Design and make individual professionally finished jewellery. Beginners will follow suitable projects to cover the basic skills. Group and individual tuition will be given in techniques such as piercing, filing, shaping and forming, soldering, texturing and polishing. They will be taught to do rub over setting, chain making and wax carving. Experienced students will follow their own projects in consultation with the tutor and will also be offered one or more the following projects:- Interchangeable piece, rivet with mixed media, hinge locket or box, link project to improve soldering, lost wax casting, fold forming, stamping and pressing. Visual aids will be available as exemplar material and handouts are given as appropriate. More experience students can learn how to wrap a large stone, do bezel settings and progress to claw setting of a large lab created gem. Students will be expected to track and assess their progress on the course. You may need to research and develop design ideas between sessions.
By the end of the course you should be able to:
Research given design themes and apply the design process to your work to an appropriate level;
Carry out the basic technical processes of jewellery making, ie soldering, forming, texturing, filing, emery and polishing, to an appropriate level;
Set stones using a method appropriate to their level: bezel settings, tube settings and finally claw settings.
Carve wax and understand the entire lost wax process.
Be aware of and work to relevant health and safety guidelines.
Who is the tutor?
About the Tutor: Robert Birch
Robert Birch is a silversmith who served a craft apprenticeship and studied design at The Royal College of Art in London. He established his workshop in Edenbridge Kent in 1977 and has maintained his craft practice throughout a career teaching Silversmithing and Jewellery working in various University Departments as well as many Adult Education Centres.
His courses offer traditional and contemporary techniques of Silversmithing and Jewellery and can accommodate both beginners and those with previous experience.
You can see some of his creations on www.robertbirch.co.uk
How will I be taught?
Studio Craft courses provide an opportunity for students to learn and develop skills, techniques and understand how to design for a chosen craft to a higher level. Students will also be expected to research and respond to the design aspects of craft. Tutors will use a variety of teaching methods including demonstration, instructions, one-to-one tutorial guidance, group discussions and critiques.Students will be encouraged to look at the work of other craftspeople and artists, both contemporary and historical and keep a sketchbook/ notebook to record goals/ ideas, processes and progress. It is important to note that craft courses are practical, requiring a degree of manual dexterity. Students will need to participate fully to get the most out of the course. Our courses are taught by qualified and experienced tutors most of whom are practising craftspeople.
Your tutor will give you individual feedback throughout the course.
What do I need to bring with me?
Students have to meet the cost of their materials. You will need an A4 sketchbook, pencil and pen for ideas and notes and a protective apron or overall. Tools are available at the centre although you might like to buy your own after consulting with the tutor. You can bring any items you wish to use in your design e.g. wire, beads etc. There is a charge for materials such as blades, solder and emery paper is included in the fee. Silver is available at approximately £1 - £1.20 per gram, cost will reflect world prices. Students will be required to wear protective goggles for some techniques. Basic goggles are available at the centre but for clarity students are advised to purchase their own; the tutor will give advice.
What can I do next?
Students in the past have progressed to degree level courses and make work to sell.
What do I need to join the course
Everyone is welcome to join this course: no experience or knowledge of the subject is necessary.
This course is suitable both for beginners and for those with some experience in the subject.
Getting to your course
St Faiths Adult Education Centre
St Faiths Street
If you require any information about this location then please call 03000 41 22 22* and quote the Course Code MAI/114114/K/LC.
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