Decorative beads and small hollow forms in mixed materials with Sarah Macrae


Ref: S3D10935


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About this course

Learn to make decorative beads and small hollow forms for jewellery or miniature containers. Experiment with making patterns for asymmetric shapes, form and surface decoration, using fine soldering and decorative techniques.

Course Description

The aim of this course is to develop ideas for interesting decorative beads, or small hollow forms that may be incorporated into jewellery. You should produce several interesting and unique hollow beads or containers using forming and construction processes in silver or base metal possibly incorporating another material. Decorative techniques such as turning, etching, roller printing and oxidising can be used.

The principal material used on this course is silver but depending on your ideas and inclinations other materials may be incorporated, for example, copper, brass, steel, exotic hardwoods, acrylic, light collecting acrylic rod, soapstone, slate, or silk. There will be a selection of materials available to use but you are welcome to bring their own.

The first evening will have a presentation looking at images of decorative beads and small hollow forms along with with samples and the group will look at different ways to construct hollow forms.

You will be encouraged to spend some time on the first morning thinking and experimenting with materials, drawing or making models while the tutor spends time with each person individually looking at the suitability of their ideas and advising on the best way to proceed to realise their designs. There will be inspirational material and samples available to help anyone unsure about what they want to make. Days 1 and 2 continue with individual help and encouragement offered where needed. Day 3 also continues with individual help and encouragement finishing with a review of the work produced after lunch.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials

What students need to bring

If you want to work mainly in silver please order metal in advance and bring it with you. Your tutor is happy to advise by email before the start of the course – please contact her through the bookings office: 
An apron
Shoes that cover your feet (no sandals or flip flops or high heels)
Something to tie your hair back with, if it is long

Available to buy

Available from shop:
Copper sheet and wire, Brass sheet and wire, Silver sheet and wire

Available from tutor:
There may be a small charge for materials brought by the tutor if students wish to use them. The tutor will supply some of the materials including wood, acrylic, soapstone, lightcollecting acrylic, slate, silk, and steel.


Sarah Macrae

Sarah graduated Brighton Polytechnic in 1981 and has combined her studio practice as a jeweller with teaching part time. A member of The Designer Jewellers Group, she has exhibited at the Barbican Arts Centre (London) for the last twenty eight years. In 2000 Sarah was invited to write an introduction to Jewellery for Crowood Press and she features in several youtube videos. Sarah's work can be seen on Facebook and Instagram.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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