Design a sparkling career for yourself

Design a sparkling career for yourself

Giving us some insight into the fascinating world of jewellery designing, Pooja Juneja talks about how this particular field utilises one’s creativity and talent to produce wearable art.

Jewellery designing is a fascinating career, one that makes you want to spend hours trying to appreciate the sharp cuts of a rare gem, or to let your eyes drink in rare colours such as jade green and borealis grey. After all, the jewellery piece you create will become the centre of somebody’s universe. Apart from being interesting, it also paves the way for a career that pays you well and makes you rub heels with the best in the business. Propelling this career further is the fact that India is the world’s largest gem and jewellery market.

The art of jewellery designing is now being approached with a certain reverence, to the point where jewellery designers now stand at par with fashion designers. Jewellery houses are coming up in droves, not only in metros, but also in Tier-II and Tier-III cities.

Hence, the probability of multiple openings for students equipped with a jewellery designing degree is on the rise. With credible talent, you can also be the proud owner of your own jewellery business. Whatever your mode of income, you will be expected to deliver to clients more modern, unique, iconic and edgy jewellery designs that make a style statement. Gold may still be the king, but there are other alluring gemstones and metals that can easily outshine gold.

Many jewellery designing institutes in India have long-term, short term as well as distance learning programmes in their curriculum. For joining a diploma course, graduation is the basic requirement, but you can pursue short-term courses straight after your class 10 or 10+2. You can do a BDes (Bachelor in Designing) from accredited design institutes. For an added advantage, specialised courses are available too. Some of the courses available are:
Certificate course in metal setting
Certificate course in digital photography
Basic Meena (Enamel) course
Introduction to diamond grading
Short-term course for refinery assistant

What will you learn?
A budding jewellery designer will be taught about grading gems, testing gems, making moulds out of rubber and models out of wax, enamelling, polishing, electroplating and financial aspects of jewellery making. Furthermore, many institutes give students computer-aided training in jewellery designing with the help of softwares like Rhino, Jewel Cad, Auto Cad, 3D Studio, etc. With the help of Photoshop and Corel Draw, students learn about volume and weight of gems and metals.

Outside the class, the focus is on providing first-hand exposure to students. Many institutes join hands with jewellery houses or individual designer for student internships. Many a time, students are given the opportunity to design for fashion shows as well. Many institutes even send their students for international exposure.

One of the recent additions to this particular field is metal clay craft which is a crafting medium consisting of very small particles of metal like silver, gold, bronze or copper mixed with an organic binder and water for use in making jewellery, beads and small sculptures.
Some of the top institutes that offer
 jewellery courses in India are:
National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

National Institute of Fashion Technology
Pearl Academy, Naraina, New Delhi
Indian Institute of Gems and Jewellery, Mumbai, Maharashtra
J D Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi

Skills under play
Designing jewellery is no child’s play. It takes oodles of creativity and skill and an excellent eye for detail. Plus, the designers should be able to catch the pulse of the changing trends and keep innovating with the times. Some of the mega-trends doing the rounds are tribal jewellery, DNA jewellery (it is made keeping in mind the unique traits of an individual), visionary jewellery (inspired by the graphic and print art movement, it consists of motion, techno-sensitive engineering and 3D effects) and minimalistic jewellery.

Apart from having a good aesthetic sense, a jewellery designer should have an end-to-end knowledge of all the aspects of jewellery designing, namely –designing, manufacturing and a jewellery piece’s eco-viability and so on.

But the challenge doesn’t end here. A jewellery designer should also take care of protecting the jewellery design he has painstakingly worked upon. Many a times, designers wake up to the danger of cheap replicas of their designs flooding the market as soon as their work hits the shelves. It’s the biggest challenge in the Indian market today. Moreover, many Indian customers are not aware of certification standards, and so a jewellery designer should ably guide consumers on this front. The designer should take care to maintain the fine line between market research and historical research in order to rule in the business.

What scope do you have?
The job paradigm in this field is vast and it ranges from freelance designers, gem appraiser, gem exporter, stone setter, production manager, accessory designer, jewellery repair expert (working on antique pieces and heirloom jewellery), gem polisher to jewellery professors, sales agent for allied services like packaging, security and insurance and so on. The entry-level salaries range between Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000. More experience translates to better pay packages. For freelancers, the market is wide and open and your earnings are directly proportional to your creativity and
marketing skills.

In all, jewellery designing is an interesting field with oodles of creativity and fashion.

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