Silversmithing – with an emphasis on box making with John Norgate

Ref: S3D13417

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About this course

Explore the traditional techniques of raising, forging, sinking, box making, soldering and finishing. Advanced makers can concentrate on hinges and joints.

Course Description

This course aims to introduce you to metal forming by raising, forging and scoring hollow work, flatware or boxes. Those with more experience have the opportunity to develop these skills further. You will learn a range of techniques through demonstration and individual tuition.

This course is primarily focused on box making techniques: forming over a pre-shaped former, scored and formed, assembly of pre-formed sides and press forming. Estimating of materials, the properties of metals, use of necessary tools, use of the gas torch for annealing and soldering and procedures for metal finishing will be covered.

Beginners should be able to accomplish a simple hinged box. Advanced students will develop their skills further.

Materials available to work with are: silver, gilding metal and copper.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • The materials used on this course are not included in the course fee. You will need to purchase silver or copper to complete your project.

What students need to bring

  • You will need to purchase silver or copper to complete your project. (A range of sheet, wire, rod, tube and findings can be purchased from the College Shop or in advance from a supplier.)
  • Please contact the bookings office at: [email protected] to speak to your tutor before starting the course to discuss the project and materials required before purchasing.
  • Sketchbook, with a range of possible ideas
  • 8" 2nd cut pillar file (may be borrowed from the College)
  • 8" 2nd cut ½ round (may be borrowed from the College)

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Silver can be purchased from the College Shop, which stocks a range of sheet, wire, rod, tube and findings. These will be available in set sizes and lengths suitable for a wide range of projects.
  • Tools (some tools are available for hire from the College)
  • Pencils and drawing materials
  • Piercing saw blades
  • Solder

Additional information

Recommended bullion suppliers: Argex Ltd, Metalor Ltd, Exchange Findings Ltd, Bloomsteins. Please note: some bullion suppliers have minimum order levels (e.g. £25). Please ask for your requirements to be checked against this before placing an order. Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio. This includes stout covered footwear, i.e. no open-toes or sandals.


John Norgate: Silverwork

John Norgate

John Norgate a Fellow of the Institute of Professional Goldsmiths. Trained at Aspreys and Sir John Cass where he also taught for many years. In 2010 he was a gold and silver award winner at Goldsmiths for craftsmanship and design.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

Courses of interest

Interested in a career in metalwork?

Our Foundation Degree in Metalwork will enhance your employment prospects, give you the skills to set up as a self-employed craftsperson or allow you to continue to higher education. Encompassing both silversmithing and blacksmithing, you will learn practical skills, material properties, placing your work in a broader context and historic metalworking techniques. Find out more