UK Handmade portfolio member Susan Hagen of LISU Wedding & Handmade Jewellery talks about her love of jewellery and how she developed her skills through distance learning.
I have been interested in jewellery since I was a small child. I love any kind of jewellery and I started making it as a hobby and then progressed to selling it.
I first started making beaded necklaces and bracelets. I learned how to do this from jewellery magazines such as “Beads and Beyond” and “Make Jewellery”. These magazines showed the basics of making jewellery such as how to make a secure clasp at the beginning of a necklace and at the end of the necklace. I gave the jewellery I made to friends and family as presents
I can’t remember which magazine I saw it advertised in but the London Jewellery School were doing a distance learning course called the “Jewellery Business Course”. This was a business course and did not cover making any jewellery. This course gives advice regarding what is involved in setting up a business selling jewellery, such as marketing, photography, advertising and more.
I did this course because I wanted to sell my jewellery online. This course recommended using two websites, one of which is called “Create” which is the one I chose to use. When you do the distance learning business course you get a year’s free individual London Jewellery School membership which includes an online listing on the member’s directory and with this membership you have permission to use the London Jewellery School logo on your website. This membership can be renewed annually but you have to pay for it.
I mostly made necklaces and bracelets to start with, and then progressed to earrings and then tiaras. Then about a year ago I decided to make hair fascinators. I googled fascinators on the internet and watched a couple of fascinator making tutorials. I then made five different coloured fascinators using Preciosa crystal pearls, fabric flowers and butterflies. There was a lot of sewing involved and I enjoyed making them.
Nearly five years ago my daughter got married and I made her a pearl and crystal tiara, a pearl choker necklace, pearl bracelet and pearl earrings. She wore the jewellery for the wedding but wore a tiara that she had already bought. She did however wear the tiara I made for the night celebrations. I learned how to make the tiara from a book and thought that as a tiara is bridal jewellery it was something else to add to my jewellery making skills.
I was interested in updating my skills and making different types of jewellery when I saw that the London Jewellery School were starting online jewellery courses where you studied at home. I enrolled on their wire wrapping course. You get your own logon and can access the course any time you want online and have lifetime access to it. There is a tutor who shows you step by step what you have to do. There is also a forum where you can connect with the tutor and other students.
I chose an online course rather than a face to face one because I have a part-time secretarial job as well as making jewellery and I can do the online course in my own time. I picked the London Jewellery Course as I had done the business course with them.
I recently started a wire weaving cabochon online course with Craftsy. London Jewellery School are not doing an online course for this so I tried Craftsy and they are very good too. I am not finished updating my skills yet as I have also enrolled for a silver jewellery making course with the London Jewellery School.
My advice to anyone looking to develop their own jewellery making skills is to do what you are happy with doing. I would recommend doing an online jewellery course with a jewellery making school as it worked for me. There are also lots of free jewellery making tutorials on the internet. It just depends on what you are looking for.
To find out more and buy, visit LISU Wedding and Handmade Jewellery's
- Website: www.lisuweddingandhandmadejewellery.co.uk
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