For my birthday this year I decided to treat myself with an evening course at the London Jewellery School. I absolutely love learning new skills but I generally teach myself; using youtube, books, and joyful experimentation to hone my techniques. The idea of actually being taught felt really luxurious and I was really excited to get started. I chose a course in beading which felt like a great all-rounder for jewellery making. I’ve played around with making jewellery many times (take a peek at my previous makes here) but other than a one off workshop I’m totally self taught, which sometimes means I’m quite cautious about the techniques I tackle. I was really looking forward to trying out some completely new skills like wire wrapping as well as perfecting my existing techniques.
London Jewellery school is just a minute away from Aldgate East station – it’s pretty hidden apart from some beautifully decorative tiles so make sure you keep an eye out for those if you ever visit! Within the LJS there are a few workshop rooms, a shop/reception area and an abundance of craft storage which packs away the tools and materials needed for a huge variety of day, evening and taster courses. On the same nights as my course there were also people in learning silver work – some very strange industrial noises came out of that room! Our energy was kept high with tea and biscuits on tap and our inspiration was sparked by our surroundings – seated each week at a table covered in beads of all shapes and sizes.
There were just four of us on the course and the other ladies were so so lovely – it was really nice to see them each week and hear what they’d been up to, as well as seeing how different each of our design eyes were. Our tutor was Hayley Kruger and she was completely brilliant – very knowledgable, fantastic at explaining and really good fun – particularly as I was accidentally firing wire across the room for the umpteenth time that evening. you can see more of her own jewellery practice on her website here.
So – onto the makes! Across 5 weeks we made so many pieces of jewellery – I couldn’t believe it. Each week had a theme, we’d learn a core technique and then off we went creating, and honing, and perfecting. Here’s a round up of my makes – minus the pieces I’ve already given away as gifts (handmade wins!)
The rings were one of my favourite weeks and I love the colour of those bright coral beads in the final image. I can’t wait to carry on making and I’ve already bought lots of beautiful beads to use in my designs 🙂
Now I’ve done one course I’d really like to sign up to another – I just need to decide what! Ideas on a postcard please!