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Wire Jewellery (10 credit points)

Course Times & Enrolment

Mondays from 16th January 2023 (Code JS007-203) Mondays from
16th January 2023 6:30pm - 9:30pm • (10 classes)
ECA Hunter Building Jewellery Room Q24 • Tutor: Jenny Deans BA Design and Applied Arts
This course is now closed for enrolments

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.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

Some basic drawing or design experience is desirable.

Special Information

In addition to the course fee, students are expected to provide the following list of indicative tools, materials and equipment:

  • Apron to protect your clothes from chemicals

  • Sketchbook

  • Pencils / drawing equipment

  • Lighter

Content of Course

Over the class sessions the course will cover:

1. Demonstration and practice of manipulating and twisting wire, making basic chains and soldering.

2. Make a set of hanging earrings and a bracelet.

3. Look at and practice making simple catches and wire structures.

4. Discussion of personal projects followed by experimentations and test pieces to develop ideas.

5. Start production of personal project pieces.

6. Continue working on personal project pieces.

7. 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.


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.