Jewellery designers plan the style and pattern of
jewellery, silverware and other decorative metalwork
products. The designs may be for mass production, or be
made individually or in small numbers by the designer or
by other craftworkers.
Jewellery designers use their understanding of metals, gemstones and other materials to produce designs which either meet the brief of a client or have the potential to attract customers. As well as creative and practical skills, self-employed designers need marketing skills and commercial awareness. Self-employment often involves both the design and making of jewellery, which is then sold through outlets such as shops, galleries and craft fairs.
Jewellery making involves a variety of crafts, including mounting, setting and polishing. The Jeweller (Manufacturing) profile has information on this area of the work.
Jewellery designers in industry usually work nine to five,
Monday to Friday. Freelance designers choose their own
Designers work in studios or workshops, which may be shared with other designers. Freelance designers also spend time at exhibitions or visiting shops and galleries to market their work.
To be a jewellery designer you should:
Some jewellery designers are employed in industry,
designing for the mass market. Most factories and
workshops manufacturing jewellery, silver and flat plate
are small, with the majority situated in London,
Birmingham, Sheffield, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Whilst
London is the main centre for precious jewellery,
Birmingham is known for both precious jewellery and
fashion jewellery production.
Opportunities may also be available in small businesses, workshops or co- operatives.
Many become self-employed as freelance designers, selling their designs to manufacturers, or making up the designs and selling them. Success depends on the ability to find sufficient markets for the work. There is an index of galleries and retailers dealing with gold and silver on the Goldsmiths' Company Directory. These may be useful when looking for markets for your work. See the Further Information section.
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