

Always TeaPigs tea – Jasmine pearls or peppermint is best! I don’t get that hungry when I’m focused on jewellery making.

oreo necklace

You can learn to make an Oreo neckalce and then use the technique for the biscuit of your choice

Bella’s first sweetie class in on Thurs 6 March, find out more here.

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).

Last chance to enter our valentine competition

Don’t forget that if you have been creating any love themed jewellery for Valentine’s Day we want to see your pieces.
If you have created a beautiful love themed piece why not share it by emailing a picture and some details to press@londonjewelleryschool.co.uk by midnight on 2 February.
We’ll post all the entries, along with any web or social media links you give us, on our Facebook page, and the winner will receive a voucher to attend a one-day LJS class.

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Channel your inspirations and ideas – mood boards and Pinterest

Where do you find inspirations from? Do you have a fashion magazine that is a must flick through?

And how do you organise your ideas and inspirations so that they result in new jewellery designs?

For example, Bronagh, our press and membership co-ordinator, is interested in textiles as well as jewellery and often finds inspirations and style ideas from Harpers Bazaar. In the past this meant she had lots of torn sheets from magazines but these days she is more likely to photograph pages with her phone and attach them to an evernote.com file or use Pinterest to collect images from the internet.

IMG_2018 Images cut out of magazine are a great way to create a mood board – a collection of images that show IMG_2020the design direction and help collect your ideas in one place to focus on design, colours and style.

The mood boards here are by students on our one-day fashion jewellery course which involves making a mood board before designing and creating jewellery based on the ideas behind the board.

But you can now avoid the scissors and glue stage if you want.

The internet makes creating mood boards easier and harder at the same time. It is very easy to find images that attract or inspire you – a Google search or browsing on Flickr, as well as fashion magazine sites, will give you a vast quantity to chose from.

But there is so much to look at that you could go off in a lot of disparate directions so it is important to use a blog (see Some Beautiful Place for an example), online notebook (like evernote.com)  or Pinterest.com to bring the images together (virtual mood board) so you can keep track of whether the things you like work together.

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Pinterest can be a useful way to do this because it is designed to create “boards” where you collect the images under themes or headings.

It’s a free site and you have the extra advantage of being able to look at other people’s boards and even “pin” items from their collections to your own to help build up you ideas.

If you haven’t come across Pinterest before why not make a start by looking at the LJS boards and exploring from there – but be warned like searching for pictures on Flickr or Google you could find more to fascinate you than you ever expected.

So do remember that you are looking for ideas to inspire your jewellery making – so leave yourself time to actually create as well.