Tag Archives: Making Jewellery

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

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

London Jewellery School in the news

February is proving a great month for news and press coverage about London Jewellery School and its tutors.

First up is the March issue of Prima which features an interview with Diploma in Creative Jewellery graduate Charlotte Tabor who cites LJS founder Jessica Rose as her inspiration for changing her life and launcing her own jewellery business, Kara Jewellery.

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Prima, March 2014

Then there was the great news that tutor Rosie Sanders has won the British Jewellers’ Association Award in the precious category with her her Kaleidoscope ring – a gold vermeil design that forms part of her wider Renaissance Rebel collection, set with a large London Blue topaz.

 

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Rosie’s winning ring featuring a blue topaz

Meanwhile I you have picked up the March edition of Make and Sell Jewellery, you’ll have come across articles featuring more LJS tutors.

Anna Campbell, who teaches social media and web courses as well as jewellery, is offering advice in an article on blogging for your jewellery business…

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Make and Sell Jewellery, March 2014, Blogging article

…plus there is an interview with metal clay tutor Sima Vaziry on her jewellery career.

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Make and Sell Jewellery, March 2014, interview with Sima

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.

More space, more classes – LJS is growing

There is a furious amount of list writing and planning going on at Jewellery School HQ right now – mixed in with quite a bit of excitement.

It’s all because we’re moving to bigger premises which means more classes for you to enjoy.

But don’t worry, you’ll still be able to find us. We’ll be in the same building just on a different floor (with the added attraction of a chocolate makers right next door).

The bigger space means we will be able to run more of our most popular classes which means you’ll be able to do more classes sooner.

The new workshop will have three studios instead of our current two, more room to relax with a cuppa and a biscuit and a larger office space – although Sunita, Sandy and Bronagh are probably the more excited about that last bit than all our students.

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The move will mean more work benches & more classes

This gives us room for the extra Diploma courses starting in May and more private tuition, bench hire and wedding ring workshops as well as more classes in general from June. But we won’t be changing the actual class sizes so you’ll still get the same attention from tutors.

Keep an eye on the website and we’ll let you know as soon as new classes go live.

We’ve been busy looking at the options for the new space for a few weeks and it’s been difficult not to blurt it out to everyone. But now the plan is in place and we’ll be moving at the end of April.

If you have a class booked in May or later don’t worry we’ll be emailing you with all the details on finding us.

Last chance to win a professional photoshoot

Don’t forget that our exciting competition to win a professional shoot of five pieces by pofessional jewellery photographer Matt Cheetham closes on Sunday.

Matt has worked Heineken, Addidas, Diesel and Uniqlo, amongst others as well as independent designers and jewellers throughout London. Take a look at some more of his work here.

He also  teaches Jewellery Photography at the London Jewellery School so if you miss out on this exclusive prize there is still an opportunity to tap into his expertise.

For a chance to win this exclusive and valuable prize, send a picture of the best piece of jewellery you have made recently to press@londonjewelleryschool.co.uk. Please include any details of Facebook pages, blogs, websites or any other social media so that we can promote you on our own pages.

Please note that Matt will need the winner’s pieces for a few days to complete the shoot, ideally in early October.

LJS Launches Jewellery Making Tutorials: Wire Wrapped Rings

We are super excited to announce the release of our first every downloadable jewellery making tutorial, where you can learn to make three stunning wire wrapped rings by following our simple and clear step-by-step instructions…

Priced at just £3.99 (inc. VAT), upon purchasing this tutorial you will immediately be sent an email with the tutorial in a PDF attachment. Throughout the 11 pages of instructions and corresponding images you will we guided in how to make three different wire wrapped rings;

Project 1: Single Stone Ring

Project 2: Cluster Cocktail Ring

Project 3: Wire Swirl Ring

Each project is broken down in to stages with high quality pictures to illustrate each stage. At the end of each project there is a tips section with useful additional information about how to make the projects.

This is a beginners level tutorial aimed at those new to jewellery making or who have done some making before but would like to learn these particular projects to further their knowledge and skills. It is useful if you have some prior knowledge such as, how to use the basic pliers and making a loop in wire.
 Please Note: No tools or materials are included in the course price, you will need to source or own materials as listed below. Please see the links below next to the materials for suggested suppliers.
Materials List:
– 0.8mm silver plated wire (20 gauge in American sizes) www.londonjewellerysupplies.co.uk
– 0.4mm silver plated wire (26 gauge in American sizes) www.londonjewellerysupplies.co.uk
– Selection of small beads or crystals www.jillybeads.co.uk
– One round bead (approx. 8mm) www.londonjewellerysupplies.co.uk
Tools List:
– Side cutters (wire cutters) www.londonjewellerysupplies.co.uk
– Chain nosed pliers (snipe nosed pliers) www.londonjewellerysupplies.co.uk
– Wooden mandrel or thick pen www.metalclay.co.uk

For full details and to purchase your copy of this tutorial now, click on the link – http://www.londonjewelleryschool.co.uk/distance-learning/wire-wrapped-rings-tutorial/

This is the first of many tutorials that LJS will be releasing this year, if you have an idea or suggestion for future tutorials that you would like to see please leave a comment below or email them to jessica@londonjewelleryschool.co.uk

Tutorials are an excellent way of learning new skills at a bargain price or developing your existing skills with new ideas and projects. It is true that you can find plenty of information on the web about making jewellery but what makes these tutorials worthwhile is the high quality of images, instructions and content all in one place and ready for you to use.

We hope you enjoy making your projects as much as we have enjoyed putting them together,

Until next time,

Happy Making, LJS x

Make a Large Bead Necklace: Jewellery Making Project

With this fun project make a large bead and chain necklace following our 9 simple steps. Don’t forget to share your makes with us on our facebook page. Also feel free to comment below and let us know what you think of the project – Happy Making!

You will need:  
  • 0.8mm silver plated wire
  • 50cm of large silver plated chain
  • 30cm of small silver plated chain
  • Selection of large beads
  • Chain nosed pliers
  • Round nosed pliers
  • Side cutters
Materials can be brought from the suppliers below:
This project was made by Jessica Rose for London Jewellery School

Step 1: Take your large chain and cut approximately 20cm of the 0.8mm silver plated wire. Thread the end of the wire through the chain, take your round pliers and and bend the wire round them to make a u-shape.
Step 2: Take the short end of wire and wrap it over and under the long end to make an enclosed loop encapturing the chain end. Keep your round nosed pliers in place to hold on to the wires.

Step 3: Once you have made one wrap continue 2-3 times to secure the wire in place and make the loop nice and strong. To finish, cut the short end of wire off using your side cutters and and gently push the sharp stub of wire into the base of the wrap using your chain nosed pliers.

Step 4: Next, thread on one of your large beads to the long end of wire.

Step 5: To secure the bead in place make sure it is sat flush against your fist wrap, then take your chain nosed pliers and grab the wire with them approximately 1cm up from the large bead and make a u-shape with the wire around your pliers. Then repeat the wire wrapping process by wrapping your wire over and under the other side of the u-shape and continue wrapping until your wire reached your bead. Then cut the wire end off and push the sharp end in with your chain nosed pliers.
Step 6: Now that you have completed one bead you are ready to attach another one. Take another 20cm length of wire and create a loop around the other loop at the end of your bead.

Step 7: Once you have attached a few beads you are ready to attach your smaller chain to add some variety to your necklace. Cut your smaller chain in to 3 x 10cm lengths and thread one end of all three chains onto a new 20cm piece of wire. Then, using your round nosed pliers make a loop and wrap encapsulating all three chains.
Step 8: Continue make your necklace in this way, alternating beads, sections of large chain and sections of small chain until you are happy with the design.

Step 9: Once you have reached the desired length bring the two ends of the chain together to make a finished piece. And then you are all set you wear your lovely new fashion necklace with pride.
Once you feel confident, mix the necklace up with different sized beads, other types of chain and event charms and tassels to make a lovely selection of designer necklaces.

If you like this project and would like to learn more fun techniques take a look at our Jewellery Making Classes.
Also feel free to comment and let us know what you think of this project.
Happy making LJS x

Chain Maille Magic – Jewellery Making Project from ‘Beads Direct’

Learn to make this beautiful chain maille bracelet…

Mix SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS with Chain Maille techniques for stunning design possibilities.

Technique: chain maille, European 4-in-1 weave

Introduction:

Welcome to the London Jewellery Schools first guest blog post written by the lovely Claire Humpherson from one of the UK’s most widely used bead and jewellery suppliers, Beads Direct.

When we got the new range of Beadalon Artistic Wire Chain Maille Rings and Chain Maille Accessories at Beads Direct I couldn’t wait to have a go. I’ve only done a bit of chain maille before but the basics book made it really easy. I decided to adapt the basic European 4-in-1 weave by alternating colours and adding a bead, and I thought adding a Swarovski Elements Filigree would make a stunning bracelet.

Materials:

SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS

Beads

Rings & Findings

Tools

Here’s How…

Step 1:

Prepare by opening some black rings and closing silver rings. Connect a closed silver ring to a paperclip, add an open silver ring, and close it. Add an open black ring, leaving it open for now. Add two closed silver rings and close the black ring.

Step 2:

Spread the two silver rings just added apart, so they sit side by side. Take an open black ring through the two rings by going down through the right ring and up through the left ring. Before you close this black ring, add another 2 closed silver rings.

Step 3:

Repeat step 2 until you have reached the length you’d like half your bracelet to be, allowing for the size of the clasp and the filigree.

Step 4:

Use black rings to create your outer row. Prepare first by opening some black rings and adding a seed bead to each ring. Now take a ring with an added bead and go through the first two rings on the edge of your bracelet. Repeat this, going two by two. Each ring should sit on top of the previous ring, and you should position the beads neatly as you go.

Step 5:

Turn your bracelet over and repeat step 4, but this time each new ring will sit behind the last ring added. Now repeat steps 1-5 to create the other half of your bracelet. For more help and detailed instructions on European 4-in1 weave visit our YouTube Channel Beads Direct TV for a video tutorial or try the Beadalon basics chain maille book for detailed step by step instructions.

Step 6:

To finish, add an open ring to each of the last two silver rings you added and attach to the filigree. Do this on both sides. Finally open the ring attached to the paperclip on each side. Remove the paperclip and add the clasp to either side.

If you like the technique of chain maille and would like to learn to make whole pieces and collections out of chain maille from scratch then take a look at the London Jewellery Schools ‘Chain Maille Day Class’ which covers everything from making your own jumprings through to designing and creating your own unique pieces to a professional quality.

Stay in touch with beads direct…

All supplies are available online at www.beadsdirect.co.uk or over the telephone on 01509 218028.

Follow them on Facebook www.facebook.com/beadsdirect

Follow them on Twitter twitter.com/BeadsDirect

Watch them on YouTube www.youtube.com/user/BeadsDirectTV

A big thank you to Clare for putting together this lovely blog post for our students and subscribers at LJS 🙂