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Thursday 30 June 2011

My trip to the London Jewellery School

Tutor's samples
Buttons, buttons, buttons...they are one of those extremely useful crafty materials that have so many more uses than just fastening up your clothes. Even displayed in jars they look lovely...infact I'm such a button fan it explains why I have button wallpaper. So when the London Jewellery School invited me to try out one of their classes, the Button Jewellery Taster was my immediate choice. I've seen button jewellery adorn the necks of many fine women and met some who've said they've made their creations themselves, but I've never has a chance to figure out how it was done until now.

The London Jewellery School is just off Hatton Garden the jewellery making hub of London which is filled with endless high end diamond specialists and jewellery stores. The school opened in 2008 and is an independent place to come and learn how to make jewellery. There are over 100 courses to choose from short one off three hour sessions like the one I signed up for to longer day time and evening courses. 
You can also rent kilns and use their studio spaces to make your own jewellery and use their equipment if you havent got any of your own or anywhere to work at home. 
Workshops include making your own wedding rings, children's parties, beading, enameling, silver, metal clay and lots more! There are over 20 professional tutors who lead the sessions so lots of inspiring people to get you motivated about making your own jewellery.
The button session was run by accessories designer Chu-Mei Ho. We started with a bracelet and the first step was choosing the buttons - the hardest bit ...it was a case of so many buttons, not enough time!
It's best to mix up the sizes
I stuck with layers of two beads but some students opted for three layers, any more than that would be a bit heavy.
Each button was looped through and overalapped for a bracelet
We threaded a piece of DMC memory thread through the back of each button, which measured double the length of the design. My fellow classmates were impressed with my ability to create a composition that went so well with my outfit!
Arranging my necklace
Once we'd threaded it through, we tied the thread at the back of the last bead, trimmed the ends ad closed them with folding crimps before attaching a jump ring and clasp at each end. We then had free range to make a second item and I opted for a button necklace because I've spent ages trying to find a summer statement piece to no avail.
Class in progress
All around the table everyone was engrossed. One participant came along to learn how to make a button bracelet so she could use it as an activity for her daughter's 8th birthday. It's actually very straight forward for kids, the only tricky bit is attaching the fastenings.
Yippee! New jewellery
 I am soooooooo proud of my work! I love my necklace and bracelet set, they surpassed all my expectations - especially the necklace. I've been searching for a summer necklace for months and here it finally is!
When can I come back?

It's just so satisfying having nothing, sitting down, making something and all of a sudden owning something new. I am soooooooo proud of my work! I love my necklace and bracelet set, they surpassed all my expectations - especially the necklace - I aim to wear it all season!

The course costs £35 which for an evening activity is excellent considering you get to keep what you made, you go away with new skills and can fit sessions in around to suit your lifestyle. I've always found with longer courses I end up missing one or two classes because life gets in the way but with lots of one off courses you know you'll get results. I was also really impressed with the facilities, very handy shop and the fact you can book the spaces for your own projects - great idea and brilliant concept. A definite recommendation. Also taster sessions are a great activity to do if you're catching up with a friend or just want to do something on your own.


  1. Hey Momtaz

    It's Julia D here (from the Geffrye!)Found and love your blog! Just wanted to say how fab that button jewellery looks. Great colour combination.
    Do you know Iris Apfel? I only ask because she's got a new jewellery range coming out soon and I think you'd love it. And her. I wrote about her a bit on my li'l blog here. And am desperate for a piece from her new collection myself.


    Anyway, see you at the Geffrye soon no doubt. x

    1. The nice and proper use of jewellery. The school is educating the best methods of recycling and designing. The beads are used efficiently.

  2. I am happy that I found your post while searching for informative posts. It is really informative and quality of the content is extraordinary.

    Sell Diamond Jewelery UK