Diamonds are women’s best friend and shall always be. The art of jewellery making can never die until women are alive! In fact, after clothing, adornment was the next thing man learned. It wasn’t the point of interest for women alone. Men have been doing the same since Stone Age. Bones, beads, twigs, leaves, flowers, stones – man/woman used all they could to deck themselves. We have come a long way since then. The context may have changed but the content remains the same – beautification. Ready to wear jewellery, whether real, artificial or junk is now easily available over the counter or online. With never before designs and brands, women are spoilt for choice.
However, to beautify oneself is one thing; to be able to ideate and re-create ornaments is another. Imagine being thrown a few stones and strings. Do you envisage something that you could use to beautify? Then, this wizardry folks is jewellery designing for you. Seemingly arduous, but all you need is a creative mind, fancy for jewels and a passion to adorn. A course in jewellery designing will adept you with the rest.
The various subjects in the jewellery designing course prepares the student to take on arenas like designers, gemologists, diamond assorters or merchandisers in the industry or become entrepreneurs.
Study of gems (over 300!), grading diamonds, CAD and history are a few subjects that are covered. The most interesting part is of course learning the art of making jewellery itself. For this, design (ways of rendering bead, stone or metal in your design) and craftsmanship (metalwork) forms the crux of this course. From simple bead forms to complex metal and stone jewellery, students get hands-on training to convert their ideas into reality. Designers learn the basics and complexities of designing any type of jewellery, many a times using inspirations.
Jewellery designers work with high end boutique stores, jewellery manufacturers or jewellery sellers. A beginner in the industry can start with at least 15 to 20 grands per month. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, over half of all jewellery designers are self-employed. They typically design and sell their stuff online. Most of them have their unique style characteristic to their brands. Some of them also create custom pieces of jewellery for clients, including individuals and large companies.
Considering that India is one of the highest consumers of gold, it is a little perplexing that only a handful of colleges in India offer this course. GIA, Mumbai (world’s foremost authority on diamonds), offers graduate courses in this area. A research on Google will yield a handful institutes that one can choose as per proximity.
Vogue Institute of Fashion Technology, Bengaluru, offers three year programs, a variety of diploma courses and certificate courses as well, which create a unique opportunity for students to learn, develop, innovate and exude excellence in the field. VIFT’s Bachelor in Jewellery Designing and Management program, which one can join after 10+2, prepares its students not only for jewellery designing and manufacturing, but imparts managerial skills as well. An industrial visit to jewellery manufacturing hubs in India is a part of the curriculum. This institution focuses towards creating an amalgamation of contemporary culture and the sociological mutation of one’s traditional past. It trains students to become professionals with the blend of talent and the right professional training to be absorbed by the multimillion dollar global jewellery industry.
If the above has excited you enough, then yes it is for you. A jewellery designer can opt to work behind the scenes. Brands like Geetanjali, Tanishq, Nakshatra that exhibit such varied and unique designs are all artworks of some jewellery designers. For the outgoing soul, entrepreneurship and brand development would be a more gratifying experience. They can enter jewellery design competitions, like the American Jewelry Design Council New Talent Competition, that are typically held annually and are judged by leading designers. These professional competitions offer participants an opportunity to cultivate valuable industry connections and increase potential sales.
So what are you waiting for? Bring forth your inner gem and get set to dazzle!!
– Ritu S. with inputs from Nishank Kariappa
(Nishank has been a jewellery professional with over 10 years experience in operations management, gemology, designing, product development, production, merchandising, sales and marketing in India and abroad. He is presently GM at VIFT. Ritu has been associated with various reputed colleges in Goa, Bangalore and Vadodara as faculty in the field of fashion design.)