Tag Archives: Victoria and Albert Museum


Like many people I know I feel a bit unprotected, or just a bit wrong, if I forget to put on my metal of a morning. I prefer to assume people are staring at my earrings on the tube rather than the bit of avocado on my face from breakfast. If I could go full man in the iron mask for my commute I would(I wouldn’t, it would be very warm, but if I don’t mention Leonardo Di Caprio in some way I lose his sponsorship).

When speaking about the themes behind her work Jeweller Katerina Glyka has said ‘I decided to build a fortress to defend myself’ and some of her pieces definitely border upon weaponry.

Armour is defined as is a protective covering that is used to prevent damage from being inflicted to an object or individual. Within contemporary jewellery making this often more visual than practical.

Yet jewellers whose work strays into the realm of self-defence reference the traditional notion of armoury quite intentionally. These articulated rings by Rokus London and Shahrzad Aliyari elegantly draw the eye and defend the finger.


Rokus London


Shahrzad Aliyari

Chain mail making is a great lesson in perfecting soldering skills and a wonderful way to test your patience. I had a go at connecting a ring to a bracelet with chain mail and was grateful to be making a small panel rather than a full battle shirt.


Lisa Walker

However it was still markedly less successful than this powerful yet understated use of chain mail by my New Zealand favourite Lisa Walker.


Jane Bowler

London-based Jane Bowler makes super-fun geometric articulated and plated holographic pieces and takes them to another level with her bridal wear. Perfect for those who want to feel like a goddess going into battle on your special day.

jane bowler bridal

There are amazing collections of armour living at The Wallace Collection in London and The Royal Armouries in Leeds. The V&A also has some impressive pieces (don’t forget to pop into the jewellery gallery for a treat too) and there may be some lurking in a corner if you find yourself in any country houses.

When attacking any project its victory hinges on having the skills as well as a winning plan of attack. Shield yourself from disappointment and conquer a new technique on one of our courses.

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.




My changing perspective on jewellery design

Diploma in Creative Jewellery student Tracy Stressing explains how learning about design and mood boards has changed her perspective on the jewellery she creates.

I have always had a passion for making jewellery and from the first week, I knew I was going to enjoy the diploma. But it is also challenging.

In the first term, the most challenging day was the jewellery design day.  I am used to making jewellery by feeling materials and this was about taking influence by things around us.  We went out around the school and looked at different  textures, buildings, design and drew things in a sketch book.

This felt very alien at first but when we got back to class we used these sketches as the basis for drawing drew pieces of jewellery. Soon we had rough sketches and although no finished pieces my thinking was beginning to change.


We then did some mood boards, choosing colours that we liked and imagining the person who we would make something for. The idea was to tell a story about the customer and the jewellery.

My head at the end of the day was a sea of ideas and on a recent visit at the to the Victoria and Albert museum which the school arranged I put these techniques into practise and sketched and sketched.

I look at things very differently now and see beyond things. I see lines, texture and on a recent visit home on the beach I was influenced by shells, seaweed, glass, stones, driftwood and put this into a design for a ring in the lost wax carving class.

I never knew from that one class how it would change my ideas and way of designing jewellery.

I am in the process of planning a piece of jewellery for my final collection that has been influenced by the jewellery design and the techniques and inspiration.

Now I’m in my second term and have also had a fashion jewellery class.  This was another chance to step right out of my comfort zone .

IMG_0677I made a mood board that had lots of reds and lips.

Lips were my inspiration and I made three pieces which I can honestly say were so new to me but I loved making them.

I would never have thought of using leather or suede or eyelets but this is exactly what I did to make my luscious lip jewellery. My collection is called KISS.

I have definitely grown as jewellery maker since starting the diploma and can’t wait to see what  I can make.