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Gold spinner

education Updated: Jun 22, 2011 09:45 IST

The lowdown
A jewellery designer can work independently, designing alone or with a small staff and retailing out of some stores. A designer can also work with one of the big brands or a smaller private player as an employee. Aspirants with a good degree will get a hearing at jewellery houses in India and abroad. A jewellery designer these days is tech-savvy, working with 3D and graphic software, though one needs to know about the hands-on technique, mix of metals, stones etc to decide which designs can go from the drawing board to the store shelf

Clock Work
If self-employed:
8am: Start work on designs
10am: Coffee break
10.30am: Speak/meet with individual clients or the stores that stock the jewellery
12.30pm: Lunch
1.30pm: Back to designs
4.30pm: Review the day’s work and designs
6pm: Read up for inspiration
8pm: Done for the day

If designing for a jeweler :
9am: Reach office and run through the day’s worklist
9.30am: Start work on designs
1pm: Lunch
2pm: Back to designs
5pm: Review the day’s work
6pm: Leave for home

The payoff
Since a large number of Indian jewellery designers work for private players, salaries can vary widely, depending on how experienced a designer is and how much s/he is valued by the employer. A designer with a major retailer can get R10,000 to R25,000 a month in the beginning and then the pay can go above R1 lakh a month, depending on seniority and caliber

A knack for illustration
. A keen eye for detail
. An affinity for fine art
. Comfort level with numbers
. Should be able to create new designs
. Must be able to distinguish a good gem from the lot

Getting There
A student with a bachelors degree can go abroad for an internship with a jewellery house or study further at an institute like the Politecnico di Milano. The NIFT graduation programme requires a student to do a 22-week project with a jewellery house, making two or three collections for them. During your internship, you must pay special attention to understand the trends, the production process and learn about marketing before deciding how their idea can be translated into a viable visual language

. National Institute of Fashion Technology (various centres)
. NID, Ahmedabad
. Jewellery Design & Technology Institute, Noida
. SNDT University, Mumbai

Pros and cons
. Extremely creative profession
. Opportunity to travel the world while sourcing material
. Making saleable collections to order can be tough
. Huge pressure during festive seasons
. Not a very well-paying job initially

This career involves hardwork and a lot of experimentation. The industry is growing and one can explore new avenues and experiment with designs Kamal Kumar Gupta, CMD, PP Jewellers Pvt Ltd, Delhi