Make Your Own (jewellery) with WMM Silver – Demystifying this Ancient Craft
Silver workshops to make your own jewellery can vary from tutor to tutor in format, feel, and time frame so why should you pick a WMM to teach and nurture your inner silversmith?
Silver workshops at WMM can be a taster session of a couple of hours to make a ring, bangle, earrings or pendant in sterling silver or they can span a series of weekly lessons to bring you up up to a good standard enabling you to make your own jewellery independently at home, given the correct equipment to work with. Here I shall tell you what you can expect at one of my country-wide ring and bangle silver workshops.
What happens at a 3-hour ring/bangle silver workshop?
These silver workshops are typically held in a dedicated room at art galleries, community or craft centres and village halls. Basically, wherever I can find a suitable and comfortable venue in the local vicinity, and where there are kitchen facilities for a break-out coffee and cake! When you arrive you can settle in with a hot drink or juice whilst Wendy goes through the health and safety aspects of the day and will give you a brief introduction to the history of silver hallmarking and what constitutes sterling silver (or “solid silver” as some people call it).
We will then ensure that you are all measured using ring or bangle sizers and work out the length of wire required to make your piece. Wendy then demonstrates how to cut the wire and file the ends so that they are flush. You have the option to use various hammers to apply a texture to the outside and also to personalise your piece by stamping letters on the inside. At this point you will start working on your own piece with individual support from Wendy to ensure that you’re happy and confident with each stage of the process.
When everyone is ready, we then form the ring or bangle into the correct position for soldering. This is where it gets really exciting as you have the chance to use solder and a torch, but don’t worry as you will be closely supervised and supported! It’s not difficult, you just need to be shown exactly what to do and when to stop and Wendy is literally by your side at this stage. Once tightly soldered, the piece is pickled to get rid of the fire stain and then formed, sanded down over the join, “filled in” with missing hammering and polished to a fine shine and BINGO, you’re done!
How do you feel afterwards?
Without fail, every student who has ever passed through my doors, leaves with a massive smile on their face, walking just a little bit taller and with a huge sense of achievement at what they’ve accomplished in the space of a morning or afternoon of me-time. I like to make things fun and light whilst giving extra value to my learners. Comments I’ve received range from “I never knew there was so much to it!” to “You’ve demystified the whole process” and one of the nicest from an experienced learner “You’re the best teacher I’ve ever had!”.
If you would like to demystify and experience this ancient and artisan craft click here to see the available silver workshops planned. If you cannot find anything suitable, get in touch and I’ll see what I can do to arrange a silver workshop in your area. You can also gather a group of friends together to organise a private silver workshop . They’re ideal as gifts, birthday celebrations and hen nights.
Note! Men are JUST as welcome as women to my make your own silver workshops – I often have guys in my classes too!
Next up, what happens in a pendant workshop followed by earrings, longer courses, intensive weekend courses and specialist days.