Making jewellery in silver with Sarah Macrae

Ref: S4D32940

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About this course

Explore ideas for silver jewellery through designing and making. Begin with simple drawings, then with one-to-one tuition, you will learn techniques in general fabrication, surface decoration and finishing.

Course Description

Explore ideas for a piece of jewellery in silver and be guided through the designing and making process. Begin by communicating your concept in simple drawings, then, with one-to-one tuition, you will learn a range of techniques in general fabrication, surface decoration (including roller-printing and etching) and finishing.

This course is open to those with no experience at all or those who have made some jewellery before. The level of experience and complexity of ideas will affect what you can achieve in the time, but even a complete beginner should be able to complete several pieces of work. You will develop an understanding of jewellery processes, alongside developing your own individual design vocabulary.

The course will include instruction on general fabrication, finishing and polishing techniques for precious metals and a range of surface decoration techniques, including roller printing, keum boo and etching. You may also like to consider introducing alternative non-precious materials into your work, such as slate, wood, acrylic, feathers or paper. Techniques for incorporating non-precious materials are demonstrated and discussed.

The tutor’s approach to making jewellery is strongly ideas led and she encourages and helps you to make simple drawings of your ideas to communicate what you wish to make. She will also talk about ways to develop interesting ideas. The tutor’s approach to teaching the skills necessary to making is mostly on an individual basis, although, where it is relevant to the whole group, she will demonstrate. The tutor aims to instil confidence and to encourage you to be creative.

By the end of the course, you should have completed at least one and maybe several pieces of jewellery. You will have gained a deeper understanding of jewellery processes and developed your own design vocabulary.

Your tutor is always happy to talk before the course to ensure that it is suitable for you. To contact your tutor, please email: [email protected]


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


  • Use of tools and machinery
  • You will need to purchase silver to complete your project. This can be purchased from the college shop, or in advance from a supplier.

What students need to bring

  • Any tools you may already have (marked with your name)
  • Please come prepared with a small sketchbook, with a selection of ideas that you would like to work on. Please do not worry if you feel you cannot draw, a few lines just to explain your idea to your tutor is fine.
  • If you are a beginner, it is better to wait until you have discussed with your tutor what you want to make before buying metal.
  • An apron and hair tie if needed

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.
  • Copper wire – for practising forging
  • There are basic tool kits to borrow from the shop, which also stocks a range of tools and consumables such as saw blades, drills and abrasive materials.

Additional information

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


Sarah Macrae

Sarah graduated Brighton Polytechnic in 1981 and has combined her studio practice as a jeweller with teaching part time. A member of The Designer Jewellers Group, she has exhibited at the Barbican Arts Centre (London) for the last twenty eight years. In 2000 Sarah was invited to write an introduction to Jewellery for Crowood Press and she features in several youtube videos. Sarah's work can be seen on Facebook and Instagram.


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

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