Diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, rubies, gold, silver…since time immemorial, these precious stones and metals have fascinated people around the world. Infact, it is the designers who are responsible for creating pieces that can dazzle the eye and leave an impact on any event.
As a jewellery designer, you will learn to use appropriate technologies and materials as well as apply creative studio design practices. There is an emphasis on drawing, design, jewellery and object making, creative problem solving, professional practice and business skills supported by computer applications, research and photographic skills. To be successful in this trade, you should be artistic, with an eye for detail. Patience and concentration along with the ability to relate well with people are useful attributes.
What do i have to do'
A mixture of creative skills and commercial awareness is employed to produce original pieces of jewellery. The design process is complex and involves a series of stages, each of which requires a different skill set on the part of the designer.
• Setting: Making adjustments to the mount to ensure that the stones fit perfectly. This can involve intricate work and may mean removing tiny fractions of metal.
• Polishing: Ensuring the finish of the piece.
• Casting : Making an object or decorative detail by pouring a molten metal into the mould. The mould could be made from a range of materials including plaster, metal or sand. Different forms of casting include lost wax, centrifugal and sand casting.
• Stamping and presswork.
A major part of the job involves consultation with clients for jewellery commissioning to discussing ideas, keeping in mind the needs of the client and how best to produce the design.
The designer is also responsible for the conceptualisation and the ultimate product that takes shape. Other activities include consultation with galleries and suppliers, researching jewellery trends and keeping an eye on the fashion world.
What should i study'
For most courses, you should have passed your Plus Two or have an ITI diploma. Designing courses have now adopted computerised programmes which require familiarity with various software like Rhino, Jewel Cad, Auto Cad, 3D Studio, etc. Moreover, knowing Photoshop, Corel Draw and a knowledge of volume, weight and metal composition are useful. With the advent of electronic jewellery, format courses in jewellery designing have been modified to suit the requirements of industry.
With the emergence of branded international jewellery in the domestic market, jewellery making has become an extremely competitive and specialised business. A broad spectrum of careers can be followed within the jewellery designing sector. Career opportunities depend on individual skill and creativity as well as the ability to apply traditional techniques of metal working to the expanding craft market. Innovation is the key in this business so the competition is tough. A jewellery designer can begin by working with jewellery houses or can freelance. There are plenty of opportunities in the private sector and export houses. If you are talented and can design your own line of products then the chances of carving an individual niche are much higher provided they satisfy market needs and continue to be creative.
It has been estimated that the studded jewellery and gold export market in India will soon be about Rs 5,000 crore! India is all set to become a leading exporter of jewellery and gems. Thus, prospects in this field is booming. Some of the well known jewellery designers in the global market are Cartier, Estelle, Tiffany, Van Cleef & Arpels, Boucheron, Tanishq, Jhaveri, Asmi, Orra, etc.
Gaining recognition can be a long process, but the rewards can be great if you are willing to grow your business, keep learning, and stay in tune with trends to produce original jewellery.
where to study
• NIFT, Bangalore, Mumbai,Hyderabad and New Delhi.
• Pearl Academy of Fashion, Naraina Industrial Area, New Delhi.
• The Indian Institute of Gems and Jewellery, Andheri (E), Mumbai.
• Jewelry Design and Manufacture Department, SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai.
• South Delhi Polytechnic for Women, New Delhi.