Create your own jewellery – an individual approach with Sarah Macrae


Ref: SSS10549

Suitable for all

Join waiting list

Course full - scroll down for other

About this course

Develop ideas for jewellery whilst learning skills and techniques relevant to your projects. You are encouraged to incorporate other materials in your jewellery including exotic hardwoods, shells, and found objects.

Course Description

Develop a personal vocabulary of ideas for your jewellery making whilst gaining making skills and learning new techniques relevant to your projects. The week begins with a short, structured project and then fabricating, decorating and joining will be demonstrated.

You will increase your understanding of how to make jewellery and how to develop an individual design vocabulary as you gain confidence in your ideas and a new level of creativity. Successful contemporary studio jewellers depend on having a unique and personal quality to the designs they produce. This course will help you to understand more about the process of design and will help you develop a personal vocabulary of ideas alongside learning a range of techniques appropriate to your designs.

As well as basic fabrication techniques and decorative processes you are encouraged to think about incorporating other materials such as exotic hardwood, bone, shell, feathers, paper, acrylic and found materials. You will look at different sorts of cold connections to enable these materials to be combined with silver to make individual and exciting pieces. Your tutor will teach skills mostly on an individual basis where needed, with group demonstrations where they are relevant to the rest of the group. Her aim is to instill confidence and to encourage you to be creative.

By the end of the course you will have gained knowledge of how to design jewellery and the processes to execute these designs. Everyone should complete at least one piece of jewellery.

Several evening events are planned throughout the week, a detailed timetable for your Summer School week will be given to you on arrival. Dinner is included for non-resident students throughout the week to enable participation in these events.

A feature of the Summer School is an immersive learning experience with more time to develop your creativity and embrace further opportunities for creative development beyond your chosen course.

Several early evening creative sessions (5.10pm - 7pm) are planned throughout the week. Extra activities will differ this year in response to social distancing. A detailed timetable for your Summer School week will be given to you on arrival. This will include:

• Short inspirational talks by tutors and displays of their work

• Sign up early evening tutor-led drawing sessions in the garden

• Time to relax or explore in the tranquil West Dean Gardens

• Take a break from your course with some free time on Tuesday afternoon, from 3.30-5pm

• Informal end-of-course group reviews and displays of students' work in studios


Timetable for Summer Schools

Several evening events are planned throughout the week, a detailed timetable for the summer schools will be given to you on arrival.

Arrival Day

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).

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 should vacate their rooms by 10am please.

Course Materials


  • Use of tools and machinery.
  • You will need to purchase silver or copper to complete your project, this can be purchased from the College Shop or in advance from a supplier.

What students need to bring

  • 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
  • Any tools you have marked clearly with your name
  • Please come prepared with a small sketchbook in which you may have collected some images of things that appeal to you (could be of anything) and perhaps a few drawings of things you might like to make. Do not worry if you think you cannot draw; just a few lines to explain your ideas will be fine.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Silver in a variety of forms, sheet, wire and tube as well as consumables such as saw blades, drills, and abrasives.
  • Basic tool kits are available to borrow.
  • The shop stocks all of the materials required for this course. The tutor also carries a range of alternative materials such as exotic hardwood, bone, shell, feathers, paper, acrylic and found materials.
Please note: If you have any definite ideas of what you would like to make and achieve on the course or any previous experience, please email before the course. This will help the tutor plan the best course possible. Metal can be brought in advance from Silver supplier: Argex Limited, Birmingham or Tools, Precious Metal: Cookson Precious Metals, London


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.

Courses of interest

Sign-up to be the first to know

Sign up to our Short Course enews to hear about new courses, late availability and get creative inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.