NCAD Jewellery Making & Metalwork......

Since the beginning of this year I have been threatening to do an evening course of some kind, something related to fashion or art. After a little research, I found some great one week summer courses by CEAD that were held in NCAD. Toying between
photography and metalwork jewellery making I bit the bullet and chose the metalwork class. Just for the fact that I wanted to learn something crafty and stimulate my creativity a little. Heading in on my first day I wondered what exactly this class would be about having no experience in jewellery making. Into the metalwork rooms I entered, along with about 15 others and so our week began. Trevor the course leader and master craftsman (whom we all would follow around the entire week like little kids asking for help with our projects) began by introducing us to the tools we would be using and began by showing us how to make a simple
twisted pendant piece. Of course he made it look so easy! We traipsed back to the little work benches that would become ours for the week and began our attempt at making this first little piece. Our tools - a metal saw (on which at least 30 blades were snapped on first botched attempts at cutting metal), a metal file, a point compass and sandpaper. We learned to use polishing machines, metal mills, soldering Bunsen burners, drills and lots of scary machinery! The first day I struggled a little but by the end of the week, I was flying it. Designing our own pieces, using different techniques to create effects on the metal, stone setting and melding pieces together. The class members who I got to know throughout the week were an amazing bunch, consisting of those like me trying this for the first time, others were home enthusiasts for years being miles ahead doing the class so as to use the machinery available (one man made an amazing intricate pair of art deco earrings for his wife), others had their own businesses on Etsy or were selling their own jewellery at fairs. Each person brought something to the table. People were experimenting a lot with one girl bringing lace and ran it through the metal mill over a piece of metal creating a really stunning effect of lace on the metal. Another girl taught me beading. All in all I had a really amazing week. And while I don't think I will be the next big jewellery designer, it has given me an appreciation of the time and skill and patience required for this craft and has interested me enough to consider taking it up as an evening course for winter. I loved meeting new creative people and doing it all day for one intense week really taught me more than I feel an evening class might have. It's really amazing how doing something completely different from your usual day to day really opens your senses. See my pics of pieces I was working on. They are not in running order I'm afraid! Just cannot get it right!

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