A Career with Bling

As we all know, everybody loves jewellery, popularly called bling.

Women in particular, adorn themselves with ear rings, hair clips, necklaces, bracelets, bejeweled watches and so on.

And these days, they even go much farther than anyone would have thought possible only a few years ago, getting into piercing, once pretty much confined to earrings, but today being seen in noses, lips etc., and even on tongues.

The constant demand for jewellery opens a wide door for those whose interest lies in the jewellery design profession. New designs are constantly sought not only by consumers but by manufacturers to continue to provide this almost essential addition to the lives of consumers all over the world. It has been said—probably correctly—that almost every person, young or old, rich or poor, owns at least one piece of jewellery.

Of course, there is something to suit every pocketbook. Inexpensive costume jewellery is not only commonly found in every sort of store across the country, but, due to its cost, is extremely popular. As precious metals and more costly jewels are incorporated into the jewellery, the price escalates as well, but in all cases, new and exciting designs are always in demand and will always be popular.

For those seeking a career in the jewellery design field, schools may be found offering just the training needed to get a foot in the door with a good foundation of careful design training combined with your natural talents and the proper attitude.

Every piece of jewellery, from the simplest ear adornment to an intricate bracelet, begins in the same way. The jewellery designer starts with a vague idea, and begins to clarify and perhaps make sketches of this idea, either using the computer or a pen and paper.

From this simple beginning, the steps to the final product is an amazing route to follow.

Humans have been adorning their bodies with some sort of jewellery since the days when cavemen wandered about wearing nothing but animal fur not so much for style but for warmth. In a very short time, some began adding a bit of attractively shaped bone or a pretty pebble to their costume. And the jewellery business was born!

With so many areas covered by the demand for jewellery, from the top of the head to anklets, women in particular are always keeping an eye open for something new and different that will catch their eye.

But women alone are not the only consumers who demand jewellery. Men too, especially in recent years, have begun to wear more and more jewellery. Not too many years ago, few men would consider wearing a gold or silver chain about the neck. Even ID bracelets were not always terribly popular.

Earrings were unheard of and about the only adornment allowed by most men would be a wristwatch and perhaps a ring.

Today not only men wear more jewellery but even many pets wander about with jeweled collars. The popularity of jewellery has never been higher.

The profession of jewellery designer calls for a talented person who is able to visualize new design ideas. While some merely create the designs for large companies that employ different departments, following the designs, actually make the piece(s).

Some designers, of course, not only create the design but then set about making the actual piece from their design. Often these “signature” pieces bring much higher prices, especially once the designer has established a solid reputation. Designer names always command a higher price adding a bit more exclusivity to the product.

These days, as mentioned above, jewellery can still be designed the old-fashioned way using pen or pencil and paper but increasingly the use of the computer and its many programs allows the designer to quickly organize thoughts and ideas on the computer in a quicker, more efficient way than ever before.

Often the actual piece of jewellery may be made using “findings”, that is, jewellery parts that often fill boxes as time passes. From this, the jewellery designer may create a prototype making the piece much easier to view and study.

With talent and skill, jewelers may create their complete pieces from scratch. A model may be formed at first from wax or clay, just as a sculptor might begin a figurine or statue. Once the model is ready and the jewellery designer approves it, the model may be used to create a mold. Soon we have a new and lovely item in 18K gold perhaps.

A competent jeweller may even cut and set precious stones into jewellery.

As to jobs, many jewelers work alone creating and selling individual pieces, while others simply create designs which they sell to large companies in the business of mass production.

As to income, this can, of course, vary enormously. Statistics tell us that the average salary for jewellery designers is around forty thousand dollars a year. While this may not be the highest salary one might desire, designing jewellery often permits the jewellery designer to work at home, thus saving money on transportation, clothing, etc., and also allows the jeweler to work only during the hours desired and at any pace the jewellery designer may find convenient. Any art form requiring creativity, such as designing jewellery, may require the jewellery designer to leap out of bed at three o’clock in the morning to work on a design that just came up.

Most jewellery design doesn’t require college degrees and some designers don’t even go to school for design. They’re simply self-taught, learning by trial and error. This is of course, an iffy route to take and sometimes even the simplest steps, easily transmitted by an instructor, will be missed entirely.

Normally, as in most professions, the better educated and trained the jewellery designer is, the better and more consistent the results.

Sometimes retail stores or boutiques may hire a full-time jewellery designer. The repair of broken pieces can be another source of income. Over half the jewellery designers in the United States today are self-employed. Many, however, maintain a working relationship with one or more companies who often pass work along to them.

For those actively considering a career in the design of jewellery, a number of schools may be found online and many have financial arrangements that may permit most to enroll and begin learning today.