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The Work Room is the Creative Journal of Wendy Sue where she shares her creative journey in all things handmade. The Work Room also offers an alternative to your typical jewelry making workshops. Scroll down to the end of the page to see how you can learn to make your unique piece of artisan jewelry online.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Beginner's Silversmithing : Part I - The Journey

Okay, to start to put things back in order is I think to clear all those backlog of entries which I intend to post. And the last course that I still haven't talked about is the Beginner's Silversmithing course.

This was probably the most expensive 2 days course as compared to the rest of the courses that I attended. Not only in monetary terms but also learning time as well. You'll understand the second bit as I wrap things up.

The entire course costs some £360. Yes, I know, that's quite a staggering amount after conversion to Ringgit and especially it's ONLY a 2 days course. The other two courses (with the same time duration) cost me £250 each.

But lucky me, I got this course as a birthday gift from Sa Kor. Heheh! A gazilion thanks to Sa Kor! XD

But what set this course apart from the other two was that this was a one-to-one teaching method. The maximum number of students that she takes in per session is only 2. Initially, it was only me signing up for the course but it ended up with Sa Kor joining me as well since it was some more than 2 hours drive from Nottingham. A bit tiring to drive me to and fro. So, that £360 is inclusive of 2 nights stay as well as 2 days meals and the best part was, dinner was a full 3 course meal! Although home cooked but the food was great!

Anyway, Shaunee tagged along too after we asked if she could. Well, not so much as a student but just tagging along.

There's a story on how I actually ended up with this short 2 days course. I was thinking of what to do during my 6 months stay there and naturally learning more about jewellery making came to mind.

So, I thought of enrolling myself with a short silversmithing course with one of the local colleges but I had some problem with my visa.

You see, a 6 months visitor visa does not allow you to study. A student visa on the other hand requires an acceptance letter from the intended place of study with a study period of 2 years (I think!). Basically, a student visa was out already because I have no intention for staying for so long. The only option was something called the visitor study visa or something like that which will allow me to study under the 6 months visitor visa.

However, I was met with another stumble block. A visitor study visa only allows for short courses no more than 6 months. My intended course will take 8 months!

So, it was not possible for me to enrol with the colleges at all, which was how I ended up with this 2 days silversmithing course and then signing up for the other two courses as well; lampworking and precious metal clay.

Of course, you can't compare what you get to learn in 2 days to what you'll probably get to learn in a 8 month course. But then, better than nothing lor.

Actually, In The Studio (the place where I attended the precious metal clay class) also offers Beginner's Silversmithing course. Although the course fee was cheaper and nearer, but I opt for this one for the one to one factor. ITS has a fixed syllabus but this one gives me freedom to learn what I wanted to learn.

Unfortunately, I didn't get the hands on experience on what I wanted to learn the most, only in principle. That was the most dissapointing part but more on that later.

The 2 days course was conducted by Yvonne Chadderton who has like 2 decades of experience in silversmithing. I found her through random searches on Google. And she wasn't too terribly far away from Nottingham. England is such a huge place, mind you. But I guess maybe the fact that Nottingham was in the middle helps too.

Anyway, the place was in Littleborough, some place in the county of Lancashire I think. But to simplify things, I'll also say that it is some place near Manchester. Aaahh, do I see heads nodding now?

It was a pleasant ride there. Very countryside, with lotsa greeneries. It's a nice place. The kind of place where you would somehow expect an artist to live in. LOL.... XD

The house was a 2 and a half (or was it 3?) stories house. Erm, sorry.... not very sure about that! But it was a comfy place.

This is kinda like my favourite part of the house! I can just imsgine it.... a nice cooling glass of juice on hand while enjoy basking in sunshine. Mind you, it's unlike the sun in Malaysia at all! :P

We were staying in a room right next to the workshop.

I couldn't quite capture it correctly with my camera but try imagining this, from the window of the workshop, we were overlooking this magnificient view of green fields and trees. It's pretty hard not to be inspired!

And, although irrelevant..... I just had to mention the toilet! Cuz I like the design of the toilet. :P

I like the use of grey tiles for toilet. I think it's great for concealing dirt very modern and cool! Hahah!

If I am lucky enough to have a pad of my own one day, I think my toilet design would somehow go along this line. Hahah! Hey, EVERYTHING starts off with a little dream, okay. :P

And how the details of the smaller iridescent square tiles gives the otherwise flat out grey tiles some life!

Ok, enough about the toilet for now. More on the class next!

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