Tag Archives: sally costen

Student Jeweller of the month for September – Sally Costen

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do

I am a graphic designer with 30 years of experience, specialising in branding and packaging. I have been running my own company for many years. Mother of a fabulous 11 yr old boy. I am a Northern Soul dancer, a terrible cook, music and fashion lover who swears too much.

What’s been your general career path?

I applied to art college-aged 15. I was determined to be a silversmith but could not get onto the course – I was too young! So I got a Diploma place at college to study ‘General design’ then found myself guided into Graphics. After 35 years working as a graphic designer, I decided to go for it and study jewellery…LJS has been my route into jewellery as a career. 

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Sea change ring by Sally Costen

When did your interest in jewellery making start?

As a kid; I’d cobble together pieces of jewellery from anything I could find. Anyone who’d show the slightest interest would have a piece foisted upon them. My real interest in jewellery was first and foremost as a consumer. Liberty’s of London showcased new jeweller talent and I spent a worrying amount of my lunch breaks there. The first 3 pieces of jewellery I saved up for; affording to buy an item from their collection every few months, was in Liberty. It was a Wouters & Hendrix ring, bracelet and necklace. I have the original packaging with the tissue, card and receipts! And still love it all, 30 years on.  And that’s why I want to be a Jeweller. If you get it right, design with heart and hone your skills; you’ll have people wearing your creations with pride, for decades. I would love to think a 20-year-old, in their first job, would save up for some of my work – How good is that?

Sea-change-pendant-sally-costenWhich class/es did you take at the London Jewellery School and why did you choose that class?

I first chose to do the Diploma in Creative Jewellery – 1 day a week for a year. Being a freelance designer, I could shuffle my time to accommodate. I needed a comprehensive introduction to jewellery making – across a broad spectrum of disciplines, discovering techniques and materials new to me which I thoroughly enjoyed. 

I then went on to do the Advanced Diploma at the London Jewellery School – An intense and challenging course, over a couple of weeks.

This pushed me – in terms of skill and deadline! I loved it…

I was awarded a distinction in both diplomas.

I’m also signed up for the chain making one day course in October! 

What are your goals for the future?

To make my online jewellery business my primary focus, with view to working with other designers/jewellers. Ideally, I would also like to sell at ECOne and Liberty’s – of course!

What is your favourite piece you ever made and why?

The Pill Pendant. It derived from an award-winning concept I’m very proud of – ‘Unfinished Business’. It was awarded silver in this year’s Goldsmiths’ Craft & Design Council Awards, Fashion Illustration category.

The pendant translated well and resulted in a clean, contemporary piece. I also had to push myself, technically.

Sally Costen won the F Hinds High Street by Design award in 2015 and the Goldsmiths Craft and Design Council Awards 2018 in the Fashion Illustration category.

See more of Sally’s work

Website  – theclerkenwelljeweller.com

Facebook business page – The Clerkenwell Jeweller

Instagram – The Clerkenwell Jeweller

 

 

Why you should enter jewellery competitions

There are many competitions and challenges out there that you can get involved in whether you are a beginner jewellery maker or advanced but are they a good idea? LJS tutor Anna Campbell argues why you should give them a try

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To work to a theme

Competitions often have a theme or some restrictions, for example in the materials you can use. This can be beneficial because this helps you focus on your current skills or stretches you to consider new techniques or designs.

 

To challenge yourself

Jewellery competitions are a chance to challenge yourself and work on something you perhaps would not have attempted otherwise.

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Seachange ring by Sally Costen for F Hinds

To get exposure

When you enter competitions the entries are usually shown on a website or facebook page (sometimes even on TV) allowing you to get exposure to what is often a large group of people. You also often get encouraging feedback and comments. If you work alone at home you may not usually get this amount of scrutiny and feedback for your work and this opportunity can be a good thing. You may also receive sales enquiries through these channels.

In 2015 one of our diploma students, Sally Costen, won the High Street by Design competition run by jewellers F Hinds. Sally’s designs were manufactured and sold by the jeweller and this helped to launch her business Clerkenwell Jewellery.

 

To work to a deadline

Competitions have a deadline. If you work from home you may find it difficult to self-impose deadlines so this can be a great ideas! You can’t work on it indefinitely – at some point you have to say it’s done and enter it!

 

For the prizes!

Often these competitions have some great prizes! You’ve got to be in it to win it!

 

How do I find competitions?

So, I have you convinced but how do you find these competitions? Here are a few places to have a look.

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Facebook

Jewellery making themed facebook groups and pages often have competitions for example Metal Clay Europe currently have a challenge called ‘movement and mechanical’ with the first prize being 300g of Art Clay Silver 950.

To find a relevant facebook group login to fb and type the type of jewellery making you’re interested in the search box (or just type ‘jewellery making’)

Click on ‘group’ at the top of the screen and have a look at the names of the groups available. If you are interested you can click join to join the group and see whether there are any competitions currently running.

 

Magazines and online resources

Magazines like Making Jewellery often have competitions or ask readers to send in images of their work and choose work to feature. Being able to say ‘as seen in… ‘ is great for your publicity as an artist.

Benchpeg have a competitions section which is worth checking periodically for updates.

 

Jewellery suppliers

Jewellery suppliers e.g. Cooksons and Metal Clay often also have competitions and excellent prizes so keep an eye on their websites and social media pages.

There are also TV craft channels e.g. Create and Craft that run competitions giving you great TV exposure.

 

Collaboration projects

There are a few collaboration projects where one jeweller starts a piece and then passes it to another to work on etc for example LJS tutor Penny Akester is currently running the Pass it Along Project.

 

Are there any competitions that are currently running you can recommend to us? Let us know in the comments below