Create your own jewellery – an individual approach with Sarah Macrae

Ref: SSS31709

About this course

Develop ideas for jewellery whilst learning skills and techniques relevant to your projects. You are encouraged to incorporate other materials in your jewellery including exotic hardwoods, shells, and found objects.

Course Description

Develop a personal vocabulary of ideas for your jewellery making whilst gaining making skills and learning new techniques relevant to your projects. The course begins with a short, structured project and then fabricating, decorating and joining will be demonstrated.

You will increase your understanding of how to make jewellery and how to develop an individual design vocabulary as you gain confidence in your ideas and a new level of creativity. Successful contemporary studio jewellers depend on having a unique and personal quality to the designs they produce. This course will help you to understand more about the process of design and will help you develop a personal vocabulary of ideas, alongside learning a range of techniques appropriate to your designs.

Your tutor’s approach to teaching skills is mostly on an individual basis where needed. However, she will demonstrate some techniques where they are relevant to all or some of the group. She aims to instil confidence and to encourage you to be creative.

As well as basic fabrication techniques and decorative processes, you are encouraged to think about incorporating other materials, such as exotic hardwood, bone, shell, feathers, paper, acrylic and found materials. You will look at different sorts of cold connections to enable these materials to be combined with silver to make individual and exciting pieces.

By the end of the course, you will have gained knowledge of how to design jewellery and the processes to execute these designs. Everyone should complete at least one piece of jewellery.

Summer School highlights:

The Summer School week is an immersive learning experience with more time to develop your creativity and embrace opportunities for creative development beyond your chosen course. A detailed timetable for your Summer School week will be given to you on arrival. This will include:

• Short inspirational talks by tutors and displays of their work

• A short creative experience session in another discipline/media or course

• An optional evening at the Chichester Festival Theatre (if pre-booked)

• An optional lunchtime tour of West Dean Gardens, the historic rooms at West Dean College, or West Dean Tapestry Studio

• A celebration dinner on the last evening themed on Impressionism, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the first Impressionist exhibition held in Paris in 1874. Feel free to respond to the theme if you wish.

• Informal end-of-course group reviews and displays of students' work in studios

As evening events are planned as part of the summer school week, dinner is included in the course fee to enable all students, including non-residents, to participate fully.

Course Materials


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

What students need to bring

  • An apron
  • Shoes that cover your feet (no sandals or flip flops or high heels)
  • Something to tie your hair back with if it is long
  • Any tools you have marked clearly with your name
  • Please come prepared with a small sketchbook in which you may have collected some images of things that appeal to you (could be of anything) and perhaps a few drawings of things you might like to make. Do not worry if you think you cannot draw; just a few lines to explain your ideas will be fine.

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.
  • Basic tool kits are available to borrow.
  • Available from tutor:
  • The tutor carries a range of alternative materials, such as exotic hardwood, bone, shell, feathers, paper, acrylic and found materials.

Additional information

Please note: If you have any definite ideas of what you would like to make and achieve on the course or any previous experience, please email: [email protected] before the course. This will help the tutor plan the best course possible. Metal can be brought in advance from: Silver supplier: Argex Limited, Birmingham or Tools, Precious Metal: Cookson Precious Metals, London Wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals.


Timetable for Summer Schools

Several evening events are planned throughout the week, a detailed timetable for the summer schools will be given to you on arrival.

Arrival Day

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).

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 should vacate their rooms by 10am please.

General Information


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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