Jewellery Designer Career Information
What a Jewellery Designer does
Not so long ago, people bought gold ornaments as an investment or asset. Aesthetic value stood second. But now people are beginning to look for 'exclusivity' in jewellery. And the designs are no longer restricted to the traditional, neighbourhood goldsmith with names like De Beers and Swarovski becoming the all-familiar jewellery brands.
Students opting for jewellery designing can work as:
Jewellery designers - You'll design various patterns using different stones and metals.
Ornament makers - You will use your expertise in the production aspect and see your designs turn to reality.
Gem and Stone consultants - You will ascertain the value of precious stones.
Though your work will essentially involve creating ornaments, there is much more to the job than just that. It also needs detailed study of subjects such as metallurgy and gemmology, insight into current styles, comprehensive planning and even marketing the creations.
Jewellery designing is a multi process job, which starts with conceiving a pattern. You will then have to sketch it in detail on paper. Then comes making the sample model. The last and the most important step are looking for buyers for your piece.
While gold, silver, pearl, diamond and other semi-precious and precious stones remain the most popular medium of making jewellery, designers these days are also keen to experiment with new materials like wood, brass, copper, shells, glass and even dried flowers and papier mache.
As a jewellery designer you'll work on a wide range of products from traditional and bulky pieces to contemporary, wacky and delicate ornaments. Traditional jewellery includes pieces created from gold, silver or diamond, which are heavy, formal and suited for special occasions like marriages. Contemporary designs are comparatively more sleek and delicate.
The best way to start off would be to work under a jeweller and learn the tricks of the trade.
Though it won't pay too well but this is necessary if you want to solidify your base. You could specialise in any of the types of jewellery like South Indian Jewellery, Bengali Jewellery, Mughal Jewellery, Maharastrian jewellery etc.
Most professional in this field branch out on their own. Apart from loads of confidence and creativity you need a rich dad to finance you. You also need to have the right contacts. Be warned that you'll have to break you head over workers who refuse to see beyond the traditional designs.
This is one business where trust matters a lot and word-of-mouth spreads quickly. The clients that you cultivate would keep coming back to you for generations and generations.
Another alternative (for the ones without a rich dad) is getting your designs made in a workshop. There are many workshops in Zaveri Bazaar, Mumbai where karigars will execute your designs. This could be a good way to start off.
The job involves visualising and creating attractive jewellery pieces, keeping in mind the latest trends and customer needs. As a jewellery designer you are supposed to keep abreast of the various gems and metals, manufacturing details, traditional and contemporary designs and ornaments, financial aspects of the business and also the latest fashion. The job would interest those who want to stay away from 9 to 5 routines or convert their hobby into a career.
The diamond kings' arrest notwithstanding, this still is a lucrative business. The margins you make are pretty high. If you make a name for yourself, your designs could be the talk of the town. Indian craftsmanship has always been appreciated. The Indian market too is moving away from traditional jewellery to work wear. Platinum is the latest metal making its presence felt."
Abilities & Traits Required
This upcoming profession requires creativity in abundance and a knack to catch trends early on. People want newer designs and you should be able to keep pace with that. Accessory designers need to be creative, have an eye for detail, keen observation, fashion awareness and precision. This field requires working with materials, which are expensive and precious. A meticulous and precise approach is required.
You got to have an excellent aesthetic sense, imagination, and ability to innovate and create designer pieces. Keen observation and concentration too are necessary to succeed in the field.
If you wish to take up this career you can't be colour blind. A good sense of colour coordination and fashion consciousness is imperative here. Also, you should be ready to adapt your creations to suit your client's specifications and market requirements. Good communication and planning skills too make a positive difference.
Previously, the only way one could learn this craft was as an apprentice to an experienced jeweller. These days there are various courses in jewellery that will teach you the craft. Of course you got to have a talent for designing.
Courses in jewellery designing can be done after class XII. You will learn amongst other things Elements of Fashion, Gem Identification and Colouring, Metallurgical Processes, Drawing Techniques, Design Methodology, Computer Aided Designing, Traditional and Modern Processes, etc.
The course will also give you basic information on different kinds of stones, colour schemes in jewellery designing, design themes, presentation and framing of designs, designing individual jewellery pieces, men's jewellery, costume jewellery, jewellery costing, etc.
As with most creative fields, the work is tedious and the rise steep. It is advisable for new entrants to first find work with an established designer, or jewellery house and learn the ropes. At this stage, the pay is not very high, ranging from Rs 7000 - 8000.
Once successful in establishing a name for yourself, you can command your own price, depending on the exclusivity of the design and the clientele you are catering to.