Stone set, fine silver and fused gold (Keum Boo) jewellery with Laura Ngyou

Ref: SLW31950

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About this course

Explore fusing gold to fine silver (Keum Boo), surface texture techniques and basic stone-setting. Develop an awareness of design issues arising from combining materials and how to plan your work to overcome these.

Course Description

Explore the ancient Korean technique of Keum Boo (fusing gold foil to fine silver) and learn to set a round/oval cabochon stone in either a pendant or some earrings. You will develop an awareness of design problems and solutions that arise when fusing gold to fine silver and learn correct planning before embarking on a piece.

You are encouraged to make a pendant or a pair of earrings based on the examples and demonstrations given, or you might just want to spend the course experimenting and making numerous test pieces for use in future projects.

Materials and techniques covered:

● Making a simple bezel setting for a cabochon stone using fine silver or gold, and setting the stone

● Surface texturing using various tools and the rolling mill

● Keum Boo - fusing gold foil onto fine silver to create a contrasting surface pattern

You will be shown samples and test pieces made by the tutor, with a talk about the techniques used. The tutor will also demonstrate how a basic bezel setting is made, setting a stone and the process of fusing gold foil onto silver. You will then embark on your own pieces after discussing them with the tutor, so planning can be done properly.

You will mainly be using 999 fine silver with the exception of some findings, such as ear pins/hooks and bails, which may be created from 925 Sterling or 958 Britannia silver wire or sheet.


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 some of the materials, including 5cm x 8cm (0.7mm thick sheet) 999 fine silver, 1 pack extra thick Keum Boo 24k gold foil, setting cement, saw blades, permanent marker and sundries.

What students need to bring

  • Any images for inspiration are welcome. (The tutor will provide specially selected books from the library.)
  • Paper, pen and pencil
  • Please bring any flat backed, round or oval cabochon stones you wish to use – the tutor will have some to purchase, please see below.
  • You will be provided with 5cm x 8cm (0.7mm thick) piece of 999 fine silver, please do bring extra if you like, especially if you want to make multiple test pieces.
  • Any silver, brass or copper scrap sheet you have would also be useful to test texturing techniques on.
  • The tutor will bring a selection of stones for you to purchase; if you have your own, do bring those. Try to avoid bringing very soft ones as they are harder to set. Flat pebbles are a great alternative and also fossils have been used by previous students, which are often cut flat on one side and polished. Please plan to use simple cuts (preferably round or oval cabochons with flat backs) that can be set in a rub over setting and not irregular sculptural material.
  • Some textured paper
  • Tools:
  • West Dean will provide you with a good selection of basic tools, e.g. piercing saw, files, etc. but please bring any of your own tools that you would like to use or think you will need, including spare saw blades, as well as hard, medium and easy solder.
  • Borax will be provided. Please bring your preferred flux if desired.
  • Basic steel and agate burnishers will be provided for Keum Boo, however, if you wish you can also purchase some from here
  • A well-fitting pair of leather work gloves e.g. gardening gloves or old leather driving gloves will come in handy. They are not essential, but we will be working with hot plates when fusing, so they may add to your protection and comfort.
  • A useful supplier of tools and metals is Cookson Precious Metals, Hatton Garden
  • 999 fine silver can be bought from Cooksons and a small amount may also be available from the tutor if you require extra to the amount supplied (5cm x 8cm of 0.7mm thick sheet 999 fine silver will be supplied as part of the course fee).
  • You will also require fine silver or sterling silver to make your bezel settings. Your tutor suggests a minimum thickness of 0.5mm silver sheet; thicker gauges are also useful e.g. 0.6mm, 0.7mm, 0.8mm - 1mm. If you require fine silver this will need to be purchased in advance - sterling silver is available in the shop.
  • For findings, 0.8mm, 1mm and 1.2mm wire is useful in 925 sterling silver. Earring scroll backs, clasps and chains for pendants as required. This will need to be purchased in advance and brought along or purchased from the shop.
  • The shop does not stock gold.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Sterling silver sheet and wire are available from the shop, some . Sterling silver to make your bezel settings in a range of thicknesses of 0.5mm, 0.6mm, 0.7mm, 0.8mm - 1mm.
  • For findings, 0.8mm, 1mm and 1.2mm wire in 925 sterling silver. Earring scroll backs, clasps and chains for pendants as required.
  • Textured paper
  • Available from tutor:
  • The tutor will bring a selection of stones for you to purchase ranging from 50p to £5.

Additional information

This is a short questionnaire to make your time at West Dean as enjoyable as possible. Please email your answers to [email protected] 1. Your experience - it would be very useful to know how much jewellery you have made before, whether you have attended any courses, etc. 2. Interests/hobbies or any skills 3. What do you want to achieve on the course? It would be great if you could make some sketches of pieces and some notes, and maybe think of different colour combinations of metals and stones. Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear (no sandals or open toes). Possible equipment restrictions in tutor absence.


Laura Ngyou

Laura trained at Middlesex University and the prestigious Bishopsland Workshops in Oxfordshire. Her work is experimental, manipulating metal to create reimagined natural landscapes sympathetic to a gemstone’s individual character.


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

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