Picture of a fashion jewellery design student
Picture of a fashion runway model

Fashion design often evokes images of haute couture – high-end, quality garments made from expensive and unusual fabrics that are seen in glamorous fashion shows. However, this is not the only aspect that fashion entails – what if you’re looking to join the fashion industry but fabrics and textiles aren’t exactly your thing? 

Fashion design is the art of applying design, aesthetics, construction, and beauty to clothing and other lifestyle accessories. Jewellery is a huge part of lifestyle accessories, and while it may not be at the forefront of our minds when we think of fashion, it plays an integral part in completing a fashion ensemble. 

Traditionally in fashion, jewellery was used to complement the clothing – the types of jewellery that could be worn were determined and restricted by the fashion styles and fabrics of the time. Over time, however, jewellery began to shine on its own and was no longer regarded merely as ornamentation for a particular outfit. These days, the jewellery we wear can completely change the way we perceive an outfit, whether as a final touch to complete your everyday look or the highlight of your ensemble to make a fashion statement. Even in high fashion, jewellery is growing in prominence as luxury brands seek collaborations with jewellery designers and jewellery pieces are created specifically for fashion shows. 

Various artisanal jewellery in display case

With increasing attention given to jewellery, the art of jewellery design becomes crucial in the world of fashion. Jewellery and dazzling gemstones contribute significantly to the glitz and glamour that we perceive in fashion, but what most people don’t realise is how jewellery design expertise plays a critical role in elevating and ensuring that the gemstones are shown off to the best of their potential. 

High fashion aside, the importance of jewellery design is also prevalent in people’s daily lives. Most people adorn themselves with jewellery for a myriad of reasons, be it a sign of marital status, indication of religious connection, token of friendship or romance, charm for good luck, or for personal expression. These jewellery pieces often hold great sentimental value and are worn for long periods of time, which makes the expertise of the jewellery designer critical because their designs must be attractive, long-lasting and comfortable for the wearer to enjoy. 

Collage of jewellery design images

Whether you are looking to create one-of-a-kind statement pieces, produce trendy designs for mass-production, or craft bespoke designs that mark special occasions in your customers’ lives, jewellery design offers exciting opportunities for anyone looking to carve out their niche in the fashion industry. 

Picture of JDMIS Jewellery Design Alumni

The Jewellery Design and Management School (JDMIS) is a leading Jewellery School in Singapore and Asia. Its Diploma in Fine Jewellery Design is a highly unique Fashion Design Course in Singapore, a perfect entry point for anyone interested in exploring new opportunities in the jewellery and fashion industry. JDMIS is Singapore’s only specialised jewellery training institution and its several different Diploma coursesprovide students with a solid foundation in jewellery with a focus on both the creative and technical aspects of design. 

Tanja M. Sadow G.J.G.
Dean and founder of the Jewellery Design and Management International School

Pectoral plaque bearing the name of Ramesses II, 13th Century BC - Louvre Museum, France
Cartier - Mackay Emerald and Diamond Necklance, 1931 - Smithsonian National Gem Collection

In Asia people have an inherent love for gems and jewellery and hence we see some of the most beautiful and valuable jewellery designs of investment quality. What few know is that of all the gold worn today approximately 85% is recycled. What this ultimately means is that you could be wearing the same gold as a past King, Queen, Pharaoh or Emperor! The history of jewellery is one of the most fascinating to unravel as we all have a connection, sentimental or otherwise to the jewellery we wear.

As a universal form of adornment, jewellery has survived from prehistoric times. The earliest forms were worn as protection from the dangers of life or as a mark of status or rank.

Pectoral plaque bearing the name of Ramesses II, 13th Century BC - Louvre Museum, France

In the ancient world the discovery of how to work with metals and the development of many intricate techniques was important in the advancement of the art of jewellery. Metalworking techniques have changed over time but many of these processes remain much the same. Even modern mass production techniques are based on principles used in jewellery thousands of years ago.

We are fortunate that in early times gold and jewellery, considered valuable, was buried with the dead so as to accompany its owner into the afterlife. From this we are able to learn much about the people, their styles and what was considered important in their cultures.

Sutton Hoo Shoulder Clasp, 7th Century - British Museum
Sutton Hoo Shoulder Clasp, 7th Century - British Museum
The Dunstable Swan Jewel, 15th Century - British Museum
The Dunstable Swan Jewel, 15th Century - British Museum

The jewellery of the Middle-ages reflected an intensely hierarchical and status-conscious society. Only the royals or nobles were allowed to wear gold, silver and precious gems. More humble ranks wore base metals, such as copper or pewter. Glass was used together with natural gems for its colour and beauty and the fact that is was difficult to distinguish it from other minerals.

Few gems were faceted this early on but polished “en cabochon” a smooth facet-less style of cutting. Glass techniques also gained in popularity, especially the use of ground glasses fired at high temperature onto a metal surface – a technique now known as enamelling. This technique allowed goldsmiths to add bright colour to their designs as, historically, colour was one of the most important factors in determining value. Some jewels of this period had cryptic or magical inscriptions as life was short and dangerous and people believed in protective powers the gems offered.

Renaissance jewellery, 15th
Century - British Museum
Renaissance jewellery, 15th Century - British Museum
Spanish gold and emerald
pendant, 14th Century - Victoria
and Albert Museum, UK
Spanish gold and emerald pendant, 14th Century - Victoria and Albert Museum, UK

By the Renaissance many goldsmiths were trained as artists in sculpture and art and created some of the most amazing miniatures. Enamels were still very popular and often covered both sides of the jewel, and became more splendid, elaborate and colourful. This is when advances were made in cutting minerals which increased the beauty and value of gems and the beginning of faceted gems as we know them today. Many mythological figures became popular as well as the revival of intricate carving of minerals into cameos and intaglios which had been enjoyed by the Romans and other ancient civilisations.

Later changes in clothing fashion introduced new styles of jewellery. Global trade increased and new varieties of gems came to be worn and appreciated. Some of the most impressive pieces were large body ornaments while others more towards nature and a popular botanical movement.

Reproduction gold lion head
Scythian bracelet based on
original from the 8th Century BC
- British Museum
Reproduction gold lion head Scythian bracelet based on original from the 8th Century BC - British Museum
Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire, 10th Century - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire, 10th Century - Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Art Nouveau jewellery element,
Art Nouveau jewellery element, 1895

Diamonds, mounted in silver, began to sparkle more than ever and came to dominate jewellery design as magnificent sets were essential for court life. Around the 19th century there was a huge change both industrial and social, but for jewellery the classical and ancient styles from the past were revived and sought after stimulated by archaeological discoveries in Egypt and Rome. Many goldsmiths revived ancient techniques and imitated the discovered archaeological jewellery.

At the end of the 19th Century an arts and crafts movement developed in protest to the ever increasing advancements in industrialization. Jewellers focused on hand-crafting individual jewels with a variety of lesser known and less valuable minerals. Most gems were cabochons, not faceted, with less symmetrical and repetitive design and more focus on nature with soft flowing curved lines, women often blended with insects creating fantasy and an escape from reality. This developed into the famous Art Nouveau style.

The next important style was produced as a result in difficult times through depression and war, when many craved for glamour. This change in the times brought about a new and different style with angular, geometric patterns which, in contrast to Art Nouveau, celebrated the machine age, while blending this look with the exotic elegance of the Near and Far East.

Cartier New York Art Deco Diamond Sapphire Bracelet, 1947
- Sothebys
Cartier New York Art Deco Diamond Sapphire Bracelet, 1947 - Sothebys
Reproduction Victorian Heart Locket - SteamSect
Reproduction Victorian Heart Locket - SteamSect

Jewellery designs have changed faster in recent years with traditions being challenged by successive generations of independent jewellers who have an uphill task in striving to develop their own unique and distinguishable styles.

Technologies play a large part in the jewellery of today and as these new technologies are introduced at a relentless pace, many traditional jewellers struggle to remain current with new techniques and trends. As artists we would like to believe it is easier in a world where we have so much information at our fingertips but we also loose the space and serenity with the deluge of the information age has brought.

Many jewellery artists and aficionados enjoy travelling back in time, to the ornate highlights of the past, to discover how our ancestors lived and the beautiful jewellery they wore. Exploring the fascinating and creative directions jewellery has taken is both a source of endless inspiration as well as a breath of fresh air in our busy lives.

If you are an aspiring jewellery artist, the top thing you need to succeed (after mastering your skills!) is a good grasp of trends and themes. Exploring the rich world of jewellery through the ages can help you build the right vocabulary for a designer and even identify and combine themes that resonate with you to produce something new and distinct! The JDMIS certification in Epic Jewellery and Contemporary Trends was especially created by me to fulfil this important need.

Tanja M. Sadow G.J.G.
Dean and founder of the Jewellery Design and Management International School

AI-generated jewellery ring design

As the dean and founder of JDMIS, a popular jewellery design and fabrication school, I have met, trained and mentored over 5000 jewellery artists and professionals. I am always looking for ways to stay ahead of the curve and stay relevant in an ever-evolving industry. That's why I am interested to talk about the increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the world of jewellery design.

AI has the potential to revolutionize the way we approach jewellery design and fabrication. Some of the key benefits of using AI in this context include:

  1. Fast-tracking the ideation process: AI can quickly generate a wide range of design concepts, allowing human designers to select the best ones to pursue further and streamlining the design process. This can save a significant amount of time and allow designers to focus on the creative aspects of design, rather than getting bogged down in the early stages of the ideation process.
  2. Expanding design capabilities: As a designer, your creative options are influenced by your training and experiences. Being able to mention design styles you are less familiar with, cultural cues you may not have grown up with, and other key words that prompt the AI can expand your design horizons and help identify possible areas for your further research and design development.
  3. Enhancing productivity: AI can allow designers and craftsmen to focus on the more creative aspects of design, while the AI handles the more tedious and time-consuming tasks of producing colour and style variations at the early stages of the design process. This can increase efficiency and allow designers to be more productive.
Picture of a AI-generated digital jewellery design

While the use of AI has the potential to improve efficiency and expand design capabilities, it's also important to consider its potential limitations and challenges. For example:

  • Integrating AI into traditional design processes may be difficult, as it requires designers to adapt to new technologies and ways of working. For example, designers need to build experience prompting AI tools to be able to extract useful results from the AI’s outputs.
  • No AI generated content is manufacturable (at least using current generation technologies.) AIs are trained on visual queues but are not yet linked to expert systems that can validate and modify jewellery designs to make them meet necessary manufacturing requirements and tolerances, as well as adhere to industry standards for gemstone cutting, setting, wearer comfort and even budget! In our industry, at least, there is no short-term concerns over designers and craftsmen being replaced by AIs!
  • The use of AI in the jewellery industry raises broader questions about intellectual property. This includes questions of plagiarism – where an AI model could be trained on images of another designer’s work and used to generate ‘new’ designs without crediting or remunerating the original designer. Today it is common for AI to be demonised because of these types of misuse – but in fact, our industry has dealt with these challenges for thousands of years! These issues remain valid, but not exclusive to AI technological developments.
AI generated image of a watch-like jewellery

In reality, AI can enhance the productivity of jewellery designers and craftsmen by super-charging the early stages of their design process. As AI becomes more prevalent in the industry, designers will need to become proficient in working with these technologies and using them to help create the pieces they envision.

One new skill that will be increasingly relevant to jewellery designers in the future is ‘prompt engineering’, as designers will need to understand how to work with AI technologies and use them to bring their vision to life. This is a similar paradigm shift that happened a decade ago, when 3D jewellery designers needed to make the transition from being 3d artists, to 3d parametric modellers – building structured ‘models’ instead of directly manipulating the 3D shapes they were creating. Jewellery prompt engineers will build experience with a preferred list of terms, concepts and key words that help them get quick and usable results from different AI models.

However, it's worth noting that creative professionals from more traditional industries such as jewellery may not have access to the technology or contacts in their professional networks to help them explore emerging technologies like AI. This can lead to a divide between those who are able to embrace and utilize these technologies and those who are left behind. Organizations like JDMIS can play a role to minimise this. By working with employers to understand the impact of these technologies and helping to ensure that the skills our students learn remain relevant and useful, we can help to bridge this gap and ensure that our graduates are well-equipped to succeed in an ever-changing industry.

There is indeed concern amongst creative communities about the impact of AI on their industries. Many worry that the use of AI will lead to the automation of certain tasks, leading to job loss and a decrease in the need for human creative professionals. This is especially true in industries such as jewellery, where traditional techniques and craftsmanship are highly valued.

What we must remember is that AI is not meant to replace human designers and craftsmen, but rather to enhance their productivity and allow them to focus on the more creative aspects of their work. While AI can generate ideas and concepts quickly, it still requires human input and expertise to turn those ideas into commercially practical and manufacturable pieces. Moreover, the hardest part of being a successful designer is not sketching ideas – but identifying those ideas that, when taken to market, together with a well-executed brand and customer experience, will lead to stunning, lasting and saleable jewellery.

Picture of a diamond fox AI-generated ring design

In fact, the use of AI in the jewellery industry can actually create new job opportunities for designers and craftsmen. For example, new ‘design’ roles may be needed to program and train AI systems to generate specific types of concepts or to work with new materials. Similarly, if the AI revolution spurs an increase in customization or trend toward uniqueness, more craftsmen may be needed to bring the wider range of designs to life, using their expertise in traditional techniques such as casting, soldering, and setting.

We believe that the future of the jewellery industry is bright, and that the use of AI and other emerging technologies will only serve to enhance the creativity and craftsmanship of human designers and craftsmen. By embracing these technologies and staying at the forefront of the industry, we can continue to create beautiful and innovative pieces that are treasured by people all over the world.

I'd love to hear your thoughts, concerns, and experiences with AI in jewellery! Please leave a comment and let us know what you think about the future of our industry and the role that AI will play in it.


We installed Stable Diffusion on a few of our computer lab PCs and left them to generate several hundred jewellery designs.... not all were great, but there were lots of surprises! Below are a small selection of some of the more 'jewellery-looking' outputs that came from a variety of prompting experiments:
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All images above were created with Stable Diffusion, an open-source text to image latent diffusion AI model created by Stability.AI and released to the public in 2022. You can find out more on their github page: https://github.com/Stability-AI/stablediffusion. This amazing tool is not just open source, but thanks to a very active community growing around AI image generation, there are even simple, non-technical installation options for those that want to try it out for yourselves! What amazing times!

Tanja M. Sadow G.J.G.
Dean and founder of the Jewellery Design and Management International School

Silversmithing jewellery course intro image

Silversmithing is the art of fabricating objects and jewellery from sterling silver or fine silver and is an extremely useful and rewarding skill to pick up if you like one-of-a-kind pieces or enjoy the challenge of handcrafting. There are many options available to kickstart your learning journey, but not all courses are created equal. Before you dive headfirst into the first silversmithing course you chance upon, take a step back to consider 5 things that will make a difference in helping you get the most out of your class.

Course Syllabus

Unless you’re looking for a fun, one-off silversmithing experience, the course that you choose should help you build a solid foundation that will enable you to apply the fundamentals to projects that you undertake in the future. Your course should include exposure to different tools and materials as well as impart a range of basic techniques. 

These include:

  • Fundamentals in shaping raw materials and producing malleable metal sheets and wires that are needed to start any project
  • Essential techniques like sawing, piercing, and drilling that are critical to any silversmith or metalsmith
  • Other important processes to bring a piece of jewellery to life, such as soldering, texturing, stone setting, and professional finishes
Silver Clay toolkit

Tools and materials needed

The tools and materials you need throughout the course should be clearly stated or provided so that you don’t get surprised by hidden extra costs after signing up for your class. It is also a good idea to find out what tools and materials you get to bring home with you after the course – this will ensure a seamless transition for you to continue practicing at home, without the hassle of needing to source for your own tools. 

Some essential tools for silversmithing include:

  • A jewellery bench pin
  • A high-speed hanging rotary drill or bench-top drill
  • A torch
  • Other tools of the trade


A good instructor is critical to a good silversmithing course, and should ideally be someone with practical experience in the jewellery industry. He/she should be proficient in imparting their knowledge and skills to new learners, as well as provide valuable advice and insight for those who aspire to join the jewellery industry. 

Picture of JDMIS Silversmithing (metal clay) class

Class size and learning environment

A safe learning environment is of utmost importance, especially when misuse of tools and equipment can cause injuries. A good silversmithing course must have the proper equipment and safety guidelines set in place in order to ensure the safety of students. The size of your silversmithing class is also something to consider – a small class means that you’ll be able to receive more attention and individual feedback from the instructor on your projects. 

Opportunity for further progression

For those of you wish to take your interest in silversmithing further by pursuing a career or setting up a jewellery business, you may want to consider enrolling in a course in an accredited training school. An internationally recognition certification, or even diploma, upon completion of your silversmithing course will help to open doors should you wish to further your training or find a job in the industry. 

Picture of JDMIS Silversmithing (metal clay) class

The Jewellery Design and Management International School (JDMIS) is a unique school in Singapore, specializing in jewellery training, and offers silversmithing courses that fulfil all five considerations elaborated in the checklist above. Its silversmithing and metalsmithing course covers the fundamentals of metalwork and introduces the use of various tools and materials that participants will be able to take with them even after completing the course. 

Tanja M. Sadow G.J.G.
Dean and founder of the Jewellery Design and Management International School

Fashion jewellery stringing weaving techniques black shell

Fashion Jewellery techniques (stringing, beading, weaving...) are fun and therapeutic; but did you know they can also generate an income if you build a creative business from your passion? Moreover, the majority of successful artisan entrepreneurs in jewellery started or grew their businesses with handmade Jewellery! Have you ever wondered why?

  1. Fashion Jewellery techniques are FAST!
    You will learn commercial tricks to improve speed whilst retaining quality.
  2. Fashion Jewellery SELLS!
    Unlike fine jewellery, where investment decisions come into play, fashion jewellery artists enjoy customers who appreciate style, trends and quality finish without an accompanying high price tag. And this trend is accelerating with Millennials choosing style over expensive heirloom or investment pieces.
  3. Fashion Jewellery Artists need no heavy upfront investment.
    Your design sense, your knowledge, your skill and your connections with quality suppliers are all you need to start and even grow a fashion jewellery business.
  4. Your time is your own.
    Being a Fashion Jewellery artist frees you from the traditional work week and requires no factory workspaces or special selling venues.
  5. Unlimited materials choices.
    Fashion Jewellery artists enjoy the most flexibility and popularity when it comes to working with sustainable materials, upcycled materials, and non-traditional jewellery materials. Your customers are willing and eager to experiment if you have the right story.
  6. Your inventory never goes bad!
    Quality materials last very long and designs that don't sell can be re-designed without damage or loss. Few other businesses offer this flexibility over inventory, just imagine working with food, flowers or technology!

With all of these amazing reasons, is it any wonder so many successful Jewellery entrepreneurs rely heavily on fashion jewellery in their skills portfolio?

Learn more about JDMIS Fashion Jewellery Training

Curious about what you can produce?

The Creative Jewellery Studio is a not-for-profit designer co-operative boutique where JDMIS graduates can launch their brands and maintain a physical and virtual presence. Check out the many high-quality fashion jewellery creations JDMIS graduates are producing and selling at https://creativejewellerystudio.com/ ».

So how do you get started? Our Fashion Jewellery Programme is completely modular allowing you to learn and master techniques while you build your brand and product line. Check out the first of the JDMIS Professional Fashion Jewellery courses below:

Fashion Jewellery 1 - Creative and Essential Fashion Jewellery Knowledge

Professional Stringing Techniques

Stringing on soft wires provides durability and speed to designers working with crystalline materials. Learn about different qualities of soft wire, when to use each, and how to design and create your first pieces of jewellery with a professional looking, lasting finish.

Wirework Foundations

This emphasizes accuracy, skill and speed are an important tool in every fashion designer's arsenal. Learn to create a variety of designs and understand about wire hardness and tensile strength. Build the technique and confidence to ensure future works are made to high standards and learn unique styles & patterns suitable only for wirework designs.

Stringing Pearls and Gems Incorporating Knots

This technique is reserved for higher quality jewels. Learn established professional stringing techniques, alternative stringing threads and the very unique finishing methods which apply to this excellent system.

Chain Maille Jewellery

The history of chain-maille jewellery and its numerous modern weaves and patterns are fun and add a creative dimension to the program culminating with a multi-layered fashionable chain-maille bracelet. Incorporating maille components into stringing and wirework designs can add uniqueness and flair to more traditional design styles.

Absolutely everything included!

We have sourced equipment and materials from around the world and included it in your course. Most importantly, there are no hidden costs! All JDMIS certification courses are fully inclusive of tools and equipment, without spending a penny more. Price is inclusive of hundreds of natural materials, genuine Swarovski Crystals and top-quality findings, as well as a full-set of tools and design board.

View Upcoming Schedules

As a pillar of JDMIS' professional jewellery courses, the techniques, materials and information in the Fashion Jewellery Arts Program is constantly updated to keep up with the changing times! It represents the most formal and complete training available in the Fashion Jewellery Arts anywhere! So why not take the first step and start with FJ100 - Creative and Essential Fashion Jewellery Knowledge

Tanja M. Sadow G.J.G.
Dean and founder of the Jewellery Design and Management International School

Jewellery Design and Management International School, Singapore

Opening hours:
Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 11am-6pm, closed on Friday and Public Holidays
Tel: (+65) 6221 5253
WhatsApp: (+65) 9125 4107

111 Middle Road #01-03/04 National Design Centre Singapore 188969

Closest MRT stations:
- East-West and Downtown Line: Bugis (EW12/DT14) - 8 minutes walk
- Circle Line: Bras Basah (CC2) - 6 minutes walk
Nearby bus service: 2, 2A, 7, 12, 12e, 32, 33, 51, 61, 63, 80, 175 130, 133, 145, 197, 851, 851e, 960, 960e Parking: There is ample space in public parking lots such as at 135 Middle Rd or Bugis +

Troubleshooting Information: