BENCHspace 8 week Jewellery Beginners Course
This course offers EITHER a morning option (from 10 - 1pm) on Monday mornings commencing on 13.01.20, OR an evening option (from 6.30 - 9.30 pm) on a Tuesday evening, commencing on 14.01.20.
The beginners’ class is designed to be an introduction to many of the foundation skills and jewellery making techniques needed to begin to make your own designs. Each session a new technique is introduced by tutor demonstration and explained in detail in the course notes. The accompanying notes are all in a week by week booklet (written by your tutor) outlining each session and each week builds on what you have learnt in the previous session to build your knowledge and understanding. The beginner’s course is about introducing you to as many processes as possible and is based on the acquisition of skills. This course is not outcome based i.e. we do not aim to make a finished piece of jewellery each session, although you will finish approx 4 pieces (dependant on yourself). Each three-hour session is designed to give you maximum hands-on practical time in the workshop, getting used to how to select, hold and use the tools efficiently.
Your tutor is founder of BENCHspace, Karen Cooke, who has over 20 years of making and teaching experience.
Session 1: An introduction to texturing metal. In this session you will be exploring two different ways of texturing metal; embossing the metal using the rolling mills to create your own patterns and using hammers to create texture.
This session will be using copper to experiment with how to use the rolling mills, the effects that you can expect to create and learning to hammer in different ways to change the surface of the metal.
Session 2: An introduction to the piercing saw. This is one of the most important tools in our toolkit and is used constantly throughout every stage of making. This session is a focus on how to use the saw, how to select and fit sawblades and also how to drill holes in metal so that you can pierce internal and external designs. You will be piercing out a practice piece to explore this technique.
Session 3: An introduction to wire. This session explores how to make your own wire to a specific size and shape. We look at how to make your own jump rings to use in chain making and connections used to make necklaces, bracelets and earrings. How to make decorative twisted wire that can be used in lots of different types of jewellery.
Session 4: An introduction to making earrings. You will make your own silver earrings using silver wire drawn from the previous session and will have your own piece of fine silver to use the techniques in session 1 to texture in any way you choose. You can then practice the skills learnt in session 2, to pierce out an internal/ external design using the saw and pendant drill.
Session 5: An introduction to soldering. We will be learning about how to silver solder by making a silver ring. You will be texturing, cutting, filing, measuring, forming and soldering your fine silver to make a ring of your own design. We will also be looking at how to solder jump rings and the techniques used to solder items of different size and the processes involved of using jewellers’ pickle.
Session 6 and 7: An introduction to designing and making your own jewellery. You will have a quantity of fine silver left that you will turn into jewellery of your own choice. You can use any of the techniques learnt so far to make a pendant, earrings, a ring etc. The tutor is on hand to support you and advise how best to realise your design ideas.
Session 8: An introduction to finishing your work. We look at filing, sanding, and polishing your work to produce different finishes to a high standard. In the workshop we have a barrel polisher, a lathe polisher, and pendant motors and you can explore all the different ways of producing shiny, polished jewellery.
A list of essential tools is also provided if you wish to set up your own workbench at home and a list of trusted suppliers for all your jewellery making needs.
If you will be redeeming a CraftCourses gift voucher on this course, the voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.
What's included in the price?
All tuition and tools are included in course price. If you wish to work in silver this can be purchased from the workshop at an additional charge.
All refreshments (a choice of hot/ cold drinks and biscuits) are included.
Karen Cooke at BENCH space
Church Road Business Centre Church road, Brightlingsea Colchester Essex CO7 0GG
Proper jewellery making has been on my daydreams list for years, so when I saw BENCH Space had moved to Brightlingsea, near my hometown, I leaped on the first beginner course which had space. And it has been the best experience! I knew I'd enjoy it, but it's been one of the highlights of my year!
I was a bit nervous to start with, but Karen is so kind and patient, explains everything so well along with demonstrations, and learning alongside others meant we all learned from each other too. Because you're making things from your own designs, no two pieces are alike, and by the end of the 8 weeks you suddenly realise you have actual skills!
There's an amazing sense of achievement to have made things with your hands, and it's also a wonderful break from the real world - a few times during my course I rocked up in a terrible mood, and making, filing, piercing, soldering and polishing restored me to good temper - a wonderful side effect.
I've come away with two rings, a pair of earrings and the leaping hare pendant of my dreams - and I'm already booked onto the next improver course. I've never been prouder of anything I've made and have worn them all constantly since... can't wait for the next course. Highly, highly recommended - and I'm planning to bring some friends on the ring making taster next year!