I’m really interested in learning silversmithing, has anyone studied this or maybe self taught? Ive been looking at weekend workshops to get me started. I love the things I make just now, like stamped jewellery, but I would love to be able to make something from scratch and know that every part of it is me!
I learnt the basics like soldering/ annealling/ casting at evening classes run by a local college, it was 3 hours once a week for a term of about 10 weeks. This meant that we could take part made bits home with us to do the steps we were confident with (filing/ sanding etc) and just do the steps we were unsure of/ having difficulty with the teacher. Things like riveting I’ve taught myself using you tube videos.
Sounds really good!
It was - because I had someone watching over my shoulder when needed I didn’t end up melting projects which is what I’d be afraid of doing if I learnt solely by watching youtube videos. I did the classes for about 2 years as there were no proscribed projects after the first ‘how to make a band ring’ one we could just turn up and make what we wanted using the tools that were there. Because it was in a technology room we had access to a range for casting, high speed polishing mops and other big bits of kit that I don’t have at home. It was a small group (for safety reasons) and so when we had something pickling after soldering we would sit around, discuss designs and learn from the mistakes of others. My local college (I’m in Cambridge) still runs courses and its £100 for a 10 week term (3 hours per week), beginners or intermediates.
Thanks for sharing, I really hope to find a local class!
I used to do evening classes which I did for about 2 years. I stopped eventually because although the course was great value for money,the teachers excellent and I really loved it, the cost of silver made it really expensive… and I wasn’t very good at it ( I never got to grips with soldering ) If in the future, money is a bit more abundant, I would love to start doing it again.
There are lots of different classes available, some are college courses but others are private courses at jewellery makers’ workshops. The latter can really be quite reasonable if you look around. It’s all a lot easier than people would have you believe, but the thing with the soldering is practice, practice, practice!
Love Sam x
I started out many years ago at evening class too. I did 4 years with 3 different teachers who all had their different specialities. I managed the AS level as well, though they cut the funding and the hours and the term time (but not the price) before I could do the A level. The course costs but the materials don’t have to - I do use silver but I haven’t neglected the copper that you initially learn with - it’s so much cheaper. And there’s something to be said for brass too. Since then, I’ve done at least one new course each year, perhaps a day or a weekend, just to add knowledge, experiment or advance techniques. I’ve used pewter, etching and casting, glass, silver clay, lots of top-up enamelling techniques, revisited etching (still don’t like the chemicals), anodised aluminium and lots more. Nothing like a bit of variety to find out what you really like to do.
I recently did an afternoon workshop with a local jewellery maker in her workshop. It was a good way to have a taste of silversmithing. Spent the afternoon making a silver ring, learned how to solder, file, etc. Was a really good way of seeing if I like it without committing to a long course. It was £35 for the afternoon and you had to pay for the silver you used. I have to admit I am hooked and I am looking into buying my own equipment soon.
Hi, I am doing a silversmithing course at the moment, with one of the sellers on here, Angie Da Silva, she is based a Higherford Mill Barrowford, Lancashire and she does evenings and weekends. Rachel