Beginners' silversmithing – make a small round box with Abigail Brown

Ref: SLW33370

Location: West Dean
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Places available

About this course

Make a small silver cylindrical box. You will learn how to fabricate, solder, texture and construct sheet silver. Transform a flat sheet of metal into a push fit round box and finish to your own design.

Course Description

During this course, you will have the opportunity to make and complete a small cylindrical box.

You will learn methods for creating and finishing forms in sheet metal, using techniques such as roll-printing, planishing, soldering and texturing.

You will gain experience of fabricating sterling silver sheet into a box. You will transform the metal into a push fit round box with some texturing through roll printing or hammering according to your own design. Take control of the metal and produce a beautiful silver box, a unique special gift or a family heirloom.

This project is particularly suited to those who wish to learn or improve upon their soldering techniques, as there will be multiple seam joins to complete.

You will receive instruction and support in a friendly and creative atmosphere, and techniques are taught through practical demonstrations, with the emphasis on encouraging you to have a go and to develop your skills.


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 course fee includes the cost of providing the silver required for the specific project set by the tutor. Please note that if there is a dramatic change in the price of silver, there may be an extra charge (or refund if the price goes down).

What students need to bring

  • Practical clothing/apron/footwear for use in the workshop at all times. For example: no long loose sleeves or dangly jewellery, and long hair must be tied back to avoid catching in machinery or gas flames. Shoes should not be high heels, ballet pumps, open toes, trainers or flip flops. Shoes should be sturdy and cover the whole foot.
  • Sketchbook and/or technical notebook
  • A digital camera (if you have one) or phone to photograph demonstrations or ideas if required
  • Inspirational books, images and source materials to help with your ideas
  • Texturing materials for roll printing (lace, feathers, dry leaves, fabric) – optional
  • If you have any tools of your own, please bring them with you (and ensure they are marked with your name).

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.
  • Pens, pencils and drawing materials
  • The College provides a basic tool kit for you to use for the duration of the coruse.
  • The Shop also stocks a limited 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 sandals or open toes).


Abigail Brown, Tutor at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation

Abigail Brown

Abigail Brown has been producing contemporary designs in silverware since graduating from Loughborough University School of Art & Design in 2001. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is widely collected.


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

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