With India being the largest jewellery market in the world (worth around Rs. 70,000 crore domestically), a career in jewellery designing can be extremely lucrative.
While the predominant focus has traditionally been on gold, in recent years the industry has slowly shifted its focus to gems and other precious stones, thus significantly widening the scope of jewelery designers. Read on to find out more about a career in jewelery designing.
Jewellery Design Courses:
Previously, the only way to learn jewellery designing was via an apprenticeship with an established and experienced jeweller. Nowadays, there are several different types of institutes which offer diploma and certificate courses in jewellery designing that are economical, time-efficient, and up-to-date with modern trends and techniques.
These institutes do not discriminate in terms of your previous educational/employment background, but having a fine arts or design background invariably helps. They usually require an applicant to sit an entrance examination and/or may ask for a portfolio of work to be presented.
Check with individual colleges and institutes for their procedures. Some institutes where you can study jewellery designing in India are:
• NIFT, New Delhi.
• Indian Institute of Jewellery, Mumbai.
• Jewellery Design and Technology Institute (JDTI), Noida.
• SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai.
• South Delhi Polytechnic for Women, New Delhi.
• Small Industries Service Institute, Chennai.
• Jagannath Rathi Vocational Guidance and Training Institute (JRVGTI), Pune.
Longer study programmes can cost between Rs. 65,000 to Rs. 1,80,000, while short-term courses range from Rs. 15,000-50,000. Note that universities and colleges abroad do offer programmes in jewellery design as well, but will cost significantly higher.
Employment Options In Jewellery Design:
As a jewellery designer, you do have a few varied options as to where to work. You can:
• Work with a jewellery designing firm
Depending on your level of training, you can start off either as an intern or a junior designer. The majority of these cater to the domestic market.
• Work with a jewellery export house
This option is again, either as an intern or a junior designer, but with designs that are geared for customers overseas. A great option for designers who prefer their creations in more international designs.
• Start up your own firm or export house
This is a pricier option, but extremely rewarding if you’ve got an entrepreneurial spirit to go along with your creative talent. Plus, you get to be your own boss!
• Work as a freelance designer
This option allows you a lot more freedom in general: you can take on assignments from designing firms and export houses, work directly with jewellery stores, act as a consultant to film, television, and stage productions, consult for magazines, or even be commissioned by individuals.
The Jewellery Designing Profession:
The profession of jewellery designing can be broadly divided into spheres: design, and production. When working freelance, or in the early days of starting your own firm, you handle both aspects yourself. In designing firms, however, a distinction is made between the two.
Design activities include:
• Consulting with clients and/or other stakeholders of the final product;
• Brainstorming and other conceptualising activities as regards the design/updating of the final product;
• Sketching out ideas, either on paper, or using computer software towards the client’s vision and needs.
Production activities can include, but are usually not limited to:
• Electroplating; and,
Tips for Choosing a Career in Jewellery Designing:
• If you’re thinking of a career in this field, being a person who is creative is by far the most essential prerequisite. You also need a reasonable sense of design, and the drive to keep your knowledge and skills updated when it comes to changing trends and continually-improving techniques.
• Industry trends show most jewellery designers start their careers earning anywhere between 7,000 to 10,000 rupees a month; with experience come increases to Rs. 20,000 and beyond. Top-rated designers can even receive over a lakh a month.
• Job vacancies are usually not advertised, so getting a foothold in the industry can be a bit challenging. Work on your contacts and keep networking until you can firmly establish yourself as a serious and dedicated professional. A strong portfolio is essential in order to impress employers.
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