Languages for All
Short Courses
Your basket
Your account

Wire Jewellery (10 credit points)

Course Times & Enrolment

This course is currently unavailable.

Course Summary

Wire is a great material to use for jewellery making. It creates light and flexible pieces and allows much larger and more sculptural results. During this course, you will learn how to use basic tools, manipulate wire of varying thicknesses, twist wire, make jump rings, chains, catches and ear wires. You will make a set of hanging earrings and a bracelet and will be encouraged to develop a creative approach to designing and making your own simple and complex projects. You will design and produce your own projects using the techniques covered during the remainder of the course. We will explore the potential of a range of inexpensive metals like copper, brass, silver, silver plate, aluminium or coloured wire to create a variety of results. This course is suitable for beginners and also more advanced students wishing to develop their skills.

Please note - this is a credit course and has an integrated digital component.  All students enrolled on credit courses are required to matriculate through the university student system EUCLID. If you do not do so you will not be able to access information provided by your tutor nor will you be able to submit work for assessment. Please read our Studying for Credit Guide, Rules and Regulations for more information.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

Some basic drawing or design experience is desirable.

Special Information

This course requires you to bring their own art and design materials. Most of these can be sourced and purchased in advance from any good art material supplier such as the Art Shop at ECA Lauriston Place Campus. Essential items not readily available will be provided during classes and you will be invoiced at the end of the course for items used. Listed below are the materials and equipment requirements for this course and an estimated cost. You are advised not to purchase any materials until you have received confirmation the course is running – usually 7 days before the start of the course.  You will be guided by the tutor as to which materials you need to bring to classes each week.

Essential materials you will need to bring to the first class:

* Glasses if you need them for close up work

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

* Jewellers saws

* Hammers and Files

* Pliers and Hand tools

* Rolling mills

* Soldering equipment and materials

* Drills

* Hand Drills for twisting wire

* Forming tools – e.g. doming blocks, mandrels and steaks

Materials and equipment available for purchase during the course:

* Copper and Brass – sheet metal, wire and tube

* Sterling Silver – Sheet metal, wire and tube

Essentials materials and equipment students will need to provide themselves:

* Research for personal projects

Additional recommended materials and equipment students can provide:

* Apron

* Sketchbook

* Pencils/ drawing equipment

* Lighter

Please do not wear open toed shoes to avoid injuries to toes

NB- Basic Tool List and Suppliers can be provided if the student wishes to purchase their own tools and materials for use at home.

Content of Course

The course teaching is delivered over weekly class sessions or an intensive week totalling 27.5 hours. Depending on the specific timetable of the occurrence of the course, this will either be delivered over ten weeks of 2.75 hour class sessions, eleven weeks of 2.5 hour class sessions or five weeks or consecutive days of 5.5 hour class sessions. Over the class sessions the course will cover:

  • demonstration and practice of manipulating and twisting wire, making basic chains and soldering
  • Make a set of hanging earrings and a bracelet
  • look at and practice making simple catches and wire structures
  • discussion of personal projects followed by experimentations and test pieces to develop ideas
  • start production of personal project pieces
  • continue working on personal project pieces
  • finish work on personal project pieces


Teaching method(s)

This course will be based and delivered in specialist 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.

Each week, students’ progress will be monitored and supported by the tutor who will negotiate and agree a ‘directed study plan’ for work to be undertaken out with the class hours each week. This will include researching a range of suggested artists or designers and their associated movements to engender a contextual awareness of the discipline being taught as well as how to annotate and evidence this within a sketchbook and practical outcomes.

Teaching will include practical demonstrations, one to one tuition, group discussions and critiques.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, through attending classes and engaging in directed and independent study, students should be able to:

    Show relevant research and development relating to a personal project, and also research into a range of suggested artists or designers and how their work has influenced understanding of contemporary wire jewellery;
    Make a set of hanging earrings and a bracelet. Demonstrate confidence in working with a range of basic, appropriate metalworking techniques, such as wire twisting, basic chains, simple catches and wire structures;
    Make at least 1 finished piece relating to research and development of ideas.



Transferable skills


    • wire jewellery making techniques
    • designing 3d objects
    • transforming and combining materials
    • ability to undertake research and reflective practice and apply these in the context of jewellery within visual culture


Core Readings


Textile techniques in metal : for jewelers, textile artists & sculptors / Arline M. Fisch.
Calder jewelry / photographs by Maria Robledo ; edited by Alexander S.C. Rower, Holton Rower ; with contributions by Mark Rosenthal, Jane Adlin.
Classical loop-in-loop chains and their derivatives / Jean Reist Stark, Josephine Reist Smith.
GALE, E., and LITTLE, A., 2000. Jewellery making. London: Hodder Headline; Lincolnwood, ILL: NTC/Contemporary Publishing
Jewellery design / by Elizabeth Galton.
WATKINS, D., 1999. Design sourcebook: jewellery. London: New Holland Publishers
YOUNG, A., 2008. Jewellery materials sourcebook. London: A&C Black

Web Sources

Specific Web resources will be determined by course tutors.

Class Handouts

Course information will be provided on enrolment and handouts provided during the course.


Details of the Art and Design assessment requirements can be found on the short course website. Please click on the following link for more information: Submission and Assessment Information

Studying for Credit

If you choose to study for credit you will need to allocate significant time outwith classes for coursework and assessment preparation. Credit points gained from this course can count towards the Certificate of Higher Education.


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.