Study Jewelry Design, Jewelry Design Schools


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Jewelry Design pertains to the art of creation and conceptualizing of designs for jewelry. Perhaps, the field of Jewelry Design can be traced back when kings and queens used to rule most of the known civilized world. Kings would have jeweled swords, scepters, crowns, signets, and shields while queens would wear jeweled tiaras, bracelets, rings, necklaces and just about anything that would tickle their fancy. Usually, when the word “royal” is attached to a thing, expect a jewel is embedded on it. Court life is not complete without courtiers showing off their dazzling necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings and brooches.

Jewelries, however, do not take shape on its own. The jewelry typically seen on catalogs or in jewelry boutiques had been conceived from a jewelry designer's brain. The process of designing jewelry is not as simple as it looks. It is not as simple as getting a chain and then attaching a gemstone and, voila a necklace! When designing a jewelry, normally, there is not just one process is involved. It is not merely a matter of drawing a design but metallurgical expertise on precious metals are also needed to be considered. The type of jewelry, if it’s a ring or a pendant or an earring, would also play a vital role on how the design is going to turn out. How a gemstone will be cut would also fall on the recommendations of the designer. As mentioned, Jewelry Designing is not just about mere drawings but it is also considered an art form. In fact, most of the most popular jewelry designers are true blooded artists. Notable people in the field of jewelry design are Frank Gehry, legendary architect and designer of the Guggenheim Museum, Paloma Picasso, daughter of abstract painter Pablo Picasso and designer for Tiffany and Co. and Louis Comfort Tiffany, son of Tiffany and Co. and a leading American Art Nouveau artist. More or less, jewelry designers have some sort of artistic experience like painting, architecture, interior design and sculpting before pursuing the glitz and glamour of Jewelry Design.

Design indeed is very important, especially for jewelry houses. Most popular houses have signature designs associated with them. Signature designs further enhance the image and reputation of a jeweler. Like for instance, Tiffany & Co. became the undisputed king of engagement rings because they came up with a design that simply emphasizes the brilliance of diamonds while at the same time remaining very simple. When girls talk to her friends about the engagement ring she got, when she mentions “I got a Tiffany,” more or less, her friends have an idea what the ring looks like.

With technology in precision cutting, gemstones are now easier to cut. The more easily the gems can be cut, the more intricate and detailed the designs can be rendered. Right now, lasers are being used to cut gemstones. In doing the actual design, computer programs are also being used. These programs give a three dimensional overview of the design and so viewing and editing is a very easy process. With more time to devote on design improvement, expect the field of Jewelry Design to produce more designers which currently is fielded just by a chosen few.

Ever since man began to use tools and clothing, jewellery, in its most basic form, was also being used. Many researchers found traces of jewellery among the remains of the earliest civilizations and they all believed that these jewels were used as symbols about 35,000 to 40,000 years ago. The oldest man-made jewellery was mollusk shells that had been perforated to be made into beads. Other materials that man used to make jewellery included animal teeth, bone, various types of shells, and carved stones and wood. Before it was used as aesthetic adornment, jewelleries were functional items and were used to pin articles of clothing together. Later on, jewelleries were used as a symbol of wealth and status as well as protection against harm, ward against evil, and to heal ailments. Modern jewellery as we know it began in the late 1940s or at the end of World War II as people began to pursue it artistically and leisurely. New materials like plastic also emerged and new ways of harvesting pearls were also discovered, giving way for more designs and functions.

Jewellery Design, as a major, offers both knowledge and experience for students who are interested in making fine and luxurious jewelleries as well as to those who are into fashion, industrial, and accessories designing. The focus of this major is to help students understand the importance of research and manufacturing, as well as design. This will also help students—who may or may not be familiar with craftwork and industrial jewellery techniques—to face design challenges that arise in today’s competitive society.

Students who will take this study will have to learn drawing and design to be able to build the visual library that is a necessity for any designer. They will also learn more about the history of jewellery and of jewellery design as well as attend trend-forecasting and workshop on illustrating for jewellery design. Students will also have to learn about jewellery designing and techniques like engraving, stone cutting, drilling, filing, welding, shaping materials, polishing, and setting precious or semi-precious stones. Students will also learn how to make their own portfolio that will help them in their careers after graduation.

Although the primary focus of many jewellery designers is to sell their creations, there are still many career opportunities out there for graduates of Jewellery Design that doesn’t focus on making and selling finished products. Being a Bench Jeweller is one of those opportunities. Bench Jewellers are those that work on repairs in a jewellery shop but they are also highly skilled craftspeople and are often requested to create any type of jewellery. Another career opportunity is being a jewellery sales rep whose main responsibility is to locate and secure accounts from retailers. Jewellery designers can also be a jewellery buyer who specializes in buying jewellery merchandise to sell in their own stores. Other career opportunities include company jewellery designer, independent jewellery designer, gemmologist/diamond grader, sales/manager professionals, jewellery store owner, bead shop owner, QA Consultant, and jewellery publishing.

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