During May and June, my husband and I took a brief course in silversmithing at Warwickshire College. For two hours a week over seven weeks, we learned a variety of beginners techniques including the basics of soldering, texturing on metal and making rings. I have to admit to having taken the course before but it was several years ago now and I really felt in need if a refresher, especially as I now own a lot of the tools that I didn’t have the first time around.
It was a lot of fun going back and relearning those techniques as well as meeting new people who are on creative journeys on their own. We had a very kind and patient teacher (Angela) which always helps and the two hours seemed to fly by rather quicker than we would have liked!
I’m not sure yet whether I’ll be adding many of these techniques to my jewellery but I think it’s always good to know they exist and definitely great to have another string to my bow, should I need it. Even if I don’t make the full transition over to soldering (I love wire wrapping too much!) it might be interesting to mix wire with punched sheet metal. Definitely something to experiment with and a great excuse to use my shiny new jewellery saw!
I’ve discovered from the course that I am a little bit in love with metal punches as a way of adding texture to metal. I may have to invest in some of these in the near future. There is so much that can be done in terms of personalizing jewellery with names and meaningful quotes, not to mention all the lovely abstract patterns you can achieve just from hammering textures repeatedly.
If you live in the Leamington area and are attracted to the idea of working with flaming torches, acid baths and a variety of terrifying machines then you can check out the next available course here (look for JEWELLERY & SILVERSMITHING WORKSHOP).