Tag Archives: silversmithing

Make a fresh start in 2019 with a Diploma from the London Jewellery School 

It may be hard to believe but 2019 is soon to be upon us and with a new year comes endless possibilities.

If you have been thinking about ways to improve your jewellery making, launching a new business or finding ways to be more creative, then a Diploma could be a great opportunity to build in time to focus on your making whilst developing skills to last a lifetime.

London Jewellery School Diplomas are unique in that they are almost 100% practical. We focus on getting you making from the start and know that the best way to improve your skills is to make, make, make.

You will learn new techniques every week, enabling you to find your style and learn such a vast array of skills that you can take a business (or hobby) in whichever direction you like.

Uniquely, class sizes are capped at 8 students so you will always have close support from an expert tutor. This means time to work on your skills, no more waiting for tutors to become available to help as there is plenty of time for 1-2-1 support.

There are two Diploma programmes to choose from:

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  1. The Diploma in Creative Jewellery (a 1 year-long course) 1 day a week over three terms.

This course is a full foundation in jewellery making covering all different topics from silversmithing and metal clay to beading, resin, glass, perspex and more.

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  1. The Diploma in Silver Jewellery (a 2 term course, 26 weeks long) 1 day a week.

This course is focused on traditional silver and jewellery making techniques such as soldering, stone setting, metalworking and a ton more.

I have always believed that the right course can change your life, I know it has for me. When I first started training in jewellery making (over 10 years ago!) I spend the first few years in business continually taking courses to learn more about making and business. These were the building blocks for my career in jewellery, which I can truly say is the best choice I ever made.

If you love making and would like to find out more about joining us for the next Intake of the diplomas this January then take a look at the full info here >

We are only running one of each Diploma this term so if you would like to take part be sure to save you space ASAP to avoid missing out.

If you have any questions or would like to find out more request a callback or call us on 0203 176 0546

Until next time,

Happy making

Jess

You’re invited! Free demonstrations and exclusive discount at our open evening

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You are invited! We’d love you to join us for our FREE open evening on Tuesday 30th October, 6.30-8.30pm in our Hatton Garden studios.

Enjoy a drink, some jewellery chat, meet our Founder Jessica Rose and our new manager Mirielle and learn techniques while watching our expert jewellery making demonstrations. Jeweller Michelle Leaver will be demonstrating enamelling and Amy Keeper will be demonstrating silversmithing techniques.

If you are interested in finding out more about our courses including our Jewellery Diplomas it’s a great opportunity to come and visit, see the studios and ask questions.

AND we are offering an exclusive discount on day and evening courses booked in person that evening. Take 20% off! We’ve announced that prices will rise on some of our courses in January so now’s a great time to book for 2018 and 2019 with discount.

No need to RSVP, just join us on the night!

Address: London Jewellery School. New House, 67-68 Hatton Garden, London, EC1N 8JY

Any questions? Give us a call on 0203 176 0546 or email info@londonjewelleryschool.co.uk

Showcasing jewellery designed and made by our Diploma students

We have had two Diploma groups studying for their Intensive Diplomas this summer and we are really proud to share just a sample of the work they have made below. Many of them had not made jewellery before and what they have achieved over the course of the Diploma is fantastic, congratulations to you all.

If seeing this gorgeous jewellery is tempting you to consider a Diploma course with us we have three to choose from starting in September. Our Diploma courses are taught on one day per week allowing you to fit in studying with your other commitments. We also have flexible payment plans available and a maximum number of 7 per group ensuring you have individual support from our expert tutors. The focus of your courses is to help you develop your making skills.

If you’d like to try a variety of jewellery making techniques including silver, beading, metal clay, perspex, wax carving, resin and more then take a look at our Diploma in Creative Jewellery. We have Sunday and Wednesday options available starting this September.

If you would like to focus on silversmithing then our Diploma in Silver Jewellery is for you, run on a Saturday.

The above Diploma courses are both suitable for beginners or those with a little jewellery making experience.

If you are already advanced then our intensive Advanced Diploma in Creative Jewellery could be for you.

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Copyright of the jewellery designs above is held by each individual designer.

Switch to a career you love. Train as a professional jeweller with three Jewellery Diplomas to choose from at the London Jewellery School 💍

Are you itching for a change in career? Or would you like a side hustle – a creative business you can work on part-time at your own pace? Why not consider studying jewellery making in more depth with one of our Diploma courses.

The cost of a degree nowadays, coupled with the amount of time you need to devote to it, means that people are looking for alternative, more flexible options to fit in with their day to day life and work. Many of our Diploma students have successfully completed the course while working or raising a family. With only one day of study per week for a year AND weekend day options there is bound to be a solution for you.

 

We have three Diploma courses for you to choose from, all starting in September this year.

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Diploma in Creative Jewellery

Taught 1 day per week – choose from Wednesday or Sunday

Not done much jewellery making before or want to try lots of methods of jewellery making? Then our Diploma in Creative Jewellery is for you. You can choose either the Wednesday or Sunday course days this September.

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 and fashion jewellery. 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.

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.

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Diploma in Silver Jewellery

Taught one day per week on Saturdays

Want to focus on silversmithing? Then choose our Diploma in Silver Jewellery. Taught over two terms by our expert tutors who all have their own jewellery businesses. We have a course starting on Saturdays in September – perfect if you are busy during the week.

This course is suitable for beginners as well as those with some experience of working with silver. You will be taken through the basics and then start to learn more advanced silversmithing techniques including soldering, stone setting, fold forming, wax carving and enamelling. You’ll have supervised practice time with an expert tutor and no more than 7 students in the group. Your work will be marked by an expert Tutor and you’ll be given support all the way through the course to learn, develop and find your own creative voice.

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Advanced Diploma in Creative Jewellery

Intensive

If you have completed one of our Diplomas or at an advanced level of study why not consider our Advanced Diploma in Creative Jewellery. This Intensive course taught over 2 and a half weeks starting on Monday 3rd September, with five taught days per week, is for you if you feel like you want to get to the next level with your jewellery work. Working in a small group with expert Tutors you will enjoy the benefits of intensive study. We will also support you in finding relevant work experience.

You can read Advanced Diploma graduate Lil Adam’s thoughts on the course here > Alumni from the course also includes Sally Costen who has since won a Silver Award in the Goldsmiths Craft and Design Council Awards 2018.

 

What if I’m not in London?

We have had Diploma students travel weekly from as far away as Dublin, Newcastle and Poole! The weekend classes are often a good choice if you are travelling from further afield as the travel costs are usually cheaper and the congestion charge is not in operation at weekends.

 

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

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

 

If you have any questions about any of our courses please do give us a call on 0203 176 0546. We are open during office hours 7 days a week. Alternatively, email us on info@londonjewelleryschool.co.uk

We look forward to welcoming you on one of our courses soon!

Student Jeweller of the month for May – Louise Cain

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do

I am 52 years old and I work freelance mainly on nightclub and corporate event dressing. At the moment I am making a padded leather wall and a fabric and hanging crystal ceiling for Cafe de Paris. Every job is different which I like and I could be making bespoke table centres for one job or a stage backdrop. I have worked for myself for 30 years. I also voluntarily help run creative workshops for a community green space in south London called the Wildcat Wilderness. This summer we will be building a massive 2.5mtr high castle out of cardboard boxes. The kids will be allowed to paint and decorate it inside and out. Messy fun. We are also knitting vegetables in support of the first Lewisham Food Festival which is happening this year then yarn bombing a tree as part of the Catford Art’s Trail in autumn.

 

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Silver ring copyright Louise Cain

What’s been your general career path?

I finished four years studying graphic design at London College of Printing in 1986 and never actually once worked in graphic design afterwards. I was lucky and my course was just before major educational cuts. It was very varied and included 3D design, photography, printing and life drawing. I worked in production in the nightclub business. Props, stage sets and backdrops for raves in the 90’s which was a lot of fun. I designed watches and lighters for BOY London in the later 90’s and clubwear. In 1998 I had a dance costume shown in the Streetstyle exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum. I have loved my work over the years and was able to work from home and bring up my two children as a single mum for 12 years. I had time with my children and being freelance could tell clients I was working on another project. It also meant they thought I was busier than I really was and booked me early!

 

 

Corset ring copyright Louise Cain

When did your interest in jewellery making start?
I have throughout my whole life loved Jewellery. Particularly large silver rings. I wanted to design and make my own pieces thirty years ago but was never in a position time wise or financially to try. Now both my children have left home I can afford it!

 

Which class/es did you take at the London Jewellery School and why did you choose that class?

I attended the working with silver beginners week at the London Jewellery School which was fantastic. It covered so much that I left feeling confident enough to go away and have a go myself. While I was there one of your members of staff showed me her first wax carving ring. I loved it and I realized that the kind of big silver pieces I really wanted to work on would not cost as much as I thought.

I then attended the one-day beginners wax carving class. Again I learned so much and thoroughly enjoyed it. I bought some wax and started working on my first dozen pieces. It has been so lovely to be able to work on something creative and personal instead of commercial.

 

What are your goals for the future?

I really would like to do less of the club work, less ladders and heavy work and work on my wax carving was heaven in comparison. My first dozen pieces taught me a huge amount and I have new designs to explore them further, particularly the double finger ring. I like working on the multi-finger rings the most.

 

Double ring copyright Louise Cain

What is your favourite piece you ever made and why?

If I had to pick a favourite I am torn between the laced bustier and the double finger straps and hoop ring. I think it would be the double one.

 

See more of Louise’s work here

Instagram – @thinlinesilver
Email – thinlinesilver@gmail.com

 

Louise’s work will be displayed at the London Jewellery School throughout the month of May so do come and visit if you can!

Would you like to be chosen as a future Student Jeweller of the Month? Click here to find out more and how to apply

Diploma Exhibition Invitation – 29th September 2017

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You are cordially invited to the Diploma in Creative Jewellery Exhibition, but no need to RSVP, just come along for free! It’s a great opportunity to visit the school if you are thinking of taking a class with the added incentive of checking out what our most recent students have been making. Drinks and nibbles will also be in attendance. We will look forward to seeing you!

When: Friday 29th September 2017, 6.30-8pm

Where: London Jewellery School, Rear Ground Floor Studios, NEW HOUSE, 67-68 Hatton Garden, London EC1N 8JY

Diploma in Silver Jewellery graduate feature – Leonie Marks

This week on the blog we will be featuring some of the graduates of our Diploma in Silver Jewellery as we have a free exhibition of their work this Friday, 7th July 2017, 6.30-8pm, at our London studios. You are invited to attend!

Today we feature jeweller Leonie Marks

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Where do you live? I live in Essex near the Blackwater Estuary

When did your interest in jewellery making start? I first became interested in making jewellery in 2010 when I thought how wonderful it would be to turn shells I had found in the Isles of Scilly and Essex into silver pendants.  I achieved this using metal clay and then started using sterling silver in sheet and wire form using basic soldering techniques to create different pieces.   

Why did you decide to take the Silver Diploma? I set a little studio up in my garden and then taught myself to set stones (in a fashion) which led me on to taking the Silver Diploma course as I desperately needed expertise in learning stone setting amongst numerous other techniques covered in the diploma course.   

 

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What was your favourite class on the diploma and why? I loved the whole diploma course as it covered so many different techniques and mediums which I would not otherwise have explored.  I would still say the Stone Setting was my favourite class.

What are your goals for the future? My goals are to continue to perfect my silversmithing skills – in particular stone setting – doing more short courses at the London Jewellery School.  I have a small business selling at fairs and online which I am aiming to expand over the next 12 months.  Since doing the online business course at The London Jewellery School I am currently setting up a new website which should be up and running in the next month.

You can follow Leonie and her work on Facebook https://m.facebook.com/leoniemarksjewellery

and Instagram – https://instagram.comleoniemarksjewellery

 

leonie-marks-bangle-london-jewellery-school-diploma-in-silver-jewelleryThe Diploma in Silver Jewellery exhibition is this Friday, 7th July 2017, 6.30-8pm

Where: London Jewellery School, Rear Ground Floor Studios, NEW HOUSE, 67-68 Hatton Garden, London EC1N 8JY How to find us

No need to RSVP, just turn up!

all images copyright Leonie Marks 2017

Diploma in Silver Jewellery graduate feature – Sandra McArdle

This week on the blog we will be featuring some of the graduates of our Diploma in Silver Jewellery as we have a free exhibition of their work this Friday, 7th July 2017, 6.30-8pm, at our London studios. You are invited!

Today we feature jeweller Sandra McArdle

sandra-mcardle-london-jewellery-school-diploma-silver-jewelleryWhere do you live? I live in a village north of Newbury in Berkshire

When did your interest in jewellery making start? My interest in silver jewellery making started many years ago. I joined the local Woman’s Institute and did a taster course at the WI college. Around this time I was inspired by the poem “The Station” by Robert Hastings (worth a read if you are on a relentless career treadmill). It opened my eyes to the world around me and I started to see and really appreciate the beauty in nature, the shapes of leaves, the structure and delicacy of petals and the colours.

Why did you decide to take the Silver Diploma? I started to research silver jewellery making courses and dreamt about doing more of the thing I had come to love, working with silver. I kept coming back to the London Jewellery School and the varied structure of the course. I was delighted to achieve the Diploma in Silver Jewellery in 2016 and started Sandra McArdle Jewellery 

Now I love working with silver and semi-precious stones to create an object of beauty. I never cease to be amazed at the way silver changes and responds as it’s worked to create that final piece and to be part of that process is so rewarding.

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A commission – a pair of earrings with semi precious stone and 14ct gold granules.

What are your goals for the future? As I have developed my business I have had the privilege to meet some wonderful people, to talk to them about what it is they are looking for in a piece of jewellery or silverware. I love working with them to develop and design that special piece, and creating an item of jewellery, a gift or keepsake is something I am very proud of.

I am looking forward to developing my business as I move into a new studio and put in practice the things I learnt on the Jewellery School Online  Jewellery Business Bootcamp!

sandra-mcardle-london-jewellery-school-silver-diploma-cufflinksWhat are your favourite pieces you have made so far and why? My first commission – cufflinks for a saddle maker, replicating the saddle makers round knife used to fashion the saddles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sandra-mcardle-london-jewellery-school-silver-diploma-trinket-boxMy favourite commission – a trinket box (with mints!) inset mother of pearl and my signature granules on the polished lid. The box has textured sides and my decorative hallmark on the base.

 

 

 

 

 

You can find out more about Sandra’s work on her website http://www.sandramcardle.co.uk/ to get in touch with her email sandra@sandramcardle.co.uk

The Diploma in Silver Jewellery exhibition is this Friday, 7th July 2017, 6.30-8pm

Where: London Jewellery School, Rear Ground Floor Studios, NEW HOUSE, 67-68 Hatton Garden, London EC1N 8JY

How to find us

No need to RSVP, just turn up!

images copyright Sandra McArdle 2017

Advanced Jewellery Diploma review – back to school again!

Back in September 2015, after a year of jewellery making in an evening class, I took the plunge and decided to use up a good chunk of annual leave on a two-week Advanced Diploma in Creative Jewellery Course at London Jewellery School.

Real school wasn’t easy peasy for me. As it turns out, I am a stealth dyslexic who muddled through, mildly stressed-out, until a lecturer found me out through the help of a particularly nonsensical essay. So I was slightly nervous rather than excited going into my two-week staycation learning holiday. I already knew I really enjoyed making jewellery, but had been making my first pieces in a very excited, thankful-it-was-going-well kind of way and was a little undisciplined when it came to perfecting techniques. I still work a little in this manner, cracking on with each new idea, as it’s what I enjoy about making. The structure of this course, with specific days for designing and the various methods of making (and focussing on the different techniques within this), really helped to control my natural inclination to work in a scattered way. Although this course was ideal to rein in and consolidate ideas, I feel it would be equally beneficial to students approaching these weeks looking for creative inspiration.

Having whole days devoted to making was such a treat, I felt like a proper jeweller. All the tutors are practising, exhibiting and selling their work, so the conversations in the classes were often helpful beyond the subject being covered and I felt genuinely encouraged by people who knew their onions.

Speaking of onions… One of the areas where I had little formal training and had practiced at home the least was wax carving and so in that way that it felt that it was stretching me to learn – these two days of designing and making were a little like going back to school. I love the products (or should I say produce) of these days. These bad boys are perfect for me, they are heavy, ridiculous and pun-tastic. The expertise of the tutors was there to make the heavy and ridiculous aspects non-essential qualities of this design. This advice always assumes that you may want to start your own business; these pieces could be made lighter and more wearable and it considers the cost of casting as well as the customer experience of the piece.  I also could not have managed to create such spheres without the patient help of an expert.

Onions

Another thing that attracted me to sign up for this particular course was the prospect of the work placement, usually a week long, that staff will help you to arrange within an area that is of interest to you. I did mine with JC (Just Castings in Hatton Garden) and it was an invaluable insight into the process of casting, CAD design, plating, 3D printing and finishing jewellery to professional standards –but this is another story in itself. I wear the silver ‘haribo’ ring I made there every day. Along with many other pieces from my happy little jewellery holiday.

I would recommend (and have recommended) treating yourself to this course, I signed up after a quick visit to the studios but there are taster classes and you can visit on an exhibition day (next one is 7th July 6.30-8pm, no need to book). Essentially I left the course feeling like I had achieved real goals I didn’t even realise I had at the beginning and with a certificate to prove it!  It also led to the potential to sell my work, something that I have mostly kept in my back pocket until the opportunity to sell through an immersive art show last December presented itself.

Polishing up your potential

The small class sizes at the London Jewellery School means that you get a lot of expert tuition in the classes, making it possible to cover a range of techniques in these weeks. The course description gives a really good idea of what you will learn but here is a quick run through of my experience on the course.

The course starts with a design day, a great chance to think about what you want to make and ways to go about making pieces for the projects ahead. As we were a very small group, we also had time to start experimenting with resin.

Day two was for learning cold connections, truly riveting stuff! This involves looking at ways to join materials without soldering, a great technique for moving pieces or mixed media. I made a decorative hinge that I later used for an oyster card holder, various animal shapes as testers to hold metal pieces together, a technique I later used on a Perspex and sea glass silver ring.

Fold forming was next, a really fun and loud technique for creating shapes and textures through excessive hammering. We made silver origami frogs amongst other experiments (I attempted my usual crane but a simpler design that another student knew was more effective), seen here with the squashed frog necklace. When fold forming goes wrong it can still be pretty interesting (I love this piece but would recommend a simple boat as a fail-safe alternative.)

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The two days of mixed media jewellery making were a total dream of experimenting and resolving ideas through different techniques. Making a sea glass, silver and perspex ring with rivets, a wooden neckpiece with a tube of multi-coloured macramé and perspex fastenings to hang from, some ‘Banana handbag’ earrings and a spirit level cuff. So not a bad haul at all. This was so useful as a chance to explore different materials and how to work with them. Great for exploring colour, shape and using bits and pieces you may not have considered using before.

The two days of stone setting were honing specific techniques that could be employed in any piece after the course and also resulted in 3 wearable items. Each of these techniques was challenging in its own way and I felt that each was improving my making skills in a recognisable way. These were channel, collet and claw settings and pictures of these 3 pieces were posted on the Schools’ Instagram account, a small gesture that was really encouraging, as probably only friends would have seen my work before.

Bean

Bean ring (magic beans for growth)

The last day of the taught course was recycling silver. I had done a little bit of silver recycling before so didn’t expect that going through the process in a structured manner would shed that much light on a technique. However, melting my silver scraps in the crucible on this day produced a really fun ‘Bean’ ring, a product of the natural shape and texture that can be achieved with this technique. I had already made some cast vegetable jewellery so it fits into my little collection nicely and its smoothness makes it distinctly more wearable than my Romanesco Cauliflower ring. One of the tutors recently reminded me to follow up the ‘food jewellery’ and get selling my work. This really illustrated to me how much they genuinely care about nurturing any ambitions you might be trying to shy away from and keep you making jewellery! Magic beans indeed!

Interested in finding out more about the Advanced Diploma in Creative Jewellery? Our next intake is Monday 4th September 2017. Take a look at our website for more information. Have questions? Give us a call on 0203 176 0546

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.

 

 

In the jewellery workshop: Hammer time

jewellery making hammersIf you were to create the sound track of the London Jewellery School studios, hammering would definitely feature.

Hammers are an essential for silversmithing as well as being useful for other jewellery-making such as wire work. So here are a few that would be useful in any jewellery workshop.

rawhide mallet

Rawhide mallet. This studio workhorse hits your silver with less force than a metal hammer so is useful for shaping your pieces when you don’t want to damage the surface.

jewllery making textureing hammers silver

Texturing hammers do what they say on the tin. The ridged patterned ends allow you to make patterns on you metal. They come in a wider variety of patterns. Our beginners silver students usually enjoy testing out a range of these hammers on copper to see what they can achieve.

ball pein hammer

Ball-peen hammer. These all-purpose hammers can be used for flattening and shaping metal, removing dents and to drive chisels, punches, stamps.

planishing hammer

Repousse hammers can be used for both planishing and forming metal into complex shapes and for light riveting. They can be used with a doming block, anvil or sand bag. The large flat surface reduces the risk you may damage your piece.

riveting hammer

Riveting hammers are light weight and used for securing rivet ends. The heads are relatively small to allow you to be precise.

whammer

Hammers can also be in wire work to flatten and work harden your pieces. The Whammer pictured was designed by wire jewellery specialist (and LJS tutor) Linda Jones has a domed metal end for flattening and hardening wires against a steel block and a nylon end for working with coloured wires so that the surface isn’t damaged.