Sometimes, learning to make jewellery is like learning a new language. We all get a bit confused from time to time so here are some useful definitions...
A bail (also spelt "bale") is a component of certain types of jewellery, mostly necklaces, that is used to attach a pendant or stone. The bail is normally placed in the center of the necklace where the pendant hangs.
A barrel polisher, also referred to as a tumble polisher is a small machine that polishes jewellery. It is barrel shaped, used with small metal pellets and rotates to polish your pieces. It is a quick and economical way of polishing small and large quantities of jewellery and components.
A briolette is an elongated pear-shaped gemstone cut with facets, and it is often drilled to hang as a bead.
Etching is traditionally the process of using an acid to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design in intaglio (relief) in the metal. In modern manufacturing, other chemicals may be used on other types of material. As a method of printmaking, it is, along with engraving, the most important technique for old master prints, and remains in wide use today.
Vitreous enamel, also called porcelain enamel, is a material made by fusing powdered glass to a substrate by firing, usually between 750 and 850 °C (1,380 and 1,560 °F). The powder melts, flows, and then hardens to a smooth, durable vitreous coating on metal, or on glass or ceramics.
Engraving is the practice of incising a design onto a hard, usually flat surface, by cutting grooves into it. In jewellery making this would usually be a piece of text, name, date or image that is engraved into silver, gold or another metal.
Jump rings are (usually metal) rings used to make chains, jewelry and chainmaille. They are made by wrapping wire round a mandrel to make a coil and then cutting the coil with wire cutters to make individual rings.
Metal clay is a crafting medium consisting of very small particles of metal such as silver, gold, bronze, or copper mixed with an organic binder and water for use in making jewelry, beads and small sculptures.
Originating in Japan in 1990, metal clay can be shaped just like any soft clay, by hand or using molds. After drying, the clay can be fired in a variety of ways such as in a kiln, with a handheld gas torch, or on a gas stove, depending on the type of clay and the metal in it. The binder burns away, leaving the pure sintered metal. Shrinkage of between 8% and 30% occurs (depending on the product used). Alloys such as bronze, sterling silver, and steel also are available.
Resin is a synthetic, plastic-like material. In jewellery making you can buy ready made resin components such as beads or pendants, or you can mix up your own resin and use for joining items together, coating/covering items, or casting.
Soldering is a process in which two or more metal items are joined together by melting and flowing a filler metal (solder) into the joint, the filler metal having a lower melting point than the adjoining metal. Soldering differs from welding in that soldering does not involve melting the work pieces.
Popular cut glass crystals that are often used in tiaras, wedding and fashion jewellery. Made by the Austrian company Swarovski, who also make finished jewellery pieces, pearls and other components for designers.
Please Note: Our classes are suitable for those aged 16 and over & for health and safety reasons, all students need to wear closed toe shoes when coming to the workshop. If you have any access requirements, please contact us before booking a course. And due to our small class sizes we are unable to offer transfers or refunds on our courses once booked. Please make sure you can make the date before booking. Thanks LJS x