Jewellery remade – recycle silver and gold with Sarah Drew

Jewellery

Ref: SLW12162

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About this course

Remake your old silver and gold chains, earrings and rings into new contemporary jewellery, using simple casting methods, stone setting, fusing, wire-work, chain-making and texturing techniques. Some soldering experience would be useful.

Course Description

The main aims of this course are: to make old jewellery wearable and attractive again; to learn new jewellery-making skills, such as stone setting and chain-making, which not only embellish and improve old jewellery, but can be used in the future to make pieces from scratch; to complete several re-make projects, so pieces can be worn home straight away.

Your tutor encourages you to be brave and creative using your old jewellery as a resource material to combine with other metals (silver, copper, brass), found materials (such as driftwood, twig slices, sea-glass and semi-precious stones) and recycled beads to create contemporary statement pieces. You are welcome to carry out some simple mending, but the main objective of the course is to make new interesting jewellery using old pieces. This is not only a frugal, sustainable way of making jewellery, it also has a personal, historical link as you know the history of the jewellery, where the silver or gold came from, who gave it to you etc. The jewellery will have meaning for you, re-worked to wear in a modern way.

By the end of the course, you should be confident with soldering silver or gold, making handmade chains, simple rub-over stone-setting, finishing, texturing and polishing, as well as seeing the potential in using what you have. You may well finish at least three projects to be able to wear home, and probably more. Your tutor will also be happy to advise about setting up a simple workroom, so you can continue re-making silver and gold jewellery when back at home.

Some soldering and general jewellery-making skills prior to the course would be useful, but not essential.

Timetable

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 until 9pm, 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

Included

  • The course fee includes basic materials shared amongst the group and silver for the set projects.

What students need to bring

  • Old bits of silver jewellery – check for hallmarks or stamps that say 925
  • Own pliers/snips if you prefer to use them
  • Old jewellery and beads
  • Semi-precious stones and pearls
  • Any found materials, such as: rusty metal, driftwood, twigs/branches, wood, worn beach plastic, sea-glass, broken pottery, string, cable, wire, etc.
  • An apron
  • Something to tie your hair back with, if it is long
  • Shoes that cover your feet (no sandals or flip flops or high heels)

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Silver can be purchased from the College Shop, which stocks a range of sheet, wire, rod, tube and findings. These will be available in set sizes and lengths, suitable for a wide range of projects.
  • A very small selection of gold wire and sheet, beads and findings
It’s good to sort out your jewellery boxes and bring any sterling silver or gold jewellery with you (not silver-plated or gold-plated, as they aren’t any good for soldering). Old earrings, brooches, broken chains, old bangles, bracelets and rings are all very useful. Pieces without stones already set in are easier to re-make. Broken beads are also useful for putting together mixed media necklaces, for example. Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes stout covered footwear, i.e. no open-toes or sandals, and safety boots, if specified.

Tutors

Accommodation

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

Courses of interest

Interested in a career in metalwork?

Our Foundation Degree in Metalwork will enhance your employment prospects, give you the skills to set up as a self-employed craftsperson or allow you to continue to higher education. Encompassing both silversmithing and blacksmithing, you will learn practical skills, material properties, placing your work in a broader context and historic metalworking techniques. Find out more

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