Diary of a Diploma Student: Smiles and scars, the joys of jewellery making
Well here I am 6 weeks into the Diploma in Creative Jewellery at the London Jewellery School and I have to say so far the course has surpassed my expectations – which were pretty high. To date we have completed: Beginners and Intermediate Beading, Beginners Silver, Piercing/Sanding and Polishing, Intro to Metal Clay and Design Concepts.
The instruction and guidance in each module is a pretty perfect teaching style – we are given an explanation of the craft, a detailed demonstration and then the opportunity to try it yourself with expert supervision.
Being completely new to all kinds of jewellery making, my efforts in the class tend to be a reasonable first attempt but never good enough, in my opinion, to sell or even as a present for my biggest fan – my mum, who loves everything I do’ and I think still has the toilet roll models I made about 40 years ago. However the level of tuition is so good it arms me with sufficient knowledge and confidence to continue to practice the technique at home.
The Metal Clay lesson was probably the biggest surprise. It feels and behaves in a similar way to ordinary modelling clay but once you let it dry, fire it with a torch then ‘hey presto’ you have transformed a piece of clay into a hard solid silver object. It gives you the opportunity to create basic silver 3D designs very easily and is a craft which I think is reasonably accessible to anyone from a skill and cost perspective.
Of all the modules we have completed so far I think my favourite though was our first silver class. There is something very satisfying about being able to hammer and saw a sheet of metal and several hours later you can see the outcome of all your efforts.
I have been practising ‘a lot’ and In the process, I have sanded away pretty much all the nails on my left hand and the top of my finger in fact! Oh and managed to put a fine drill bit through my thumb, fortunately the drill wasn’t actually on – thank goodness.
But even with the battle scars I absolutely love it… I just can’t seem to get enough of it and haven’t stopped smiling the last six weeks!
Even in such a short space of time I can begin to see how much my work is improving. In fact I even have my first small commission. I’m not sure I can really call it a commission if it’s for a friend but small acorns and all that.
I just love my Monday lessons – Glass this Monday – I can’t wait!