What does a jewellery designer do?
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.
What's the working environment like for jewellery designers?
Jewellery designers in industry usually work nine to five, Monday to Friday. Freelance designers choose their own hours.
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.
What does it take to become a jewellery designer?
To be a jewellery designer you should:
be creative, with an appreciation of colour, shape and texture
have dexterity, good hand eye co-ordination and the ability to work with tools and materials
be able to work accurately and pay attention to detail
have the confidence and temperament to succeed in the commercial world
have numerical skills for measuring, calculating costs of materials and pricing items
be able to negotiate with buyers and suppliers.
Jewellery designer career opportunities
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.
If you would like to know anything about being a jewellery designer that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.
Jewellery And Allied Industries Training Council (JAITC)
10 Vyse Street
Tel: 0121 237 1109
Tel: 020 7606 7010
Goldsmiths' Company Directory
The Design Council
34 Bow Street
Tel: 020 7420 5200
Arts Council England
14 Great Peter Street
Tel: 0845 300 6200
Arts Council of Northern Ireland
77 Malone Road
Tel: 028 9038 5200
Scottish Arts Council
12 Manor Place
Tel: 0131 226 6051
Arts Council of Wales
Tel: 029 2037 6500
44a Pentonville Road
Tel: 020 7278 7700
SEMTA (Science Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance)
14 Upton Road
Tel: 0808 100 3682
Creative and Cultural Skills
Tel: 0800 093 0444
Creative and Cultural Skills
11 Southwark St