Tag Archives: wire

Inspirations: Daffodil jewellery

To celebrate St David’s Day with all our Welsh students and friends we are offering some inspiration with daffodil themed jewellery – especially so many of you enjoyed our look at tulip pieces the other week.

 

recycled daffodile silver jewellery

These daffodil brooches have been recycled from old, out of circulation English bronze ‘Thrupney-bit’ coins and  unwanted antique fork prongs by The Hairy Growler. Daffodils seem to be a popular theme for using recycled silver.

 

daffodil jewellery

A 14ct band by Stuart Devlin, in the form of seven daffodil heads each centred with a brilliant cut diamond

 

daffodil resin jewellery

This vintage 1930s yellow celluloid daffodil necklace makes a great statement piece – and leaves us wondering what we could achieve with resin.

 

contemporary daffodil jewellery

Not all daffodil jewellery has a vintage bent though. This gold pearl and silver necklace is by Judith Neugebauer

 

 

daffodil jewellery

Silver pierced daffodil pendant by Mikylla Claire Jewellery

daffodil jewellery

You can make this wire and bead ring and other daffodil items in this great tutorial by Sue Mason-Burns for Making Jewellery (don’t forget it’s Mothers’ Day on Sunday)

 

beaded flower bracelet

Or try a beaded bracelt like this one (video tutorial)

 

Video tutorial: Quartz necklaces

One of the latest jewellery trends are these fabulous Quartz Crystal Necklaces. They make beautiful additions to pretty much any outfit. Why not have a go at making your own…

DIY jewelry Quartz Crystal Necklace

I can’t decide whether my favourite is the clear or the blue – the great thing about making your own is that you don’t have to choose, you can have both.

If you would like to have a go at making them, pop over to the youtube channel to see our latest tutorial taking you through the process, step by step…

Jewelry Tutorial Make a Quartz Necklace Video

Have a go and let us know how you get on by sharing pictures on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

If you want to learn more jewellery making techniques you can find our face to face classes here, online courses here and a selection of other videos on our YouTube channel.

Knit jewellery with wire

Saturday 13 June is Worldwide Knit in Public day, an annual event that sees knitters organise mass teaching events, picnics and other events to share the love of the craft.

But knitting isn’t just something you can do with wool, it can be a way of making interesting jewellery too.

knitted jewellery

Wire knitting (clockwise from top left): Concentric necklace by Teri Howes; Entangled by Niiro of Izola, Slovenia; Necklace by Naive Chic; sculptural bracelet by La Purple Penguin

And it just so happens that Bronagh Miskelly, one of our tutors and our marketing person, is also an expert knitter who works in wire as well as wool so we asked her for a few tips on knitting wire jewellery.

  • If you haven’t knitted at all before, practice with wool first using a basic knitting tutorials – verypink.com is a good place to start.
  • If you do know how to knit with wool, start simple with wire by knitting a length of garter stitch before you try any fancy shapes or patterns. Basic knit stitch can look really interesting in wire.
  • Use metal needles – the smaller the needles the smaller the loops in your piece but don’t start with very small needles because it will more difficult for you to work with the wire before your are used to it.
  • Use a very small crochet hook or jewellery tweezers to help pull the wire through.
  • Work from wire on a spool and put it on the floor so there is less chance of it kinking or breaking. I use 0.3mm coloured or plated copper wire which is quite fine and can break but with practice it is easy to work with.
  • Don’t worry if your stitches aren’t even, it adds to the organic look.

wire knitted jewellery

Jewellery favourites: a cuff obsession

Everyone has a favourite style or type of jewellery – perhaps an item they wouldn’t ever want to be without or something they are always drawn to in jewellery displays. So we decided to ask some of the London Jewellery School team about their jewellery favourites, must haves and obsessions, starting with marketing co-ordinator and tutor Bronagh Miskelly who is known for her love of a particular item.

Like most makers I’m a bit of a magpie and am easily distracted by something shiny, but if you really want to get my attention just show me a cuff (or perhaps a chunky bangle).

I’ve been trying to work out why I’m attracted to cuffs so much and put it down to three things:

  • A misspent youth watching a lot of sci-fi. Cuffs and bracelets are the ultimate space age accessory.
  • The fact that my sport is fencing. This has given me an interest in armour, archer’s bracers, etc – decorative arm items turn up quite a lot.
    cuff collage
  • But mainly I go for cuffs for practical reasons. I love dramatic, statement jewellery but a neck injury means I can’t wear heavy necklaces and big rings get in the way when I’m working in my favourite medium, yarn. So cuffs are my way of making a statement.

Plus you can have cuffs and big bracelets in such a variety of materials – metals, Perspex or resin, bead and wire constructions, leather and fur – which makes it fun to shop for and make them.

Here are a few of my favourite cuffs – some I own or have made and some are more aspirational or inspirational.

One of my favourite pieces of jewellery is a Ruby Kismet laser-etched Perspex cuff by Sarah Eyton. It is a beautiful piece and I bought it directly from Sarah at a show which means it has a story as well. I’ve had a go at making my own Perspex cuffs but this remains my favourite

 

cuff jewellery

My other favourite cost a couple of dollars in a Thai market. It’s striking and individual.

 

silver cuff

This silver feather cuff is by former Diploma in Creative Jewellery student Emma Piper. It is exactly what I like in bracelets – big, dramatic and intriguing. I love the embossed feather texture.

 

Of course, if I had unlimited funds I would love to own something like this Art Deco platinum emerald and diamond cuff bracelet (this one sold for $45,000). It definitely makes a statement and I love Art Deco style jewellery.

 

leather cuff

Leather cuffs offer an opportunity to create drama with colour, stitching, punching and studs and are lot more cost effective than antique diamonds and emeralds. They are also light wight and hardwearing so great day-to-day wear. This is the first one I ever made in an LJS leather class.

 

Beads and wire are another great way to create cuffs. I spend ages on Etsy looking at wide range including lovely items like this by Fanceethat as well as thinking about ones I can create for myself

What is your go to piece of jewellery? Tell us or link to your favourite cuff images by commenting below.

Pack your holiday jewellery-making supplies

The sun is out, school is over for the summer (except for jewellery school)  and, if you are like several of the jewellery school team, you are beginning to think about packing for your holidays.

And with us that doesn’t just mean picking out shorts, sundresses or the perfect shoes for a holiday night out, we’ve also been planning what will go in our holiday jewellery making kit because holidays are the perfect time to fit in some quality making time without the usual cares of the world getting in the way.

Obviously big silver or resin projects aren’t exactly practical for a trip away but there are plenty fun projects to be made with a smallish selection of beads and tools that will still leave room for (some) clothes in your suitcase. And making jewellery on holiday means you can have new look every day (or night).

So here is the London Jewellery School team’s top choices for holiday jewellery making.

1. Pack a full set of pliers. Some people favour mini plier sets for travelling but they can be harder to grip so you may find it better to have a little extra weight and be more comfortable with your tools.

2. Beads in a variety of sizes. You can’t really get anywhere without them and they’ll fit in all those odd-shaped spaces in your case.

jewellery making

Bring a selection of beads to make striking necklaces and fun stretchy bracelets

3. A selection of stringing materials – a roll of tiger tail and one of elastic beading cord will come in handy. You can experiment with multi-strand necklaces and make fun stretchy bracelets to wear to the beach.

4. Gold and silver-plated wire. Experiment with making your own findings, charms and wrapping beads. Practice making coils and spirals and using them to wrap beads or as charms and spacers. You can find useful video tutorials here.

wire pendant

Mastering simple wire coils means you can make interesting pendants and earrings like this (follow tutorial link for details) and relaxing on holiday is the perfect time to perfect your technique.

5. Cords to make friendship bracelets. These are a great summer look and you can layer several at a time. Check out the tutorial here.

gemstone friendship bracelet

Friendship bracelets are both a great holiday make and holiday look.

6. Fine wire (0.3mm) and crochet hooks or a French knitting bobbin. If you enjoy knitting or crochet, why not try it with wire or tiger tail (a lot less sweaty than wool at this time of year).  Several coloured crocheted wire chains with beads twisted together make striking statement chokers or try French knitting with this tutorial.

jewellery making

French knit necklace

wire jewellery

Crocheted or knitted wire offers the opportunity to create flexible 3D effects

 

And finally don’t forget your bead mat – beads escaping onto the beach, off a balcony or into the pool is not what we wnat to see.