Leith School of Art: Summer School Jewellery Course – Day 1

Today was day 1 of my jewellery course at Leith School of Art.

The course is called Making Links with Jenny Deans and is part of their Summer School programme. There were so many course to pick from, I wanted to do all of them because they all sounded interesting but in the end I picked this one because it seemed like the best one to further my jewellery skills and it looks like I chose correctly!

The jeweller teaching us is called Jenny Deans.

As you can see her jewellery is beautiful and she works mainly in wire, but seems to be able to answer every question we ask!

Today she talked about the course and what we were going to cover, as well as telling us what techniques we could achieve with the tools we had and the time period. We started off making a few wee samples and going over the basic jewellery making techniques and although I knew most of them already, it was great seeing how to do these things from another teacher and from a new perspective and I did learn, not only a few new techniques, but new ways to look at the techniques I already knew.

Anyway, check out the little samples we made today:

After annealing, pickling and cleaning the metal (in this case copper) and texturing it by rolling it through the mill. I picked this lovely blue lacey fishnet material which didn’t fully indent but created this beautiful dotty wavey pattern.

And here is one little new technique for me. When cutting out a shape stick the paper pattern onto the metal – it seems like such an obvious thing but we were never taught it at uni and I never thought of it! But now I can save so much time and frustration by not having to painstakingly draw in the shape! Of course here I picked a cat shape to saw out!

I’m working this little kitty shape into a resin broochy piece at the moment…. photos coming soon….. be excited!

I had enough time to cut out another little shape so I picked this pretty butterfly.

We then moved onto jump rings. First you wrap the wire around something circular, in this case a drillbit (ensuring you keep the rings as close together as possible and as tight as possible).

Another wee technique I hadn’t thought about was wrapped masking tape around the wire coil before sawing the rings – making it easier to cut and ensuring the rings don’t spring away and get lost. Jenny went over making lots of different types of jump rings, it seeing it done before me the fancy looking chain is actually quite simple to make, chain like oval, curb, coiled, etc.

We went over lots of soldering techniques and talked about the best ways to solder different materials, etc. and I had a wee go at combining my rings and butterfly with solder to make what was originally going to be a chain ring but ended up turning into a brooch pin!

Jenny talked about some other techniques and showed us examples….. but there were so many and i’m too sleepy to type them all out!


Just now i’m thinking about designs for my final piece………………

….stay tuned!

Chloe out.


One thought on “Leith School of Art: Summer School Jewellery Course – Day 1

  1. Good to know you are enjoying jewellery making at the summer school!
    And I know Jenny Deans – I was taught by her at the summer school in Edinburgh College of Art in 2007 :D I like her works too!

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