Explore the effects created by combining different metals in one piece of jewellery and learn basic stone-setting techniques. You will also develop an awareness of design problems and solutions that arise when combining several materials together, and learn correct planning and design awareness when embarking on a piece.
You are encouraged to make one or more pieces of work based on the examples and demonstrations given. You might just want to spend the course experimenting and making numerous test pieces for use in future projects, or you might want to bring work in progress, where advice and guidance is needed as to how to proceed in order to find the best solution, but work has to be relevant to the course content, where metals are combined and/or stones are used in simple settings only.
Materials and techniques covered:
• Soldering base metal sheet on silver sheet, dealing with different material thickness and the problems that may arise.
• Soldering wire on silver sheet (copper, brass or gold).
• Twisting silver with base metal or gold wires together, soldering, using drawplates to create stripy effects, using the rolling mills to flatten and create patterns.
• Making a bezel setting for a cabochon stone using fine silver or gold, and setting the stone.
• Finishing surfaces using oxidisation, pumice and surface texturing with different abrasives.
You are shown samples and test pieces made by the tutor using all the combined metals, with a talk about the techniques used. The tutor will also demonstrate how a basic bezel setting is made on a silver ring and how the stone is set. You then embark on your own pieces after discussing them with the tutor, so planning can be done properly.
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.
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.
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)
Any images for inspiration are welcome. (The tutor will provide especially selected books from the library.)
You are encouraged to bring as many materials as they would like to use as possible, especially if you intend to use gold, as well as your own tools if you have any.
Silver sheet and wire and tube and the same in any base metals (copper, brass, bronze)
Gold sheet and wire, in 18 carat and above, fine gold wire, 18 carat medium gold solder.
The shop does not stock gold, but you may want to work with it. A useful supplier of tools and metals: Cookson Precious Metals, Hatton Garden.
Please bring any tools you have, any stones or metal: If you want to use gold, please buy it beforehand. 9 carat gold is a difficult material to work with, as it can discolour. The tutor would therefore recommend gold of a higher carat (not stocked in the shop). The shop stocks a great selection of copper and brass if you decide to use base metals.
Available from shop:
Silver sheet and wire in different gauges, as well as a small selection of tube
Copper and brass sheet and wire
Available from tutor:
The tutor will bring a selection of stones. Try to avoid very soft ones as they are harder to set. Flat pebbles are a great alternative and also fossils have been used by previous students which are often cut flat on one side and polished. Please plan to use simple cuts that can be set in a rubover setting and not irregular sculptural material.
This is a short questionnaire to make your time at West Dean as enjoyable as possible. Please email your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Your experience - it would be very useful to know how much jewellery you have made before, whether you have attended any courses etc.
2. Interests/hobbies or any skills.
3. What do you want to achieve on the course - it would be great if you could make some sketches of pieces, notes, maybe think of different colour combinations of metals and stones.