Making jewellers’ tools for texture and design with Jesse Bert

Ref: SLW08854



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About this course

Learn how to make stamping and texturing tools for jewellery using water hardening steel, and your own die to make volumetric shapes with the hydraulic press. You will focus on technique and materials use enabling you to produce high quality tools to last a lifetime. You should be able to go on to design your own tools and products in innovative unique ways. This course is referred to in the brochure as Surface and volume - toolmaking and the hydraulic press .

Course Description

You will be lead through two principal projects: the making of steel jewellers' tools for texture and design (also generally known as "chasing tools"), and secondly, creating dies for the hydraulic press. Each of these two main projects will have several accompanying techniques which you will master and apply in order to successfully achieve finished products.

To make chasing tools, you will first fabricate a specific design in steel stock, then complete the tools through application of heat treatment and tempering. Making moulds for the hydraulic press requires a special type of riveting method used to unite a brass and plexiglass layer then cut with a jewellers' saw. The final process will be the application of the tools to successfully produce textured volumetric shapes with the hydraulic press.


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


  • Copper and acrylic sheet for set projects, copper wire, sandpaper and tool steel.

What students need to bring

  • Silver sheet, 7cm x 7cm x 0.8mm (optional - only if you want to work a sample in silver)
  • Any jewellers' tools you already have
  • An apron


Jesse Bert

Jesse Bert apprenticed as a Tool and Die maker prior to university. He received his MFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from East Carolina University. A member of Klimt02, he has taught workshops in schools around the world. His work has been shown in museums such as the MAD in NYC, and Franz Mayer, Mexico City.


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

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