Looking to raise the standard and finish of your jewellery?
Your jewellery design might look great on paper, but turning it from idea to reality can be a tricky business. From form to function, the process of making is fraught with problems that can make or break the success of the final piece. Here are six super tips to raise your jewellery skills without breaking a sweat…..
Six super tips for perfecting your jewellery skills:
1. When trying to find creative solutions to your design problems two heads can be better than one. Talk the tricky elements through with a maker – friend. Consider all your options and identify the pros and cons for each solution then choose the one that you feel most comfortable with. Things may still go wrong, but being prepared for them will put you in a better position to minimise the damage.
2. Plan the whole making process before you begin. Get your steps in order and you have the correct materials before you start. Check your measurements twice, to be sure you have it right.
3. Write it down! Note the materials you have decided to use, the final measurements you have gone with, the stages and the order of processes you will employ. Honestly, keeping a Making Journal is one of the greatest time saving and useful processes you can employ, and when someone asks you to make another in 3 year’s time you will be thankful!
4. Take special care when planning the soldering stages. Know which solder to use where and when. Consider where and how you will apply heat, how you will set up the work to minimise problems of movement or overheating and excessive firestaining.
5. Don’t rush! If you know you need to be somewhere else in 15 minutes, don’t start a complex setting job that requires a calm and focussed mind. This is when the worst mistakes happen – and accidents too.
6. Be ready to adapt to changing circumstances. In jewellery making things don’t always go to plan but with a little creativity those mistakes that first caused expletives can become the start of a whole new and exciting development in your work’s direction.
7. In true Flux style, here’s a bonus tip…. Never take on a repair job for a friend. Too much can go wrong and friendship isn’t worth risking for it! Typically problems include that the metal and metal quality is not identifiable and so heating may destroy it. The piece might melt, solder might eat into it or show badly, plating might burn off. In the process of one mending job another weakness might reveal itself, and before you know it a 5 minute fix can result in a 5 hour sweat!
Practice now, repeat after me: “ I’m sorry, I don’t take on repairs, but I can recommend someone who does”
(here’s the number for LSJ, our favourites for sticky fixes 020 7405 5208)
Finally, if your friends can’t offer you the advice you need, if you can’t decide on the best way forward and the planning is hurting your head, if your jewellery skills don’t match the needs of your latest design and if you need that extra input to see how to create triumph from near disaster remember we are here at Flux, ever ready to feed your creative soul!
10 week courses, weekend courses, specialist techniques, creative thrills – all at Flux Jewellery School. New term starts in the week of 8 September.