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Introduction to Jewellery

Course Times & Enrolment

This course is currently unavailable.

Course Summary

Learn hand carving, metal work and knotting techniques to explore and combine materials and make unique hand crafted jewellery.

Wood, stone, fire and water are fundamental elements in our integral environment. Fire and water are implements to shape and form metals and stone.

Many aspects of our decorative art have remained unchanged since the time of our earliest ancestors, with their techniques still essentially in practice to this day.

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.

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment

No previous experience of jewellery practice is required.

Special Information

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

  • A disposable lighter or hob lighter

Additional recommended materials and equipment students can provide:

  • Sketchbook

  • Pencils / drawing equipment

  • Research for personal projects - collected inspirational images of jewellery designs

  • Apron 

  • Glasses for close up work, if required 

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

  • All workshop tools and equipment

  • Saw blades, emery paper, solder, slate, drill bits

Materials and equipment available for purchase during the course: 

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

  • Sterling silver (sheet, wire & tube)

Content of Course

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.

Teaching method(s)

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.

Learning outcomes

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).


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.


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.