A course for novice makers to learn and develop basic silver smithing skills and make some beautiful, individual pieces of jewellery. Led by experienced silversmith and teacher Cat Mills, you’ll be working with silver and also copper, and you can create work in a mixture of metals if you wish.
Places are limited to 8.
Cat will show you some jewellery making techniques and examples, and help you to familiarise yourself with the tools needed before starting. You’ll also get an overview of the possible projects you can make during the course, and time to digest and think about what you’d like to make.
Traditional jewellery making: As a group you’ll look at examples, and try effects like hammering, lettering and patterning, and then embarking on your own simple projects including rings, bangle or earrings, using what you’ve learned.
Who’s it For?
No prior experience is necessary, but you’ll be working in a workshop environment with hot metal and sharp hand tools; come prepared for an environment that will be noisy (hammering metal is not peaceful!), and where manual dexterity is an advantage. You’ll be sent a Health and Safety form to read and sign before you come.
You will need to pay Cat direct for the materials you use. Silver is charged at £1 per gram, and most projects will use between 5 to 10 grams. We will weigh your projects as you go, so you can understand the value of the materials you’re using and plan other projects according to the depth of your pockets.
As a rough guide – as it will depend massively on how big your pieces are:
Rings £4 – £6
Bangles £10 – £25
Earrings £5 – £10
Costs can be reduced if you use a mixture of copper and silver. This is also a beautiful way of giving contrast to your work.
Cat has an ethically conscious approach to her work and loves to recycle scrap sterling silver and copper into new and beautiful forms.
We are delighted to welcome Exmoor silversmith Cat Mills to Halsway to lead a number of traditional Silversmithing courses. Cat has over 10 years’ teaching experience, including day courses and regular evening classes at her workshop deep in the heart of Exmoor, as well as travelling with her mobile workshop to deliver workshops at festival street fairs and events.
In her work she is a strong advocate of recycle and re-use, mixing new with recycled metal and tapping into waste as a resource.
“Taking scrap sterling silver, I melt it down and ether cast it into my designs, or forge into organic shapes. To this I add recycled copper and brass, these base metals giving contrast and colour to my work. My handmade jewellery is made using traditional hand tools and avoiding harmful chemicals, packaged in recycled boxes.”