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Starting silversmithing course

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  • Starting silversmithing course

    My lubbly jubbly other half managed to nab the last place on a course for the new year! (very sneaky of him imo, i rang up for it 5mins after they told me to and it was taken,then he got my friends to fib to keep me from booking another day....he also had the college people on strict instructions to not let me book anything else too!)
    My question is, what is a good first project? Should i just go in empty handed and hope the instructer pushes me in the right direction,or should i take a few images and ideas to start working on. I'm torn between learning how set glass cabs first (tho if i do this it'll turn into a job and money making venture....tho that could be good and help me buy all my tools eventually) or make something totally selfish just for me!
    Anyone have any good source websites? I could do with a few ideas but have no idea what is easy and what isn't!

    Oh i'm so excited!!!


  • #2
    I can understand your excitement, I did a course years ago and enjoyed every minute.
    The teacher had set out the first few lessons so we could get the basics and then we went off with our own designs. Our first project was a plain copper ring with a hammered pattern.



    • #3
      I started the NCFE Jewellery Making Metals course in November, for a year part time evenings.

      The 1st lesson started with making a simple Metal band ring. As this uses the basic techniques needed in metalwork.

      Using a Jewelers Saw
      and Polishing

      We then went on to Stone setting and the next project is chain making. I believe we make up the remaining year expanding on our skills and learning new ones by incorporating them into our designs to build a Portfolio.

      If you have a good idea of what you would like to learn the course is flexible enough for you to learn want you would like. And definetly start jotting those design ideas down into a sketch pad, you will need them!

      Be prepared for the expense of materials. I always practice with copper for the 1st couple of attempts and then move onto Silver. My boyfriend has also spent a couple of hundred pounds on the basic workshop equipment so I can practice at home. (once a week isn't enough for my addiction!!!).

      Have a look at Cookson Gold for supplies and Kernow Craft for Cabachons for Stone setting.

      Hugs & Kisses


      • #4

        I was having a hard time emotionally last summer, and thought I needed to book a course to learn something new. Randomly, I chose jewellery. But the course was about 6 weeks away, so I bought a book and some tools, and taught myself piercing, soldering, rub-over settings, texture, annealing and pickling etc....

        By the time the course came round, I already knew everything they had to show me!

        Conversely, I attended a drawing for jewellers course, and was so behind everyone else I was frustrated for most of the day.

        I think with most short courses, the instructors are happy to facilitate what ever progress you want to make - so if you want to learn techniques but not necessarily work on anything specific, thats okay, as well as going with a clear idea of what you want to make and working just on that.

        For christmas I was bought a wax carving course, and I have a photo-etching course coming up - I'm stopping myself from trying out the techniques at home! Enamelling courses are really expensive, but I don't have a kiln at home, so I might try a course in that at some point. I'm planning on trying out some PMC and epoxy resin in the next few weeks. I'm very new to jewellery making, so I'm trying a bit of everything to see what I like.

        I hope you have a great time on your course x


        • #5
          You are sooooooo lucky purpleglass!! I would love to do such a thing.

          My dad and I have talked about doing this kind ofcourse and I would love to do it. He bought me a bookthat tellsyou how to did it and has small projects in it.

          I am 30 next month and I amthinking that I may get him to do a course with me for my birthday.

          I think you should takesome designs and ideas with you,just so you have some inspiration.

          Where are you doing it? just being nosey!



          • #6
            I did a silversmithing course a couple of years back.If your a beginner the teacher will probably recomend starting off by making a ring.
            Its interesting and kind of hard work.I discovered I wasnt keen on using a torch flame to melt the solder so I now stick to beads and wire.

            By all means have some ideas and take drawings with you but start off with something simple to see if you like it.


            Poisoned Apple Theatre - Handmade Crafts on Facebook


            • #7
              Very exciting. I just finished a 12 week course and loved it. I started off making a simple band which I've panished to give it a hammered texture, then I did a ring with a round turquoise cab setting. And my 3rd project is a bracelet made from links but unfortunately I ran out of time. I'll need to finish it at home, but I don't have the right tools yet Oh and I also made a thick simple bangle and just need to hammer it still. So all in all very productive.

              I am confident enough now to make rings and bangles and once I've sold enough of them, I'll def book myself on another course.

              Definitely keep a scrap book! And just draw pictures of ideas when you get them. Your tutor will be able to point you in the right direction.

              Enjoy it!



              • #8
                When people come on my beginners course, I expect them to be beginners and not people who've already mastered the basics. Otherwise, they become bored whilst I'm showing the others the basics. I would take along a sketchpad and pencil with some ideas for designs but would keep an open mind about what I expect to make.
                Best wishes



                • #9
                  If you're in doubt - ask!

                  When I taught myself the basics before doing a course, I emailed the college who forwarded it to the tutor, to make sure the course content would still be appropriate.

                  Give them a ring and see what their recommendations are...


                  • #10
                    C&G Course

                    I have done the City and Guilds level 2 course. It lasted a yar and was one night a week and stacks of homework.

                    It was a brilliant basic course. I learnt all the basic techniques and had to make three projects to pass. A necklace with pendant and chain, a brooch with pin and clasp and a ring.

                    All these I made in copper and brass first and even now I still love working in copper and brass as well as silver, I just love the colours that you can achieve with those metals.

                    As for tools, yes I bought a beginners kit from Walsh and then spread out and i buy bits from B&Q some from Cookson and some from Squires depends what i am looking for.

                    The piece I am working on at present is nearly finished so if anyone is intersted Iwill post a photo of it when its finished.

                    Basically enjoy the course and have fun you will learn so much and with teacher looking over your shoulder you have to get things right which helps later on when you are on your own.

                    Take care
                    Take care






                    (A photographic website that I sort of manage)


                    • #11
                      I think this course is going to be a bit of a mad one, lots of people have been on it for years and i think everyone helps everyone else. I love the sound of this as you take alot of peoples ideas and suggestions and get to pick how you think you want to do something, rather than just being told "this is the way you do this and thats that" (which is what i got on the first stained glass course i found....i told him to bugger off and did it my way anyway then found out i actually knew more about glass than he did and left!)

                      My friend has said just go in with a few ideas, then nose at what everyone else is doing, then pick what to do and get advice on whats needed to do it.

                      Bouncebouncebounce! Oh i so need something like this atm, life have been a "little" chaotic for me for the last few weeks!



                      • #12

                        does anyone know any silversmithing courses in west sussex