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Drawn to Success

As your jewellery making knowledge grows and your skills improve, inevitably you will start to make more advanced but also more original jewellery.

But how do you create and develop your ideas into designs that are ready to make?

You use a sketchbook and you draw. And yes, we know that sounds a bit too arty, a bit ambitious. Maybe a bit scary? Something that 'real' designers and makers might do. Well you are a real designer, you are arty and you should be ambitious - even if it's scary.

Here are our top five tips to start you using sketchbooks with confidence and developing your ideas into reality.


Your sketchbook is storage. It's a place to store and record ideas and inspiration. Take photos, tear out magazine cuttings, print out images from the internet, draw details and make notes. Turn your sketchbook into a bank of information so you can go back at anytime and be inspired.


Your drawings DO NOT have to be beautiful. They have a job to do and being decorative is not it. Think about why you are drawing, sketching and scribbling. To store a piece of inspiration? To test some visual options? To develop a design? To describe a design to a potential client? The function of your drawing will help you work out the best way to approach it. A scribbled diagram can be far more useful than a perfectly rendered and lifelike rendering.


If you don't feel confident drawing then write. Makes notes, articulate ideas and use words to describe your inspiration, ideas, designs and development. You don't have to use art materials - an old biro and the back of an envelope can be enough. Whatever method you use to record your ideas, the important thing is that it feels right to you. You can combine, notes, drawings and photos to store and develop ideas.


A sketchbook doesn't have to be a two dimensional thing. If you prefer making to drawing then work with other materials to experiment and develop your designs. Mock ups save you time and money and allow you to test out a design before you commit to it. Recycled materials such tin cans, cardboard or scrap wire can be great for testing out ideas.


Think about how you will make a piece as well as what it will look like. Make a list of the tools, materials and skills you will need to create your piece. What order will you work in? What are the crucial moments in the process?

The most important thing is to make a start. Pick up a pencil and turn to a blank page. And if you need more support we are always here to help. Our Jewellers Creative Journal book will take you through the process step by step. Or join us in the workshop for a six week course in Sketchbooks For Jewellers to begin using your sketchbook confidently and creating a collection which is authentically and originally yours.

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