I can’t believe week one is over already! It’s been such a busy week and I already feel like I’ve learnt so much. The main thing I’ve learnt is that I’m definitely out of practice using my brain, I’m exhausted!
The first two days were beading and wirework. Although I have mainly worked in this way previously it was good to go over the basics again as this is the foundation of jewellery construction. It’s a really fast way of working and it felt like we made so many pieces; earrings, bracelets, necklaces and even rings all out of beads and wire.
Day three was jewellery design. We started by looking at jewellery and thinking about the look and feel of it and how we would describe the pieces. Doing this we began to build up a vocabulary of words to do with form, style, materials, technique and theme and get a good idea of what we liked and what we didn’t. We then began to think about our own designs and were taken step by step through the process of designing. We created mood boards to give a feel for the colours, patterns and textures we were drawn to and then went out into the street with our sketchbooks to find inspiration in the world around us and to enable us to start work designing our own collections. I really enjoyed going through this process as it helped me think clearly about what I want to make and what my natural style might be.
On days four and five we made a start on metal clay. Such a fun material! It is clay infused with silver particles so when you fire it the clay burns away to leave a pure silver piece. It means you can be so creative with the way you work because you can sculpt the clay into any shape you like. We learned several techniques including stone setting into wet clay, mould making and adding gold.
With six weeks to go I feel like we are only at the tip of the iceberg, even though my head feels crammed full of new knowledge already! The week coming up is three more days of metal clay followed by fashion jewellery and then we will be beginning silver, something that I know everyone in the class is keen to start.
The other students in my class are lovely and come from really diverse backgrounds. I think that by doing the intensive course rather than the one spanning a year I have met people who are very likeminded to me, who are focused and serious about starting their own businesses and are interested and excited by the making process. This shared mind-set will help to drive the class and push us to achieve as much as we can in the time we have.
Roll on week two…
Jewellery enthusiast embarking on an exciting new adventure to set up my own business.