Explore Practitioners 2: Jeweller/Beading – Clare Chang

The practice of jewellery is one that involves an artisan that uses a variety of materials to create wearable pieces such as bracelets, earrings, rings, and necklace. However, they might also expand this practice to creating jewellery pieces for bag adornment (like key chains). Jewellers are also skilled craftsmen in repairing and appraising jewellery pieces. 

Process Documentation

For a jeweller, the process of creation starts from ideation. This means that the jeweller has a to brainstorm after drawing inspiration from his/her environment. The jeweller I observed mentions that she feels that in her day-to-day life, she is able to draw inspiration. Such as from the weather, like rain drops or the shapes of clouds. In the following stage, is idea finalisation and then the technical work comes in. 
Steps:

  1. Preparing the materials needed by gathering the related materials (the gem stones, wires etc.) 
  2. Experimentation stage/Assembly: this is where the skeleton of the piece comes together
  3. Modification and refinement: this is where the piece of jewellery is almost in its final stage. The jeweller makes the choice of editing her initial design and testing it physically since it is now in full scale and completely tangible  
  4. Final Touches and Polishing: as the jewellery piece is finished, the jeweller is now ready to end all wires and buff the piece with a polishing cloth to ensure that the piece is free from any unwanted working materials. 

Tools Used

The main family of tools that a jeweller utilises are:

  1. Wires (of different thickness, materials and colours) 
  2. Beads/Gems 
  3. An assortment of cutters (Pictured Below) 

Worksite Documentation 

A jewellers worksite as I observed, is also portable. However, the main important thing that has to be available is.a sturdy, stable working surface.  The jeweller usually keeps all her items in a large tool box that she individually packages her different stones/beads. She uses a premade and store-bought tool box to segregate her items such as wires from ring moulds to beads and also keeps the cutting tools together. 

Pain Points

When asked, the jeweller mentioned that this is a craft that is honed over time. There are many minute details that someone first starting out would find tedious and difficult to pick up, let alone master. These are things like the technical skills to being an ideation to life. Wiring is something that is not easy to the beginner. 


Also, the jeweller mentioned that with age, beading or jewellery work could becomes more difficult. She compared it to the practice of sewing, where having to thread the wire through a small opening in beads might become tough for older people who have shakier hands and declining eyesights.

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