Design and illustrate for jewellery with Melanie Eddy

Ref: SLW13324

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About this course

An introduction to jewellery design and illustration – this course explores techniques for generating ideas for jewellery designs, demonstrates how to convert ideas into designs through sketchbook design development and introduces the basics for illustrating your designs.

Course Description

Transforming your creative vision into a piece of jewellery can be exciting. For jewellery designers, inspiration is only the beginning. This course will explore how to transform inspiration into the concept for a piece of jewellery by delving into the jewellery design process. We’ll look at the basics of this process so you can learn how to break down and understand sources of inspiration and use your inspiration constructively to drive the design process. Through a series of visual examples and exercises, we’ll look at how to develop drawing skills to progress your ideas through sketching and design development into jewellery designs.

The course continues with techniques for how to communicate your ideas with others through technical drawing and jewellery illustration. Technical drawing skills assist in planning how to make jewellery pieces accurately, whether you are making them yourself, or communicating with a manufacturer or CAD designer. Jewellery Illustration, also known as jewellery rendering, is a way of presenting jewellery designs formally.

The final day will conclude with us putting into practice the techniques we’ve been developing during the course to work on a colour illustration of a jewel of your own design, using coloured pencil and highlighted with white watercolour and gouache. Your final pieces will be shared amongst the class in an informal presentation and discussion about your inspirations for the jewellery piece. Throughout the sessions, we will be looking at examples of jewellery illustration through the ages from archives both here in the UK and Europe and from practising contemporary jewellery designers.

You will explore:

How to use visual research and other non-visual influences to provide a foundation for designing jewels

How to progress concepts and ideas into designs through sketchbook work and design development

You will be introduced to drawing techniques:

To explore shading light and form

To accurately draw jewellery to scale (technical drawings)

To illustrate jewellery using coloured pencils, and introduce the use of paints in jewellery illustration through white watercolour and gouache paint

To illustrate a selection of metal surfaces and gemstone shapes and types


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • On this course, the College will supply some of the materials, including: A4 sized white paper, grey paper, tracing paper and graph paper, two fine paint brushes and a set of coloured pencils per student, and some white gouache paint, white watercolour paint and masking tape to share amongst the group.

What students need to bring

  • Your sketchbook for taking notes and for drawing out ideas
  • Retractable pencil with a 0.3mm, preferably H lead or a mechanical pencil 2mm, H lead
  • Rubber/eraser (preferably handheld retractable)
  • Metal ruler
  • Hole guide (this is a plastic template with lots of different circles cut out)
  • Sharpener for 2mm mechanical pencil or some sandpaper (your tutor will explain technique to save using up your pencils)
  • Paper smudge stick
  • Graphite pencils in HB, B, 2B, 3B
  • Sharpener (regular) for coloured pencils and graphite pencils
  • Scalpel or craft knife
  • Scissors
  • Something to mix paint on (a palette or even just a plastic container lid is suitable)
  • Cup or container for water
  • Print outs of images you are inspired by or magazine clippings. (You are required to arrive with a good selection and variety of images. These can be magazine cut outs or print outs of images. If cut from magazines – try to bring the whole page or a square/rectangular clipping (not outline cuttings like you would use for a collage).
  • Optional (you might also find these useful but they are not essential):
  • Fineliner pens (pigment liner) in 0.1 and 0.05
  • Templates with ovals, other shapes and ellipses
  • A small shapes template (plastic template with different geometric shapes cut out – circle, square, triangle etc - found in most art shops or online, usually for architects or engineers)
  • Curve templates – static or flexible

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good variety of art materials, including: sketchbooks, retractable pencils with a 0.3mm, H lead, mechanical pencils 2mm, H lead, erasers, metal rulers, hole guides, sandpaper (your tutor will explain technique to save using up your pencils), paper smudge sticks, graphite pencils in HB, B, 2B, 3B, sharpeners (regular), scalpels, craft knives, scissors, palettes, fineliner pens (pigment liner) in 0.1 and 0.05, templates with ovals, other shapes and ellipses, curve templates

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes).


Melanie Eddy - tutor at KLC School of Design

Melanie Eddy

A renowned sculptural jeweller, with pieces held in public and private collections, Melanie Eddy is also a Director of The Association for Contemporary Jewellery, a Maker Trustee for the Crafts Council, and serves in an advisory capacity for a number of industry organisations both in the UK and abroad.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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