Tag Archives: soutache

Student jeweller of the month for June – Neena Shilvock

neena-shilvock-jeweller

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do

I have a day job that is far removed from anything creative, I am an obstetrician and gynaecologist and have been a consultant at a hospital in the Midlands for twenty years. About seven years ago, after a devastating bereavement, I looked for a form of distraction therapy and found my love for jewellery making. At first, I went to a class at the local college, which actually put me off as it was too crowded and I found using the saw and learning how to solder very difficult in that setting. I later found another school, where the setting was more intimate and there were fewer pupils, but I have yet to go back to the jewellers saw after that initial traumatic experience.

The need to escape the saw took me towards wirework and metal clay, polymer clay and resin, as well as beading and soutache. but I have accepted that I will have to bite the bullet at some stage as my interests have leaned towards fold forming and soldering – it seems silly now to be so anxious about something that is potentially going to change the way I design and make my jewellery.

 

dew-fairy-dreams-neena-shilvock

Dew fairy dreams – copyright Neena Shilvock

What’s been your general career path?

I like to make large statement necklaces and also like to make a few of the elements in each piece myself. I make pendants, beads and clasps of various different materials and incorporate them into my jewellery.

I started with a small client base, and have gradually increased it and would like to see it grow bigger. As I see it, there must be women out there like me, who like to wear big, bold and beautiful jewellery, and I’m the woman to make it for them.

I’ve written tutorials for Bead and Jewellery Magazine for a couple of years and found that process quite interesting, I’m used to teaching in my day job, but capturing a process in its totality using a camera was new to me.

I wrote my own website and update it regularly myself. I take my own photographs, having been to a couple of photography classes to learn how to use my camera and have recently begun to use live models to display some of my pieces.

When did your interest in jewellery making start?

I’ve always loved jewellery and was encouraged in this passion by my mother.  When I saw a jewellery making class advertised at the local college I jumped at the chance, although I had gone to the open day with the intention of learning a language. Since then I’ve become so absorbed by jewellery making that I seem to be engaged in it one way or another every spare moment I have. Every room in my house has certainly been taken over by beads and jewellery making paraphernalia.

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

I went to the soutache class one year as I am always looking for a way to add colour to my pieces, and to make my own components. The next year saw me developing an interest in metalsmithing and fold forming, and I decided to learn how to solder and took a soldering class which gave me the confidence to go away and try it out for myself.

jewellery-by-neena-shilvock

Dew fairy dreams – copyright Neena Shilvock

What are your goals for the future?

I’d like to find a client base of ‘sophisticated extroverts’ and be stocked in boutiques and art galleries, worn by celebrities and be a well-known name in the world of statement jewellery, although I would like to make mainly one-off or limited edition pieces. I’d like to work with semi-precious gemstones and have my jewellery worn with pleasure by discerning women who are unafraid to be stand up and be counted.

What is your favourite piece you ever made and why?

I made a piece called Dew Fairy Dreams (see left) – it had my favourite ginkgo leaves that I made in Faux jade out of polymer clay, wirework and was very pretty. It was entirely my own design and I found the name from a poem, because of the pearls that were sprinkled through the piece like dew drops. The poet, when I asked his permission to use the name loved my necklace and agreed readily, which was very encouraging

 

A selection of Neena’s work is currently on display at the London Jewellery School

See more of Neena’s work

Website www.capriliciousjewellery.com

Shop link  – https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/CapriliciousJewelry

Facebook business page – https://www.facebook.com/CapriliciousJewellery

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/capriliciousjewellery_by_neena/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/nshilv

What can you learn in an evening?

Here at the London Jewellery School, we have classes of different lengths but which do you choose if you’d just like to try out a new technique? Tutor Anna Campbell gives you the lowdown on our taster classes

 

What are taster classes?
Our taster classes are short evening classes designed to get you started with a new technique. What’s great is that by the end of the class you will have made at least one piece of jewellery and will have a good idea about whether you would like to take a longer or more advanced class in that technique.

 

When are taster classes run?
Our taster classes are run on weekday evenings from 6.30-9pm so are perfect for those who work in London to attend. You can see the complete list of all our taster classes here along with the scheduled dates for the year.

 

What can I learn?

Our expert tutors teach taster classes in a wide variety of subjects including

Beading

Cocktail rings

Silver clay

Soutache

Perspex jewellery

Make a fascinator

Hand stamped silver

Silver stacked rings

Wax carving

Polymer clay

Introduction to gemstones

 

And more!

 

Here are a few of the classes that are coming up

 

Wax carving

london-jewellery-school-blog-wax-carving-taster-class-evening

Next available date: Tuesday 23rd May 6.30-9pm

Learn to make a simple but beautiful wax carved ring in just one evening! And your ring will be totally unique!

This class is a great introduction to wax carving and is often taken before doing our Beginners Wax Carving course and is a great one to do with friends as a fun evening out.  

Throughout the evening our experienced tutor will guide you through the process of sizing, shaping and carving the wax using hand tools and heat, adding a texture to your ring if you like.

By the end of the class you will have created your unique wax carved ring which we will then arrange to be cast into your choice of metal (silver, copper or bronze), and it will be completely polished and finished for you ready to wear. Your ring will be posted out to you within 3 weeks of the class or you are welcome to collect it from the School. Best of all this is included in the cost of the course!

 

Perspex taster class

perspex-jewellery-taster-class-london-jewellery-school-blog

Next available date: Wednesday 24th May 6.30-9pm

Perspex is a hugely versatile material that can be used for small subtle piece of jewellery as well as large fashion pieces.

Perspex is a brand of acrylic plastic that is often used as a substitute for glass. It comes in a rigid sheet and can be sawn or laser cut and bent using heat. It is available in a wide variety of colours and finishes and there’s almost no limit to what you can make. Also, with a little thought and preparation perspex jewellery can be made from home as it needs minimal equipment.

Techniques covered in this class include:

  • Sawing and cutting perspex from a template
  • Filing, sanding and polishing
  • Drilling
  • Attaching stones  

 

Cocktail rings taster class

party jewellery

You can find a range of ring projects in this tutorial – and make one to match every outfit.

Next available date: Thursday 25th May 6.30-9pm

Come along for a few hours make a beautiful cocktail ring (or two).This is a fun-filled, creative class (non-creatives are very welcome!)

Throughout the evening our expert tutor will guide you through the full process of making your own ring from scratch. We use a mixture of colourful beads combined with silver or gold-plated wire to make your bling statement ring.

Once you know how to make them you will have lots of orders pouring in from friends and family for their very own rings – you have been warned! 

 

Silver clay taster class

silver-clay-taster-class-london-jewellery-school-blog

Next available date: Wednesday 7th June 6.30-9pm

Learn to make your own personalised silver pendant in just one evening…

You will be using a great material called metal clay. Metal clay is a clay-based substance containing millions of tiny silver particles when you fire the clay under a torch or in a kiln all of the clay burns away and you are left with a solid silver piece – it’s like magic!

This is an excellent class to take if you have limited space at home and would like to make silver jewellery.

An expert tutor will guide you through the whole process from making the piece, through to firing and polishing.

Absolutely no experience is necessary as this is a beginners level class and complete beginners are welcome.

What would you like to make in a taster class? Let us know in the comments below

How to project: use your jewellery skills to recover a book

Many of  your skills as a jewellery maker can transfer to other craft and embellishment projects but we hadn’t though bookbinding was one until London Jewellery School tutor (and former diploma student) Sarah Burnett-Moore produced a soutache embellished book cover. Here she shares what she did.

soutache book binding project

Sarah’s soutache embellished book cover

I am always looking for new ways to use my soutache skills, and as I have recently got into bookbinding I thought this might be an interesting challenge. Him indoors and I went to Wiltshire last month to learn how to recover paperback which is a great way to create personalised presents. Here is a modified version of that technique – no complicated sewing required.

Step 1

soutache book binding project

My daughter is a keen actress and doing English lit at A level, so I decided to recover a copy of Romeo and Juliet I found in a charity shop. The first job was to remove the old hard cover with a craft knife.

Step 2

soutache book binding project

Cut a piece of wrapping paper to the precise size of the book plus an extra 5cm which is folded as shown. Use a brush to run a line of PVA close to the back of the book and attach the new end paper. Repeat for the the back of the book.

Step 3

soutache book binding p with PVA. If yosoutache book binding project

Fold back the extra flaps and trim carefully to the width of the book. Trim a piece of non-fray fabric (bookbinders use something unimaginatively called Fraynot, but something like non-iron Wundaweb will work) to width of the book plus both flaps. Glue the fabric down securely with PVA. If you want a book ribbon, glue a suitable length of soutache braid under the fabric as shown. Leave to dry

Step 4

soutache book binding project

Apply PVA to one flap only and glue the top flap to the bottom. Do not glue the flaps down to the book as this will stop it opening smoothly.

Step 5

soutache book binding project

Cut a piece of strong but pliable card to the precise size of the book and spine. Score and fold it to fit. Apply PVA to the spine only and glue to the new card cover. This is called “caseing in”.

Step 6

soutache book binding project

While the PVA is drying, you can make your closure. Use a craft knife to cut two rectangular strips of thin leather – I used the cover of an old diary. Sew a small button or add a diamante rivet to the end of one, and cut a corresponding slit in the other.

Step 7

soutache book binding project

Cut a length of contrasting heavy duty paper long enough to go round the book and fold inside the front and back covers like a dust jacket on a hard back. I deckled the edge for a decorative effect

Step 8

soutache book binding project

On the card, mark where you want your closure to lie. Cut a corresponding slit in the “dust jacket”.

Step 9

soutache book binding project

Fasten the closure and slide it through the slits to the correct position. Apply PVA to then wrong side of the leather. Assemble the book – the glue will attach itself to the card cover.
Leave to dry while you create your embellishment using soutache or other jewellery techniques. When the book is dry, glue your embellishment to the outer cover.

If you want to learn soutache techniques, Sarah teaches a taster and a full day class at London Jewellery School (click for details).