Member Profile: TH March & Co. Ltd T H March, the British Pearl Association’s own insurance broker, is a company of Chartered Insurance Brokers. The company was awarded the prestigious status of ‘Chartered’ Insurance Broker (the industry’s gold standard award) back in 2011 having satisfied rigorous […]
Pink is the colour of innocence, romance , roses and femininity. You either love it or hate it. Can you get pink pearls I hear you ask? Well yes of course the variations of shape, size and hue in pearls are almost infinite. Pearls are also […]
We are delighted to announce our partnership with the British Academy of Jewellery (BAJ) to bring you a special members discount on their BAJ short courses.
History of the British Academy of Jewellery
In 1999, Jason Holt and his jeweller father, Robert Holt read a depressing government report. The report showed what they had already feared – that the jewellery trade in the UK was slowly dying out with very few young or new people learning the jewellery crafts skills required to sustain the industry. With a huge amount of knowledge the Holts family immediately set themselves on a mission to revive the fortunes of the UK jewellery trade and provide crafts skills training for anyone wanting to work in jewellery. They established the first dedicated jewellery training academy, and the “Holts Academy of Jewellery was born.
Holts Academy now sits across three sites in Hatton Garden and they are unique as an independent training provider operating as a not-for-profit social enterprise.
They offer a variety of short jewellery courses that last between 1 and 14 days. Designed for those working in the jewellery industry to bridge any skills gaps and get up to speed with both traditional and cutting edge technological techniques. Their short courses are also great if you have your own business and are looking to improve certain skills.
Please contact their admissions office email@example.com for course dates and registrations.
Short Jewellery Courses on Offer
- Technical Drawing– It is like writing down the instructions of a recipe for someone else to follow to make the sponge cake. Your technical drawing should show sufficient information and visual presentation for a Goldsmith or CAD technician to reproduce your design. A technical drawing outlines the number of gemstones being set, engraving, mill graining etc which means you can calculate these costs.
This course will teach you how to provide accurate drawings that you can use for the presentation of your jewellery design idea or vision. This course is 2 days learning 10-5 pm.
- Sketching and Rendering– to teach you the skills required to gain and develop the initial concepts of traditional rendering. You will produce a rendering journal, which will help you with your future designs of jewellery pieces.
This course is aimed at all learners so if you are a complete beginner it will be perfect for you to get started on this new skill. If you have had previous training this course will help to improve your skills and will show you new techniques.
For bench skills, student must have either completed the Level 3 Jewellery Manufacturing Diploma, or provide proof of equivalent or better knowledge of design drawing, jewellery manufacturing, and wax carving. The course is 2 days learning 10-5pm.
- Diamond GradingA hands-on course designed to offer you technical content coupled with practical experience enabling you to identify and grade diamonds.
Learners will get the opportunity to examine many polished diamonds to better understand the basics of the 4C’s; Cut, Clarity, Colour, and Carat weight – the variables governing the value of a diamond. Learners will be taught how to identify synthetic diamonds and simulants and have a basic understanding of the different methods of treating diamonds. At the end of the course learners will be confident and competent in their abilities to identify diamonds and grade their qualities.
- Enamelling– A course to help you use colour and texture in your jewellery. With an introduction to the tools and techniques of vitreous enamelling onto metal, you will learn how to use these skills to create beautiful pieces of jewellery.
During this 2 day class learners will be introduced to tools and techniques of vitreous enabling onto metals. Initially learners will enamel onto copper and once confident with the techniques learned the learner will move onto silver. The course will cover different enamelling techniques such as sifting and wet-packing. By the end of the course learners would have made 2-3 enamelled samples using each of the techniques listed and will complete an enamelled silver pendant with a design on their choice.
This course will guide you through the A-Z of gemstones and will help you to identify all the main coloured gemstones, simulants and synthetics
Learners will be guided through the fascinating world of gemstones and will be able to train their eyes in recognizing gemstones’ unique characteristics and will gain tips in helping distinguish synthetics, simulants and treatments. By the end of the course learners will have the ability to appreciate and identify the wide range of gem colours and species..
- Rhino CAD– learn to use Rhino, a product design computer-aided design (CAD) software package, so you can create 3D models of your own design ideas for 3D printing and manufacturing.
By the end of this course, learners will have a solid foundation of the core basic solid modelling tools for creating jewellery in Rhino CAD, as well as how to take their existing jewellery-making knowledge and turn that information into tolerances for producing 3D models usable for 3D printing and jewellery manufacturing. With the help of our specially focused Rhino Jewellery CAD training course, this tool becomes one of the most cost-effective professional CAD jewellery design solutions available on the market.
This 4 day course is run in the computer lab and learners will benefit from using up to date software.
- Gem Vision Matrix CAD – learn to use Matrix, a product design computer-aided design (CAD) software package, so you can create 3D models of your own design ideas for 3D printing and manufacturing.
By the end of this course, learners will have a solid foundation of the core and basic solid modelling tools for creating jewellery in Matrix CAD, as well as how to take their existing jewellery-making knowledge and turn that information into tolerances for producing 3D models usable for 3D printing and jewellery manufacturing.
This 4 day course is run in the computer lab and learners will benefit from using up to date software.
- CAD: One to One – Professional level private CAD tuition in all major 2D and 3D CAD software packages used for jewellery design, 3D printing, and CAD/CAM based manufacturing.
- Self Directed jewellery CAD/CAM Project – Students who are already proficient in CAD are asked to bring in their own designs to work on using the Academy’s CAD lab, while benefitting from some expert advice from one of the academy’s highly skilled CAD tutors.
Upcoming Short Courses
2/3 March Technical Drawing
11,12 March Gemstone Studies for Beginners
18/19 Diamond Grading for Beginners
201/21/27/28 April Matrix for Beginners
20/21 April Enamelling for Beginners
Contact the Admissions on 0207 405 0197 , quoting your BPA membership number for 10% discount.
Member Profile: Wilson’s Restringing Service Ltd Wilson’s Restringing Service Ltd was established in November 1994 and over the past 22 years has seen many changes in the work that comes in. We have expanded our knowledge and skills to keep up with modern trends and can […]
Hello again and welcome to 2017! I hope you enjoy my latest instalment of my infamous blog- Pearls My Continued Passion Like so many of us, I have been extremely busy into the lead up to Christmas and into the New Year. It was particularly […]
Pearl photography is a challenging art and capturing beauty of pearls is one of its most difficult aspects. Product photography is important. In fact, it’s so important that it can be the difference between making a sale and losing a potential customer. Your visitors will always be drawn to an image before they read the text on the page, so you need to make sure that your images look compelling.
Pearls are unique amongst gemstones because they do not arise from the depths of the Earth, but from the oceans and seas. They are neither cut nor polished to maximize their lustrous beauty like other gemstones. Pearls have been treasured since ancient times and pearl jewellery is always in style.
The pearl is the oldest known gem, and for many centuries it was considered to be the most valuable. Over time, the pearl has become the symbol of purity and innocence and it is often sewn into bridal gowns, or worn as jewellery by the bride.
At Jewellery Imaging we specialize in capturing the unique lustre and iridescence in each and every pearl and create images that help you sell your pearl products.
Photographing Pearls is a Challenge
- The round surfaces of a pearl can throw off a reflection from any angle. Too much light and a pearl’s natural lustre will fade, diffusing its overtones of colour.
- Too much contrast can reduce a pearl’s natural beauty and will turn a wonderful organic gem into a harsh, metallic object.
- Too little contrast can make pearls look like a plastic and loose detail of the natural nacre.
Tips for Better Pearl Photography
- The easiest way to photography pearls is by using one studio strobe with a reflector and grid.
- The light needs to be positioned about 1.5-2 meters above the pearls, slightly at an angle.
- White cards and foam boards are used around the pearls to bounce more light in to pearls and to soften the shadows under the pearls.
- Be sure to use a grey card and set a custom white balance. If your camera supports a raw format use that because the colour correction in post-processing will be better.
- Don’t forget to include in that test whatever you place the pearls on. Light bounces around and that is even more so in a studio still-life situation. Both can introduce their own ‘colouration’ to the subject. Then you will be able to eliminate that colouration by careful use of the White Balance in camera. You need to shoot either 1. in a still-life studio with black walls, ceiling & floor with no ambient light.
- Finally, I recommend that you get your pearls photographed by a professional photographer to save yourself time and frustration in not being able to achieve a satisfactory results showing your products at their best and giving you an edge to compete with other pearl traders and jewellers. What your eye sees and what the camera sees can be very different.
The reality is, the better your product looks, the more you will sell. Have you tried to photograph your pearls? How did you get on?
At Jewellery Imaging we are more than happy to help. Get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org and visit us at
Pearls – My Continued Passion Hello & Welcome, It seems ages since last we had a chat! Where do the months go? I do hope you have had a wonderful summer. Mine has been full of exciting new projects, interesting places and great people! Let […]
Member Profile: Jewellery Imaging Jewellery Imaging specialise in the photography and videography of jewellery. Experts in the art of capturing the unique radiance of stones and precious metals, the media they create will impact upon your sales figures. Exquisite digital images can be created for […]
Member Profile: Melanie Georgacopoulos
Designer Melanie Georgacopoulos is by nature a storyteller. With a background in sculpture she works with materials in new ways to release their potential and open the viewer up to new interpretations. Given this method, working with pearls is a natural choice as their organic construction means each one has an individual beauty.
Her history has seen her complete a masters at the Royal College of Art before working as a freelance designer. Through this journey her work has evolved so that at its heart is an appreciation of structure, her inspirations are rooted in organic form and materials.
In Melanie’s work the paradoxical, intriguing nature of the pearl remains at the core of every piece, whilst the aesthetic remains simple, structured and timeless. She reworks a traditional material with fresh eyes to infuse it with new life and give it modern relevance. Her collections challenge existing preconceptions of classic pearl jewellery but also some of the basic shapes and forms of jewellery design itself. It is this unique approach which has seen her show to great acclaim at the Rock Vault initiative at the heart of London Fashion Week in previous years. Melanie presents her collections regularly at Paris Fashion Week, Vegas Couture and most recently the prestigious Goldsmiths Fair in London.
Melanie’s recognition for her work with pearls has led to exciting developments, in 2013 she revealed M/G Tasaki, her new directional collection produced in exclusive collaboration with the fine Japanese Jewellery company. The collection is renewed seasonally and marries beautifully Melanie’s flair to cross design boundaries with Tasaki’s world-renowned quality craftsmanship.
Member Profile: UL Quality Assurance Services For The Jewelry Industry With more than a century of expertise innovating safety solutions and dedicated to promoting safe living and working environments, UL helps safeguard people, products and places in new and important ways, facilitating trade and providing […]