Making chains – jewellery with Lucie Gledhill


Ref: SWE12374

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About this course

This course focuses on chain patterns, including: loop-in-loop chain, rope chain and curb chain. This course is best suited for people who like repetitive making and enjoy the pattern and movement of chain.

Course Description

During this course, you can either dedicate your time to developing technical skills through sampling, or focus on completing one or more pieces of jewellery, such as a ring and earrings or a necklace.

You will learn wire annealing and drawing, in order to change its diameter or cross sectional shape, making and cutting links in various sizes and shapes. You will also cover a variety of solding techniques, using pallions, probe or paste with enamelling solder, hard or medium solder and you will learn when the most appropriate time to use them is. You will practise twisting chains for curb or spiga chain patterns.

The first evening will be spent making a plan for the weekend, which will include estimating the amount of wire you will need, how big you want your chain to be and therefore how big your links will be. You can choose to work in silver wire or copper wire. We will discuss various chain patterns, how they are made and how they relate to each other.

The first day will be spent making a variety of samples in different chain patterns. You can choose from loop-in-loop, rope chain or curb chain. You can make tight link chains, which are of course more time and material consuming. Or you can make open link chains, which are better for necklaces or earrings.

Any of these samples can be used to make chain rings, earrings or necklaces. You will also be taught to make simple hook clasps or how to make attachments for earrings.


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


  • On this course, the tutor will supply some of the materials, including: straights for forming chain links, paper, tooth picks, sand paper and scissors.
  • On this course, the College will supply some of the materials, including: copper wire in 1mm diameter and 3mm diameter.

What students need to bring

  • Please bring chain pattern ideas and designs for necklaces, earrings or rings.

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. Base metals and copper sheet are also available.
Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes stout covered footwear (no open-toes or sandals), plus safety boots and eye protection, if specified.


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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