Introduction to Jewellery

This course will introduce traditional skills including hand carving, metal work and knotting techniques to explore how these fundamental materials can be connected and combined together to make unique hand-crafted jewellery.

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge and confidence in making jewellery with specific hand/bench tools and low-tech connections and processes;
  • make a collection of jewellery pieces using non-precious materials;
  • show a developed understanding of the design process for small-scale wearable jewellery by experimenting with tests and samples and producing finished piece(s).

Introduction to Jewellery

Room Q24, Edinburgh College of Art, Lauriston Place, Edinburgh
Start date
3 days
Day(s) and Times(s)
Wed 19 - Fri 21 July, 9.30am - 4.30pm
Subject Area
Amy Chan
Room Q24, Edinburgh College of Art, Lauriston Place, Edinburgh
Time of Day

Day 1: Make a slate pendant / earrings

  • How to work with slate.
  • How to use a jeweller's saw.
  • How to use a drill.
  • How to use hand/needle files to hand carve materials.
  • Introduction to basic knotting techniques, including macramé and Japanese knots.
  • How to texture sheet metal and wire.
  • How to make jump rings and basic chain.
  • How to make wire and tube rivets.
  • How to texture sheet metal and wire.

Day 2: Make a hybrid brooch

  • How to use a gas torch.
  • How to anneal metal.
  • How to solder metal.
  • How to make basic brooch fittings.

Each student will produce experimental test samples which combine a variety of materials and utilise the techniques they have learned from previous days.

These test pieces will be the creative foundation for the development of your final design.

Day 3: Each student will work on their own individual projects with one-to-one discussion and support from the tutor.

This course will be based and delivered in specialist art and design studios or workshops and will typically include a range of practical exercises, introductions to techniques, processes and concepts, and set projects which lead to more focused and personal exploration. Students’ progress will be monitored and supported by the tutor who will suggest follow up reading, research and practice to undertake to support their studies. Teaching will include practical demonstrations, one-to-one tuition, group discussions and critiques.

Core Readings

Gale, Emma and Little, Ann, 2000.  Jewellery Making. London: Hodder Headline Ltd.

Murphy, Kathie, 2009. Design and make non-precious jewellery. London: A & C Black

MacDonald, Jaimie, 2009.  Jewellery from Recycled Materials. London: A & C Black

Larks Books 500 series – e.g. 500 Bracelets, 500 Necklaces, 500 Earrings, 500 Brooches,

500 Lockets & Pendants, 1000 rings.

Class Handouts

Handouts will be provided.

Materials and equipment provided for students as part of the course and included in course fee:

  • Slate, wood

Available to purchase during course

  • Base metals (copper, brass sheet, wire & tube)
  • Sterling silver (sheet, wire & tube)

Essential materials and equipment students will need to provide themselves:

  • glasses (if required for close up work)
  • a disposable lighter

During the course students might want to use:

  • Apron
  • Sketchbook
  • Pencils/ drawing equipment
  • Research for personal projects - collected inspirational images of jewellery designs

If you feel you have specific requirements to enable you to study with us, please contact our Student Support Team by email or by phone 0131 650 4400 to arrange a confidential discussion. Giving us this information will enable us to make arrangements to meet your requirements for studying in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010.