Enamelled copper beads – torch fired with Sharon Ford

Ref: S3D32936

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About this course

Learn how to torch fire enamel onto copper beads to make a variety of colours and shapes. Then make these into beautiful jewellery, strung with natural pearls, stones and findings to create personal designs.

Course Description

You will learn how to make torch fired beads using vitreous enamel in a variety of different shapes and colours, which will lead to the design and making of wearable jewellery.

Colour coordination and assembly of beads made are facilitated by a large selection of findings and natural mineral or freshwater pearls to make personal creations. You will learn how to measure, judge colour balance and make a good quality product that is practical and functional, as well as beautiful.

During the length of the course, you will also learn the skills of correcting beads and reshaping the metal for repair processes, if necessary, and you will gain an understanding of enamel in a number of different forms. This will include decorating the beads.

By the end of the course, you will have fired a variety of beads to your choice of size and colour and strung the beads together to make a piece of jewellery of your own design.


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


  • On this course the College will supply the gas cylinders to fire the beads.

What students need to bring

  • Pencils for sketching and a notebook to write down combinations of enamels

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A good variety of art and craft materials
  • Available from tutor:
  • On this course, the tutor will supply all of the materials you will need to make your bespoke jewellery, including all beads, enamels, etc. This cost needs to be individually paid to the tutor, as no two students will use the same amount of supplies.
  • You can purchase the following from the tutor: copper beads, enamels, findings, spacers, pearls or natural beads, bead caps, all stringing requirements, clasps and ear wire hooks for earrings. These are mostly inexpensive gold plated; silver is available if preferred.

Additional information

Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes).


Sharon Ford

Sharon Ford works as a restorer in enamels and gilding to the London Antique trade, also a teacher of enamelling on bowls, plaques and beads. She is also a member of the Guild of Enamellers and the winner of the Chairman’s Rose Bowl in 2018 and the Rachel Gogerly Award in 2019. 


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

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