Jewelry is a magical wonderland where you are free to experiment, explore and embrace your individuality. It is a creative pursuit to develop your own language and enchant your audience with your unique visual story.
How to design jewelry
1. Create your own jewelry language
Jewelry design is a sincere approach to create jewelry that tells a story. As a jewelry designer, it is important to create your own visual language. A jewelry designer must be able to identify with the visual message and then incorporate that in their design process.
Jewelry is one of the most effective mediums of cultural communication and has the power to portray who we are. There is such a nobility attached to be able to add beauty and wonder to the world.
Whether you are interested in jewelry as a hobbyist, to grow as a craftsperson or a professional career, it is vital to establish your own narrative.
2. Define your style
Your unique style will determine your sources of inspiration and guide your research methods. Always remember that authenticity is key. Even though it is important to create jewelry that is visually pleasing and as a designer you want the audience to enjoy the visual feasts of your designs, it is more important to stay true to your authentic self. Never mould your style according to others.
3. Choose your materials wisely
Your choice of material will contribute to your design language and style. You can choose to design with precious metals, gemstones, enamel, and resin. Or you can even design with non-precious metals like copper and brass. Beading is also a great way of creative expression through colour and texture.
If conventional materials don’t interest you, you can look into using alternative materials. If this excites you, have a look at some of these contemporary artists and their unique uses of materials for jewelry:
- Wood: Natasha Wood, My Secret Woods and Lexi Daly
- Plastic and acrylic: Lazerian, Alida Alic and Sue Gregor
- Fabric: Katherine Wardropper, Marjorie Schick and Jong Joo Kim
- Paper: Gera Noemi, Bench of Berry and Angela O’Kelly
- Polypropylene: Anoush Wadington, Corline Moiret and Rachel McNight
- Rubber: Stephanie Bila, Thea Tolsma and Margaret Nowak
Learn Jewelry Design
Learn how to speak the language of jewelry and create your own one of a kind pieces.
Differences between fine jewelry and costume jewelry
The main difference between fine and costume jewelry is the use of material and durability. Fine jewelry is made with higher value material like precious metal and gemstone. In contrast to cheap costume jewelry, fine jewelry can be repaired (depending on the degree of damage). Even though enamel is not of high value itself, it is made with precious metal and the enamel techniques require high craftsmanship.
There are two different kinds of costume jewelry. You can find cheaper imitations of fine jewelry that is known as costume jewelry. It is normally mass-produced and not particularly durable. Then you get costume jewelry that is made with better quality and more expensive materials. These can also be mass-produced but in a better quality of structures and settings.
Jewelry design course
It is important to understand the fundamental rules of design elements and principles in jewelry. These rules serve as a visual guide when creating designs. However, to grow as a designer and artist, pushing the boundaries will propel your designs to even higher levels.
Education will certainly help you to gain the technical skills in jewelry manufacturing, however, all you really need is vision and imagination to become a jewelry designer. Your mind is your only limitation.
If you want to pursue jewelry design as a career or just as a hobby, there are various options of resources to learn from. You can look at institutions that offer online courses like Shaw Academy's four-month jewelry design course. It is a theoretical and practical study of jewelry design in which students will learn t