Tag Archives: stone setting

Introducing our latest silver jewellery classes

As you may have noticed, our tutors have been working on some exciting new additions to the courses we offer at LJS for both beginners and more advanced practitioners and we’d love to invite you to book a place!

Here are our newest silver jewellery classes (click on the links for more detailed information)

One day classes

Silver stacked bangles

Intermediate level – learn how to shape, texture and solder silver wire into stacking bangles. Students usually make 2-3 bangles


Make your own silver findings

Advanced level – Learning to craft your own findings such as ear wires, clasps, and brooch pins allows you to customise your designs and add a truly handcrafted and bespoke element to your work. (We recommend that all students complete the soldering masterclass before taking this class or that you are confident working with the torch. As this is an advanced silver class and we recommend that students are familiar with silver jewellery making and are comfortable using hand tools in a workshop environment)


Granulation and fusing

Granulation is the technique of creating numerous tiny spheres of metal with which to decorate your jewellery. They are not soldered into place, but are instead “fused” with the surface and to each other. Learn this technique in our one day class.


Channel setting in silver

Advanced level – Learn to set stones in a ‘channel setting’ – a setting commonly used to set multiple stones along a strip of material, either across a pendant or around a ring (to do this course you must have completed our two day stone setting course and soldering masterclass or equivalent elsewhere)


Collet setting in silver

Advanced level – Develop your stone setting abilities in this class and learn how to create a collet setting (to do this course you must have completed our two day stone setting course and soldering masterclass or equivalent elsewhere)


Grain setting in silver

Advanced level – Learn to set faceted stones using the ‘Grain’ setting technique. The class will really bring on your stone setting ability and add a new setting technique to your repertoire (to do this course you must have completed our two day stone setting course and soldering masterclass or equivalent elsewhere)



Evening and taster classes

For those of you that are working in London during the day, check out our new silver evening and taster classes

Stacked silver rings taster (1 evening)

Learn to make four individual silver rings in just one evening!


Soldering and stone setting in silver (6 weeks)

This 6-week evening class (run once a week) is perfect if you’ve attended beginners silver jewellery and you want to move onto the next step. Learn more advanced soldering alongside stone setting techniques including bezel setting, tube setting and gypsy(flush) setting

soldering-stone-setting-evening-class-london-jewellery-schoolClick on the links to find more and to book a place.

We love ideas for new classes so what would you like to learn? Let us know in the comments below

Our shortlist for the Jewellery Maker of the Year 2016!

Wow, we have been overwhelmed by all of the beautiful entries submitted to our 2016 Maker of the Year Competition!  You are all a talented bunch!  Thank you to everyone who entered and shared their beautiful work with us!

It was so hard choosing our short-list of candidates!   We absolutely love each and every one of these designs for their exquisite craftsmanship, design and presentation.  Choosing a winner is going to be tough!

Have a peruse at our amazing shortlist who are presented in no particular order!

Mihaela Coman - A cup of tea

Mihaela Coman – A Cup of Tea

Mihaela had the Katherine Mansfield short story in her mind when she made this ring. The delicate ring has 6 silver little pieces soldered together to create the tea cup and the citrine is cleverly set in the tea cup.



Vlad Zoldak – Interstellar Ring

The ring was inspired by Vlad’s fascination with space and its elements, primarily an element that gives live to everything living even in the most hostile places; water. It is made of sterling silver and 20ct terminated Aquamarine. The entire ring is handmade and soldered together.


Suzanne Ross – Lapis Maki-e Pendant

The inspiration for this piece came from the colour of the lapis lazuli itself. The colour reminded Suzanne of a peaceful ocean sailing with clear blue skies. Suzanne chose labradorite beads as they change colour with movement like the sea. The gold painting on the lapis is done in the traditional Japanese gold decorating technique called “maki-e” where urushi ( a tree sap) is painted on and gold powder is sprinkled onto the wet ground. When it has set, the gold is sealed with urushi and then sanded with charcoal and polished.


Robyn Golding – Green Fingers Ring

This piece is called Green Fingers and is a double ring connected with three short chains. The piece is inspired by gardening but also from the materials used within this piece, It is made from 100% recycled silver and reclaimed plastics, the green hand is also flocked to give it its green colour. The hand is also removable and is a lid of a small container to reveal a real plant inside.



Anca Druga – Starry, Starry Night

This design is inspired by “Starry Night over the Rhone” – Vincent Van Gogh. The pendant was hand painted and handcrafted using acrylic colors on polymer clay, fixed in a wire wrapped support to emphasize the texture and depth of the design.



Claire Housden – Morphology #2 Necklace

This is a leather necklace which I designed in 3 colourways (black&black, black&white, and black&red). The inspiration for the morphology collection is vegetable tanned leather itself; and how it can be manipulated to hold a 3-D form. Claire has  developed a unique technique to texture and fold the leather, which she uses throughout this collection.



Theodora Gould – Holy Island Bangle

The Holy Island Bangle is inspired by a small and magical island off the western shore of Lough Derg in Southern Ireland.  Theodora wanted to make something that had an ancient and celtic feel but also reflected the colours of the island. Made from sterling silver, the stones are 5mm cabochons; garnet to represent the rambling roses, sapphire for the water and the expanse of sky, peridot for the lush Irish grass, citrine for the yellow lichen which covers the tumbling ruins and dark and lavender amethyst for the wild flowers.



Kim Styles – Morganite and Sapphire Cluster Ring

This morganite and sapphire cluster ring, with wild rose and hydrangea flowers in white and yellow gold. The morganite is set in rose gold to echo the beautiful pale pink of the stone. Kim wanted to make something really pretty that she could wear as an example of what she does. It is entirely handmade from 18ct gold sheet and wire.



Nichola Foster – Wirework Lampwork Bead Pendant

Nichola is a lampwork artist and recently learnt how to wire weave which she finds really enjoyable and very addictive! Here is one of her lampwork glass beads which she has set and decorated with copper. The design emerged as she worked, and demonstrates her love of curves and scrolls.



Scott Shead – The Kracken Ring

Sterling Silver ring with a large Pearl. The ring is designed to sit on one finger and have a tentacle curl around another finger.  Scott lives on a Scottish Island which inspires him and he handcraftedthe Kraken Octopus ring to be a statement piece. The ring is designed to be comfortable to wear and also to make a great addition to a steampunk or nautical style outfit.

To check out all of the competition entries – please have a look at the Facebook Competition Post!

Don’t forget!  The prize winners will be announced on 5th September!

Good luck to all of the Shortlisted Candidates!

Behind the scenes at the filming of our online jewellery courses

2016 marks an exciting time for LJS as we are launching some new online jewellery making classes on our website jewellery school online. These classes are designed for students who can’t attend classes with us or who want a refresher for the classes they have attended. LJS tutor Anna Campbell has filmed two of the new courses for us, stone setting in metal clay and she has contributed to the business course. In this post, Anna talks about the experience of filming and what to expect from the courses.

In the beginning …..

I was very pleased to be asked to film some tutorials for jewellery school online by Jessica Rose, the founder of the London Jewellery School. Julia Rai has already filmed an online course in making silver metal clay charms which is excellent and teaches a wide variety of skills which, once mastered, can lead to so many different designs.

Jess and I met to discuss how we could create a tutorial that was different and that helped metal clay artists develop their skills further while not repeating what was in Julia’s tutorial. Jess wanted to do something with stone setting and we agreed that we would like to make it as widely useful as possible so we decided that all the projects needed to be torch fired.

Trial and error – making the samples

Stone setting in metal clay, sadly, is not as easy as pushing a stone into the clay. Many stones are damaged by the heat of the torch or kiln firing as natural stones have fissures in them. When heated, the heat expands the air inside these fissures and the stone shatters (for an excellent breakdown of which natural stones can be fired with a torch or kiln see this article from Cool Tools).

So, I had to find a way to torch fire pieces for three different stone setting projects – not an easy task! I did some practice pieces and in the end settled on the following three projects

  1. Setting a man made stone in clay e.g. cubic zirconia or lab created sapphire, ruby, spinel etc
  2. Setting a dichroic glass cabochon (I know, not technically a stone but the effect is the same as stone setting)
  3. Setting a fine silver bezel for a stone to be set inside afterwards

This meant that the tutorial covered firing stones in place, firing glass with a torch (which is not something that is taught usually) and setting a stone that cannot be torch fired.

I enjoyed playing about with designs, trying to make pieces that were different and that could show the students the possibilities of the techniques.

online metal clay class

Pieces from Anna’s online course


My filming day started at 5.30am.

Filming was to start at 7.30am and I had to travel to south London so it was an early start for me. I needed to take some tools and some of my own jewellery for display which you can see to the side of me in the shots sometimes. I was nervous as I knew there was a film crew! There were actually three members of the film crew but luckily they put me at my ease. I had a microphone clipped on (one of the crew had headphones on so he could hear everything I was saying!).

I sat in place so that the lights and cameras could be set up. There were three cameras focussing on me. One directly in front of me, one to one side and one directly above my hands to film what I was doing. Luckily I was able to have a cup of tea while everything was fiddled about with.

And then we started. There was an actual clapperboard with the takes written on it. Which is just as well as we had to film everything out of sequence because the clay had to dry in between takes.

There was a lot to get through and I was conscious that I didn’t have a lot of time to make mistakes, firstly because of the hot filming lights the clay was drying very quickly and secondly I knew the crew were filming another tutorial in the afternoon. It went well and we managed to get everything filmed and done by 12.30pm which was quite a feat. For some reason there were a lot a ambulance or police sirens that morning and we kept having to stop to wait for them to recede.

Written notes

As well as access to the videos, students on the course also get written notes. I wrote these after the filming, based on the notes I took to the filming day (I had wanted to make sure I wouldn’t forget to say something important!). These did take some time to write but are important as a reminder for you when you are learning so I hope you will find them useful.


I am grateful that I am not involved in the editing process. It takes hours to do this – to synch the camera footage with my audio and make sure everything is clear for the learner.

Then the tutorial is ready for you to purchase and watch over and over. I really do hope you learn something new and I would love to see what you create, please do share photos with us on instagram, twitter or facebook.

Class Pic Stone Setting in Metal Clay

To access Jewellery School Online click on the link and watch a trailer before you purchase your course. You can choose from a wide variety of jewellery making courses including silversmithing, wax carving, metal clay, jewellery business and wire wrapping. Anna’s Stone Setting in Metal Clay course will be available from the end of February 2016 – you can pre-order it a half price now from the Jewellery School Online site.

Anna Campbell is a metal clay artist, one of only ten people to hold the Higher Diploma in Metal Clay. She holds both Art Clay and PMC Rio Rewards certifications and is a member of the Metal Clay Masters Registry.

Inspirations – unusual stone set rings

Tutor Anna Campbell has been looking at some more unusual stone setting for design inspiration

My previous blog post featuring some unusual stone setting for inspiration has been popular so we thought we’d have a part 2 on the blog.

This time I’m focusing on unusual ways to set stones in rings


stone set rings

Engulfing aquamarine ring by Katherine Rudolph


stone set rings

Gold ring set with black diamonds by Joanna GN Jewellery


alternative rings lapis

Sterling silver and lapis lazuli ring by Helfried Kodre


alternative stone setting in rings

Citrine ring by Raphael Steinbach



unusual stone set ring

Larimar sterling silver ring by In Vintage Heaven

stone settingin silver

Silver and pyrite ring by Catelina Brenes




unusual diamond ring

Platinum and diamond ring by Schaffrath


In the jewellery workshop: Stone setting in metal clay

Tutor and silver clay artist Anna Campbell discusses the possibilities for stone setting in silver clay

metal clay

Many jewellery makers haven’t heard of silver clay. It is a mouldable material made from silver particles, an organic binder and a bit of water. Once the clay is dry it can be fired with a torch or in a kiln to burn away the binder to leave silver. It is a flexible way of working with silver and I’m often asked if stones can be pressed into the clay and fired. Sadly it’s not as simple as that! Some stones can be fired in place, others are damaged by the heat of the kiln/torch and these stones need to be set in a more traditional way familiar to silversmiths e.g. using a bezel setting.

However, there are some stones that can be set and fired in the clay and here is some advice about using these.

metal clay


Cubic zirconia

Cubic zirconia (cz) are manmade stones that come in different shapes, sizes and colours. They are a very flexible stone for silver clay as they can be fired in place, both with a torch or in a kiln.


  • You do need to be wary of czs that lose their colour when heated and it is worth testing them by heating them safely with a butane torch for 30 seconds to a minute to ensure the colour stays
  • Ensure you push the stone so that the table (top) of the stone is level with the silver clay. This will ensure the silver clay shrinks around the stone to hold it in rather than popping it out
  • After you’ve fired the silver clay and cz do not quench the piece (put it in water), let the piece cool naturally (I have seen czs shatter when going from hot to cold through quenching).
  • At the jewellery school we buy our czs from metal clay as they are tested as kiln safe and come in a wide range of colours and shapes.

metal clay


Dichroic glass

Although, of course, not technically a stone, dichroic glass can be fired in place in silver clay. Dichroic glass cabochons can be very brightly coloured and a lovely addition to silver.

You can embed the glass in the silver, it will shrink slightly around the glass and hold it in place. This can be torch fired (when the silver is dry) as the glass is not as affected by extremes of heat and cool but let the piece cool naturally, do not quench.


  • For both torch firing and kiln firing, place the pieces onto thinfire paper (particularly if the glass might be in contact with the firing block/kiln shelf)
  • You want to make sure the piece is level as the glass can begin to melt and shift
  • Kiln fire on a full ramp at 700 degrees celcius for 15 minutes. Ensure the ceramic plug is our/vent is open to ensure the fumes can escape as these can affect the glass
  • Allow the kiln to cool naturally before opening the kiln door
  • For more information have a look at this article from the metal clay academy

metal clay

Half drilled pearls/stones

You may have seen that you can buy half drilled pearls and stones. These, as the name suggests, are drilled part of the way into the bead rather than all the way through. You can add these to your silver clay designs by embedding a piece of fine silver wire into your piece.


  • You need to use 999 fine silver wire, sterling silver becomes brittle at high temperatures
  • Ensure the thickness of the wire fits the hole in the bead
  • Fire this piece as you would any silver clay piece, I suggest in a kiln if possible as silver wire is easy to melt when torch firing
  • Do any polishing you want to do before adding the bead
  • Once the piece is polished and ready to add the pearl/stone, cut the wire to the correct length to take the bead and add some epoxy glue to the end of the wire. Thread the bead on and hold it for 30 seconds to ensure it adheres
  • Allow the glue to dry completely before wearing (check the drying time of the glue you used)
sapphire ring

Manmade sapphire and silver clay ring made by Anna Campbell

Man made stones

The reason many natural stones cannot be fired in place in silver clay is that they have natural fissures/holes in them. The heat from the kiln or torch expands inside these fissures which can cause them to break and crack. However, there are some manmade stones that don’t have these fissures and can be fired in place. I have used lab created blue sapphires, red rubies and blue spinel. Unfortunately the stockist I used has recently closed so I cannot recommend a stockist personally. I recommend you try heating the stones first as I mentioned with the czs to check that they keep their colour before incorporating them into your designs.

Stones that can be fired in place

The US supplier cool tools has put together a very comprehensive guide of the natural stones that can be fired either with a torch or in a kiln. It’s an invaluable guide and you can find it here. Refer to this to see if your favourite stone can be fired.

Do you want to join us to learn techniques to set stones in metal clay? On our one day stone setting in metal clay class you will learn

  • how to dry set cubic zirconia stones (similar to the gypsy setting in silversmithing)
  • how to set a dichroic glass cabochon
  • how to create a bezel setting for any stone and set it after firing (the technique you need for any stone that you cannot fire)

This class is suitable for those that have used silver clay before e.g. have attended our beginners silver clay class or taster class.

We have dates available for the class up to December 2016 and our 25% off sale runs until 20 October 2015.

Anna Campbell is a silver clay artist and tutor at LJS who runs her own jewellery business Campbell Hall Designs.

Inspirations: Unusual stone setting

Tutor Anna Campbell has been looking at some more unusual stone setting for design inspiration

I am pretty addicted to pinterest and love that we have so much access to inspiration as jewellers there. I have recently been drawn to unusual stone settings and I find it useful to consider how the jeweller has done it as it gives me a jumping off point for ideas. Here are a few innovative designs that I love. How would you go about making these settings?

innovative stone set jewellery

Thomas Giesen – acrylic ring with amethyst ball


innovative stone set jewellery

Round brooch on 18 carat gold by Daphne Krinos


innovative stone set jewellery

Turquoise necklace by Cobalt blue


innovative jewellery stone setting

Swarovski crystalactite ring from Maison Margiela


innovative stone set jewellery

Labradorite pendant by Anna Vosburg


innovative stone set jewellery

Glauco Cambi bracelet with magnetic closure


innovative jewellery stone setting

Odyssey orbital ring earrings by Silversong jewelry



innovative stone set jewellery

Quay ring with pink tourmaline by Sarah Herriot



innovative stone set jewellery

Pebble stack pendant ‘heart cairn’ by Binks Edmonds

Do you use pinterest? Follow the London Jewellery School pinterest board for more design ideas and inspiration


Inspirations: Autumn winter jewellery trends

So what jewellery trends might be influencing your making this autumn and winter? The London Jewellery School team take a look at the catwalks to pick out a few themes that might inspire your jewellery making (but please remember the difference between taking inspiration and copying).

Silver rings with coloured stones from the Proenza Schouler

Think big, fashion and the catwalks are all about statement pieces. This means less of a focus on expensive metals and precious stones. Instead size and colour means the use of semiprecious stones, and materials such as Perpsex, resin, leather and feathers – fur has even been incorporated into fashion pieces.

Leather and fur cuff from Fendi

Jewellery makers might want to put their own spin on chokers and cuffs – beading and wire work with crystals and glass beads or semi precious stones will work well here, as will soutache.

Crystal choker by Balenciaga

Giant crystal flowers make a statement at Chanel

Large feature beads are perfect for these statement pieces but seed beads will also be popular for more ethnic inspired chokers.

Crystal collar by Givenchy

If you want large coloured cabochon-type elements, think about creating your own in resin.

Cuffs in Perpsex or leather will definitely make a statement and you can also think about combining leather with chains to create fun fashion pieces that will catch the eye.


Gucci bonbon bracelets