Silversmithing – constructing and raising with John Norgate

Ref: S5D32363

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About this course

Explore your ideas for making silver objects and advance your skills. Learn methods for creating and finishing forms in sheet metal, using techniques such as press forming, casting and hand forging.

Course Description

This in-depth course combines contemporary and traditional approaches as you work on individual projects.

By combining traditional and contemporary approaches to silversmithing, this course aims to encourage you to advance both your ideas and your skills in the making of three-dimensional objects in silver.

The course is primarily focused on methods of creating forms in metal: the synclastic and anticlastic raising of sheet metal, press forming and hand forging. 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 also be covered. The techniques that you apply on the course will depend on the nature of your project.

Beginners can cover most techniques on the completion of three projects: raising, box making and forging. Alternatively, you could concentrate on learning one of these techniques.

Intermediate and advanced students should have developed their skills further by doing more advanced projects.

Design ideas are discussed on a one-to-one basis. Demonstrations will be given of the techniques covered and one-to-one practical assistance will be available.

By the end of the course, you should have effectively realised a design idea you have on paper into a three-dimensional form in silver.


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

What students need to bring

  • It is useful, though not essential, if you have an idea of what you want to make in advance of the course. If you wish to contact the tutor, please email: [email protected] with an outline of what you want to make. This will be shared with the tutor who may contact you.
  • Whilst the silver stock at the College Shop is extensive, if you require an unusually large sheet of silver or thick bar (for forging), you should bring these with you.
  • If you intend to cast silver, please bring any clean scrap silver with you.
  • Enclosed toe footwear is essential.

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. Silver solder and saw blades are also available.

Additional information

Please note: Recommended bullion suppliers are: Argex Ltd, Metalor Ltd, Exchange Findings Ltd, Bloomsteins. 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, and safety boots, if specified.


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