Amelia’s Magazine | Review: An evening class at the London Jewellery School

London Jewellery School 2011 -photography by Amelia Gregory
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

A couple of weeks ago I went along to the London Jewellery School for a night of cupcakes and cocktail rings, otherwise known as a lesson in how to make wire wrap beaded jewellery.

London Jewellery School 2011 -photography by Amelia Gregory
At the work table each seat was laid with an individual jewellery kit but all attention was immediately drawn to the twinkling assortment of glass beads in the centre of the table. I am sure that anyone with a magpie mind can appreciate the lure…

London Jewellery School 2011 -photography by Amelia Gregory
We were soon dipping into the beads, pulling out our desired options to start the first project, a wire wrap bracelet made on bouncy pre-shaped wire. This was extremely simple, with the most taxing part choosing the right combination of beads, not too small and not too heavy, to produce the right look. Many of the others settled on tasteful monochrome pieces, but as usual I could not resist something a bit more colourful, a heathery palette of purples, blues, deep reds and greens.

London Jewellery School 2011 -photography by Amelia Gregory
Our tutor was Chu-Mei, who runs Grace & Firefly. She was super helpful and funny, immediately on hand to help with out any problems or advise on design decisions.

London Jewellery School 2011 -photography by Amelia Gregory
Once we had all managed to create a bracelet it was straight on to the next project, a blingy wire wrap ring. This required a more concentrated mind, as the rings were constructed from wire to fit our fingers perfectly and then clusters of beads were piled on top of each other to create the final cocktail ring. I managed to produce three different over the top creations that featured an assortment of brightly coloured, gold and pearlised beads.

London Jewellery School 2011 -photography by Amelia Gregory
London Jewellery School 2011 -photography by Amelia Gregory
London Jewellery School 2011 -photography by Amelia Gregory
Who needs Accessorise when you can create something utterly unique in under half an hour, and so much satisfaction comes from the creation process itself? I think that we were all quite pleased and pleasantly surprised with the amount of booty that we each managed to produce during the class. And one of the best things about the evening? The chance to meet other talented jewellers and find out a bit more about the London Jewellery School.

Afro deco upcycled watch pendant
Natasha Williams is Afro Deco, a jeweller who specialises in upcycling jewellery with added resin details – beautiful and unusual.

London Jewellery School 2011 -photography by Amelia Gregory
Another lady was an expert in polymer clay, the far classier descendent of Fimo. Remember Fimo? The new stuff is streets ahead, just check out the beautiful necklace above. Mary Ann of Zarafa Designs was also very helpful when I ran into trouble with my designs.

London Jewellery School 2011 -photography by Amelia Gregory
The London Jewellery School fits into a surprisingly compact room in Hatton Garden. Classes are incredibly diverse, in everything from perspex to gold – you an even make your own wedding bands (what a lovely idea!) I even learnt about the charms of Dichroic Glass, which can do all sorts of fabulous things (see below).

London Jewellery School 2011 -photography by Amelia Gregory
Coming up before Christmas the London Jewellery School is running a few classes where you can make bespoke Crimbo presents, and they have just announced news of a Set up your own Jewellery Business Distance Learning Course. In another life I quit this internet malarkey and concentrate on making things myself, so if you, like me, have always wondered whether you can make something you love into a career then this course could be just the ticket for you. The London Jewellery School was set up by young entrepreneur Jessica Rose who herself learnt the trade by doing short courses, so she is well equipped to talk about these kind of things.

Whether you have plans for a small pocket-money operation, a full time job or an even larger business employing others, the course is designed to guide you through all the basics of running a successful jewellery business. The course pack contains a 50-page glossy workbook, supporting case study booklet and more than 80 minutes of video footage with advice from jewellery business expert and course tutor Jessica Rose. ‘ If you pre-order this comprehensive course before the official release date on Friday 9th December then you can get the whole kit for just £99.

Categories ,Accessorise, ,Afro Deco, ,Beading, ,Bling, ,Bracelet, ,Christmas, ,Chu-Mei, ,Classes, ,Cocktail Rings, ,cupcakes, ,Dichroic Glass, ,Fimo, ,Gold, ,Grace & Firefly, ,Hatton Garden, ,Jessica Rose, ,London Jewellery School, ,Mary Ann, ,Natasha Williams, ,Perspex, ,Polymer Clay, ,Resin, ,review, ,Set up your own Jewellery Business Distance Learning Course, ,Short Courses, ,Silver, ,Upcyled, ,Wedding Rings, ,Wire Wrap, ,Zarafa Designs

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Amelia’s Magazine | Central Saint Martins: Ba Hons Jewellery Graduate Show 2011 Review

Jing Jing Cao headdress
Headdress by Jing Jing Cao.

The Central Saint Martin Ba shows were held for the last time this year in the iconic Charing Cross building, visit before the courses depart for new accommodation in Kings Cross. What will happen to the beautiful vaulted hallways when they go? The caretaker couldn’t tell me…

I can’t help but love jewellery – whilst I’ll happily bypass the graphic design stands if there’s a glint of precious gem I’m in there, help nosing around. The Ba Jewellery offering was a mixed bag – much of it did not appeal to me at all but the designs that did grabbed my attention good and proper. Below are the best designers I found.

Kerry Huff
I was attracted to Kerry Huff‘s rough gemstone jewellery based on natural patterns even before I realised that she had sourced all her materials ethically… and is also passionate about fair-trade practice. How joyous to find students tackling design with a firm grounding in the implications of their work.

Hee Jung Son
Hee Jung Son also worked with recycled lids to create a well presented range of colourful rings on silver bases.

Yung-Han Tsai
Central Saint Martins jewellery graduate exhibition 2011 Yung-Han Tsai
Yung-Han Tsai reappropriated everyday objects and transformed them into something new – in this case she clumped bundles of headphones (I’m hoping they were recycled or upcycled) into sculptural forms.

Bonnie Yiu
Bonnie Yiu did some strange and wonderful things with copper wire and paper which produced curvaceous necklaces and bangles with detailed patterns that bore closer examination.

Central Saint Martins jewellery graduate exhibition 2011 Wenhui Li
Wenhui Li pink ring
Wenhui Li
Wenhui Li showed a fabulous display of coloured mixed media rings featuring strange alienesque bulbous shapes. See more on Wenhui Li’s website.

Lauren Colover
I didn’t notice Lauren Colover‘s work when I was at the exhibition but the piece she has chosen for the catalogue is stunning – based on a Ginkgo Biloba leaf and encrusted on the underside with semi precious stones.

Min Yoo
Min Kjung Yoo created some amazing hybrid creatures from a mix of resin, precious metals and gems. Some were far more out there than this particular frog/dolphin specimen – see her website.

Jing Jing Cao
Jing Jing Cao produced stunning brass and acrylic ruffs that spread around the face like a stylised human frame.

Anna Heasman barter bangle
In her final year Anna has found herself questioning the meaning of jewellery as simply adornment but rather as a means of exchange. Inspired by primitive forms of exchange (or indeed, some might say the most postmodern way to live) Anna Heasman offered exhibition attendees the chance to Barter for a Bangle. How could I resist? I offered to write about her here if she gave me a particularly fetching gold twisted number. But I haven’t heard from her yet, and look, here I am writing about her anyway. Clearly I’m not so good at bartering.

Central Saint Martins jewellery graduate exhibition 2011 Anna Heasman Barter Bangles
One of the most intriguing things were the other barters on offer, everything from a list of herbal medicines to other bits of jewellery, cupcakes and a drink on the town. If it wasn’t so incredibly frowned upon to take photos at the CSM shows I would have taken more snapshots of the amazing array of offered goods and services. Some of them can be viewed on Anna Heasman’s Tumblr.

Still to come… my favourite finds from the Jewellery MA.

Categories ,2011, ,Acrylic, ,Anna Heasman, ,Barter Bangles, ,Bonnie Yiu, ,brass, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Copper, ,Eco-Design, ,ethical, ,fairtrade, ,Gems, ,Ginkgo Biloba, ,Graduate Shows, ,Hee Jung Son, ,Hybrid, ,jewellery, ,Jing Jing Cao, ,Kerry Huff, ,Lauren Colover, ,Min Kjung Yoo, ,paper, ,Precious Metal, ,recycled, ,Resin, ,review, ,Silver, ,Upcycled, ,Wenhui Li, ,Yung-Han Tsai

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Amelia’s Magazine | Central Saint Martins: MA Design Jewellery Graduate Show 2011 Review

Tourmaline Boa pendant by Gwyneth Harris
Tourmaline Boa pendant by Gwyneth Harris.

There were two jewellers that caught my eye from the MA Design course that covers Ceramics, information pills Furniture and Jewellery at Central Saint Martins. Gwyneth Harris‘s Boa Collection was absolutely exquisite: an exploration of surface qualities through shape, generic colour, tone and pattern, inspired by the sinuous lines of snakes. She used German lapidary experts to create her beautiful winding tourmaline pendant, which was first carved in wax. Everything was created in shifting shades of red, her favourite colour. Gorgeous, I wanted to wear every piece.

bite me pendant by Gabrielle Harris
Bite Me pendant by Gabrielle Rosanna Harris. Diamond, Topaz and Gold.

Gabrielle Rosanna Harris first trained in Paris, where she did a range of work experience in exclusive Parisian jewellery workshops such as Boucheron. It was in these joaillerie that she learnt the techniques for setting stones that have so influenced her final collection. I was most entranced by the way she has turned the settings upside down and back to front to achieve a bold new look for The High End Jewellery Etiquette, where the setting of the stone has become the most important part of the design.

It’s a real shame I can’t show you more of these jewellers’ work, but photos were not permitted in the exhibition and images were hard to come by. If you like this why not check out my previous blog about the Ba Jewellery show?

Categories ,Boa Collection, ,Boucheron, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Diamond, ,Diamonds, ,french, ,Gabrielle Rosanna Harris, ,Gold, ,jewellery, ,Lapidary, ,MA Design, ,paris, ,Snakes, ,The High End Jewellery Etiquette, ,Topaz, ,Tourmaline

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