Jewellery designers are creative and enjoy working with various metals, clay and precious stones. They will plan their designs from concept to product, but for those who are starting out on their jewellery making journey there are helpful videos and websites for wireworking, using clay and making spools and loops to make pendants and connecting beads to wire and clasps. All this can be achieved at a domestic level whereas for a route into silversmithing you will need access to a workshop where you can enamel, file and polish to enhance those artistic effects. There are several routes into this career including a degree or short courses at your local college which can give you the necessary skills that you will need to develop.
Organisation is a key skill for those in jewellery design; when presenting your pieces of works and documenting your thought processes and ideas. You will learn many skills and appreciate the time and effort needed to create beautiful artworks. For those wishing to become trained and qualified it would be good to research your opportunities, and to develop practical networking skills to allow you to become flexible and also to address the business aspect of being creative.
Jewellery designers design, style and produce jewellery in a variety of materials including silver, gold, platinum and other precious metals. Over the last few years the fashion industry has promoted plastic beaded jewellery
for its new age appeal and has been a permanent fixture on many a celebrity’s wrist. The days of bling are not numbered moreover we are seeing a fusion of natural materials with precious metals.
Jewellery design jobs
Many jewellery designers are self-employed and tend to produce their jewellery to order either working from home or renting affordable studio spaces with other jewellery designers.
Independent bespoke retailers
Specialist independent jewellers do hire designers to create a range of designs. This can range from traditional bangles and necklaces to one off pieces. More commonly the work of a designer revolves around customising and adjusting jewellery which is the bread and butter of many retail outlets.
Sell your own jewellery
For those of you who fancy the entrepreneurial route there are lots of opportunities available including:
- Become a bespoke jewellery designer. Clients will commission you to produce one off or limited runs of your designs.
- Sell your jewellery designs at craft fairs and arts exhibitions. This is a great way to network and exhibit your work.
- Become a jewellery design teacher. You could offer one-day courses in jewellery making e.g. produce a simple ring that the students can take home.
- Open a retail outlet. Sell and promote yours and other jewellery designers work in your very own shop. Many arts centres have small craft shops run by designers selling bespoke jewellery which appeals to the gallery visiting crowd.
Becoming a successful jewellery designer is not built on talent alone. You’ll need to become a slick marketeer and have an intuitive sense of what people are prepared to wear and pay for.