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Illustration And Design For Jewellery

Illustration And Design For Jewellery

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Melanie Eddy


A jewellery course designed to provide participants with new skills in drawing, tips and shortcuts for creating beautiful work and a portfolio to build on in the future. The course will help you successfully communicate your creative design ideas. It will explore a number of illustration and design skills and culminate with a group critique that will enable you to share your approach and ideas with others.

Who should take this course?

Anyone with basic making skills who wants to learn how to research concepts and to understand the jewellery design process.

Jewellery students keen to develop their drawing skills towards building a portfolio of work for future studies or for personal development and enjoyment.

Topics covered

During the first section of the course you will explore drawing skills for jewellery design whilst developing your own personal style.

You will learn how to render different metals and gems and create visually stunning 3D images.

You will then spend time investigating how to find unusual reference material from a variety of sources, using London and its museums and galleries as a source of inspiration.

You will also learn how to successfully utilise this research as part of the design process.

Towards the end of the course you will work on a more substantial personal project based on the previous sessions work, and be shown how to present your work to the highest of standards.

A group critique will conclude the course so that you can share your approach and ideas with others.

Entry requirements: None

Level: Beginners

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older

Tutor Description

Melanie Eddy is a key academic on the MA Design: Ceramics Furniture and Jewellery programme at Central Saint Martins. She is consistently involved in projects relating to her field; research, writing, editorial work, teaching, exhibition installation and curation are examples. She has undertaken contracts with institutions and corporations as varied as Swarovski, Transitions Optical, the Victoria & Albert Museum, Central Saint Martins, The Goldsmiths Company, The Goldsmiths Craft & Design Council, The British Council and the Aga Khan Foundation.

She is a Director of The Association for Contemporary Jewellery and is involved in The Society of Jewellery Historians having previously served as Reviews Editor on the Editorial Board for Jewellery History Today, The Society’s magazine. Melanie has a London studio based in The Goldsmiths’ Centre, Clerkenwell, here she combines traditional approaches with new applications, creating sculptural jewellery that uses geometry as a tool to explore the relationship of form to the body. She specialises in a bespoke service, mostly working within customer focused private commission.


Please bring with you to the first session:

  • Retractable pencil 0.3mm, preferably H lead OR Mechanical pencil 2mm, H lead (preferable)
  • A rubber/eraser (preferably handheld retractable)
  • A metal ruler
  • A hole guide (plastic template with lots of different circles cut out!)
  • Paper: Grey/neutral coloured - needs to be NON textured.
  • Sharpener for  2mm mechanical pencil
  • Paper smudge stick
  • Regular graphite pencils in B, 2B and 3B
  • Sharpener (regular) for coloured pencils and graphite pencils
  • A Sketchbook for taking notes and for drawing out ideas

For the rest of the course you will also need:

  • Sable Paint Brushes - one extremely fine 0000, 000 (or 4/0 3/0), one or two slightly larger 00 (or 0 2/0 1/0)
  • Something to mix paint on
  • A cup of container for water
  • As a minimum 6 Coloured pencils in non-water soluble coloured pencils - cadmium or golden yellow, cool or medium grey, burnt umber or brown, white, black, and a colour of your choice as a jewel tone colour - for example blue. green red or purple. A simple set of 12 will work for experimenting. You can sometimes find boxes of coloured pencils just of grey tones. Aquarelle or water soluble coloured pencils can be used for illustration but the technique I will be demonstrating require non-water soluble coloured pencils due to intensity of colour you can achieve with them.
  • A scalple
  • Scissors
  • A2 Foam Core Board or thick card
  • Print outs of images you are inspired by or magazine clippings
  • Paints (these should be GOUACHE)

The following colours are a guide (firs two essential):

  • Golden Yellow (or equivalent warm yellow colour if unavailable)
  • Permanent White
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Burnt Umber
  • Neutral Grey
  • Ivory Black
  • Madder Carmine
  • Emerald
  • Any other colours you may wish to paint stones in.
  • Watercolour compact set
  • A pad of Tracing Paper
  • A pad of Graph Paper (1mm grid)
  • Plastic templates of circles, ovals, other shapes and ellipses



  • The Art of Jewelry Design, by Gali, Riviere and Li.
  • Techniques of Jewellery Illustration and Colour Rendering, by Adolfo Mattiello
  • Drawing for Jewelers: Master Class in Professional Design, by M. J. P. Berenguer and J. Asuncion
  • Drawing Jewels for Fashion, by Carol Woolton

Extended reading (if really interested, as these books contain excellent examples of jewellery illustration)

  • Seaman Schepps - A Century of New York Jewelry Design, by Vaill and Zapata.Verdura - The Life and Work of a Master Jeweler, by Patrick Corbett.
  • Art Deco Jewelry, by Sylvie Raulet
  • Marina B - L'Art de la joaillerie et son design, by Viviane Jutheau de Witt.
  • Paulding Farnham - Tiffanys Lost Genius, by John Loring.
  • Cartier Design viewed by Ettore Sottsass (Exhibition catalogue)
  • The Art of Jewellery Design: From Idea to Reality, by Liz Olver

Books on gemstones that can be good for reference for illustrating gems:

  • Gemstones - Cally Hall
  • Gemstones of the World - Walter Schuman
  • The Jeweller's Directory of Gemstones - Judith Crowe

Available dates