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Learn to Design Jewellery

Hi, this is the amber room and I'd like you to join me where I'm going to show you where we conduct our jewelry design and thread wire programs.

So here I want to show you some things that students get, it's very exciting. we have a big binder in which everything is enclosed and you will have special papers, templates, jewellery specific templates, even special pencils that are used throughout the class to be able to creatively and efficiently design jewellery. And then of course we have a manual here and it has all the sections, many of these sections are very full and with all the information that you need to practice at home.

I'm going to take some of these sections, just the highlights to give you an idea and to show you how it works. One of the most interesting topics is that of gems and we cover all the different varieties of gems that we can be drawing in the jewellery that we are designing. We need to understand their length to width ratios because those are the ones that we can commonly find on the market today. We need to know what happens if we have unusual shapes and sizes and we need to be able to draw them properly in top and side and end view. We have some fun activities where the students select a variety of gemstones and then they have a role-play where one becomes a customer and the other one becomes the designer and that way they're able to create designs for each other.

We also have to be very aware of the settings because the way that a gemstone is set can totally change the look of the design. Finally we also work with gemstone charts and these gemstones charts help us to assess the weight of the stones so that it's a little bit more practical in that when we're designing something we're able to actually tell our customer an approximate price of what it might cost.

Another topic is how we bring our designs to life and we have many different ways of showing our designs. There are different ways to bring that dimension whether it's with shading or whether it's with colour. It is very important that for the manufacturer we actually hand a product that is a topside and end-view in just black and white. It has to be clear, it needs to be very precise, but for the customer or for competitions, we need something that looks a little bit more realistic. And so things like this will be very nice and very fast today to make with the coloured pencils in a wax-based.

It used to be that all our jewellery designs were done by paint and with these wax pencils we're now able to create the same effect and we’re able to create the vibrant colours in a fraction of the time. This is something that I am going to show you in a demonstration just a little bit later.

We learn all about the difference between communicating with the manufacturer and with the customer. For the manufacturer it's important to draw in top and side and end view, so we discover all of the different ways in which you can draw in top and side view different types of shapes. Now this brings to light the foreshortening which is a more complex matter and takes time to develop but we help to find a way to master that particular difficulty, through demonstrations and through doing lots of practice with the different views of the rings. We also talk about perspective views, these are the views that we want to do for our customers and the customers like to see very fast sketches and those sketches should be done in maximum one to two minutes with lots of variety and very fast and very sketchy and then quite fun and with the perspective views you will see that we have two different types. We've got one-point perspective and we've got two point perspective. Where the one point perspective actually shows more off the top of the ring and the two point perspective tends to show more the side of the ring. So depending on where most of your details are then you would choose one or the other.

Another fun aspect of design is the creativity where you can create an entire line of jewellery just with some tracing paper and tracing. So we will take for example, two designs that were created earlier, you can see that these have similar elements and I could say choose to trace one element of this design. Tracing is usually very fast very light and very carefully done. And then I can take another design and decide to add an element to it. In a second and this of course creates an entirely new look, an entirely new design.

From here we can do some sizing and reducing, we can use the tracing paper to go backwards and forwards and we can make many, many different things from this first example. You can see here how I can decide to change those backwards and forwards maybe to make a nice centre pendant. Now if I decide to put a pear-shaped gemstone, hanging from the centre that will be the next stage.

So we will draw a pear shape gently and in order to shape them I'm going to quickly make my guidelines. Okay, now what is remain to do, is to decide which one would like to pick and then to do the rendering. We could actually render both of these but have them look completely different. So I'm going to take this one first and decide that I'm going to make it yellow gold and then I'm going to make a nice Ruby as a cabochon in the centre with some small diamonds around the sides.

So we're going to put the black background underneath and although it's more difficult to see, what we're going to do is we're going to, put the white colour with the raised section of the material and this is going to be the yellow gold, but first we have to put the highlight area and the highlight area is going to be at the highest point on any object. I'm going to go around all of the edges with yellow, this just adds a little bit more depth to it. Because all these edges around the gem are light, thin area so they're not going to get too much dark shading.

You we need to go all the way around the bezel with the yellow pen to make sure that we have again the bezel as well and we're going to finish off our little stones and put in some facets. So as you can see from the finished product, we get something that looks quite nice with the yellow gold and with the gemstones.

Normally we want to always have it on the black background because it looks so much nicer on the black background and if we want to adjust the drawing from which we began the developed design we can have a look at that on a white background to compare it.

Taking fundamental designs was a turning point in my life. I signed up for this course with a simple intention of learning something new or doing something artistic. I had no knowledge of art or how to draw or sketch, but they assured me that I wouldn't need this knowledge. Now it was a bit surprising how do you do with draw because without knowing how to draw or sketch? Well when I came here I started realizing why. The methods of teaching here is a very step-by-step process. It is very methodical, so as you can see here, there's some basic drawings and they're the most basic shapes, so this allows you to get perfect at it and handle the very difficult ones.

These are some of the designs that we made during class and you just sit there and think of as many designs as you can and this appeal to me so much that I decided that this is what I want to do in my future. So I began designing a lot of pieces on my own and these are some samples as you can see and this wouldn't have been possible without our instructor Tanya whose passion for jewellery is almost contagious. I'm so glad I took this course because without the quality of teaching here I wouldn't be able to know that this is my dream.

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