General silversmithing with an emphasis on traditional skills with Julian Stephens

Ref: SWE10216

Suitable for all

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About this course

Explore the traditional methods of hand raising, forging, sinking, box making, soldering, finishing and some decorative techniques. Advanced makers can concentrate on more complex projects.

Course Description

This course aims to introduce you to metal forming by raising, forging and scoring hollow work, flatware or boxes. Those with more experience have the opportunity to develop these skills further.

You will learn a range of techniques through demonstration and individual tuition.This course is primarily focused on hammer work, forming over a pre-shaped former, scored and formed, assembly of pre-formed sides, press forming, chasing and repoussé. The tutor will cover the following: Estimating of materials, the properties of metals, use of necessary tools, use of gas torch for annealing and soldering and procedures for metal finishing.

Beginners should be able to accomplish a simple hinged box, bowl or spoon. Advanced students will develop their skills further.

Materials available to work with: silver, gilding metal and copper.


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

  • The materials used on this course ARE NOT included in the course fee. You will need to purchase silver or copper to complete your projects; this can be purchased from the College Shop or in advance from a supplier.
  • Sketch book with a range of possible ideas
  • 8" 2nd cut pillar file (may be borrowed from the College)
  • 8" 2nd cut ½ round (may be borrowed from the College)
  • An apron
  • Something to tie your hair back with, if it is long
  • Enclosed toe footwear (essential)

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Cut metal is available for your project from the shop. A 120mm bowl will cost approximately £80 in 1mm Britannia Silver sheet.
Recommended bullion suppliers: Argex Ltd, Metalor Ltd, Cookson Precious Metals, Michael Bloomstein. Note: Some bullion suppliers have minimum order levels (e.g. £25). Ask for your requirements to be checked against this before placing an order.


Julian Stephens

Julian Stephens has been a practicing silversmith and jeweller for the past 25 years. He has taught at Pruden and Smith in Ditchling and then at his own workshop in Brighton where he has run his own successful goldsmithing business since 2003. He is a member of the British Jewellers Association.


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

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