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  • Writer's pictureDonna Burns

Jewellery Making Lessons

Did you know that I teach jewellery making to Beginners?

So proud of my students - the result of 10 weeks of learning and making

four female hands are laid on a wooden table each showing a stacking ring set. the hands have different skin tones, 3 white and 1 brown. the rings are all different colours

Gallery and school

Since January 2022 I have been teaching jewellery making skills on the Beginner courses at the wonderful Victoria Sewart Contemporary Jewellery Gallery and School. Not everyone realises that there is a school tucked away above the gallery. Up two flights of stairs in the beautiful old Barbican building, you find the workshop space that is full of character and charm. It is equipped to accommodate up to four students per lesson, which is a nice class size. Victoria, the founder of the gallery, has been running lessons since she opened in 2006. She offers various types of workshops: make your own wedding ring workshops, 1 to 1 sessions, taster days and the ever popular 10 week courses. These are run at different levels, starting with Beginner and moving on to Intermediate and then Advanced. The lessons are so popular there is often a waiting list.

When I was offered the opportunity to teach a Beginner course I jumped at the chance. I was keen to expand my practice into teaching and share my love of jewellery and the joy of making with others. I've loved every minute of it so far and I've met some lovely people. It's amazing how many different reasons people have for joining the lessons: some just for fun, or because it is something they have always wanted to try, some people have finally found the time to return to something creative, others want to brush up their skills and for so many it is therapeutic moment in their lives. The healing power of spending some time being creative and working with your hands cannot be underestimated - I'm grateful to be a part of that.

Serious concentration at the workbenches - students happily making

the image shows the inside of a jewellers workshop. four women are sat at four workbenches with their backs to the camera, they are surrounded by tools and equipment

Beginner lessons

Just as the name suggests the Beginner lessons are designed to teach people who have no experience of making jewellery, or those who wish to refresh the basic skills. The techniques covered over the 10 weeks include: saw piercing, drilling, filing, soldering, adding texture, finishing techniques, stone setting and a first taste of enamelling to add a pop of colour. The aim is for students to make three different rings using the skills they learn during the course. They are encouraged to think about design and how the three rings will sit together, often using a theme or favourite colour as a guide.

The lovely Kez and her finished set of rings - designed around her love of her blue sea glass

Sometimes a student makes the rings as gifts for other people, and the rings end up very different in style, like these fabulous rings. I love the Bowie vibe of the enamel ring!

three silver rings  are lay on a wooden surface, angled with the faces to the camera. the ring on the left is a circle shape with red and blue colours. two rings sit on the right, one is a  plain silver band with holes, the other is a tigers eye stone set in silver.

Next term

Over the summer we have a break from teaching, but I'm looking forward to meeting new groups of students when lessons start again in September. If you're joining a Monday course - I'll see you in September 🙂.

If you are curious about the lessons you can out more about them here:



four women sitting at jewellery benches, in a row. they are facing away from the camera

A lovely group getting the hang of saw piercing

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