Historic bronze and silver wire jewellery workshop. 1pm - 4pm. 14th September 2020
''Wire jewellery'' is considered by many as a very modern craft and hobby, but this course will show you that bronze, silver and gold wires have been used since millennias, from ancient Egypt and Greece to Iron Age Britain, throughout the Roman empire then the Saxon and Viking eras. Delicate finger rings and bracelets, but also more practical pins, clothing hooks and brooches were created using simple hand forged tools and natural materials.
After a short introductory lecture, we will focus on making finger rings out of bronze and sterling silver, choosing from a selection of historical designs. Each participant will be able to choose two designs to make two rings: one in bronze, one in silver.
We will be using recreated tools copied from archaeological finds and modern versions of them to re-discover the techniques used by ancient artisans when fashioning such rings.
When the participants will have made two rings and feel more confident with the tools and materials, they will be able to choose one last item to make and take home (if there isn't enough time, each participant will at least finish the day with two rings and can begin to make a third item... but the might have to finish it at home or on the next course if their project is too complex!).
This last item can be a different ring, a pin, a suspension loop, a small bracelet, a pair of veil or wimple pins, a pair of ''wrist-clasps'' (used by Saxons and Vikings to decorate and close long sleeve tunics) or some Tudor / late medieval cloak hooks (any questions please ask) ... Unless you feel creative and decide to make a modern ring inspired by historic examples or your own imagination!
If you would like to make a replica of a specific bronze or silver wire item, please do not hesitate to let us know: send us an archaeological drawing or photos including dimensions and we will pass on the details to our tutor, Caroline, who will get in touch with you to make sure you can work on your chosen project during the course.
PLEASE let us know at least 2 weeks before the course if you have any issues with your hands that might stop you from holding pliers tightly. Any questions, please ask!
Accommodation is not included but if required it is available within the local area, some suggestions can be found on our 'local accommodation' page - please arrange this yourself. Refreshments are provided on their day but not lunches. Please bring your own drinking vessel for hygiene reasons.
Toilet and classroom all easily accessible from the car park *Please bring a packed lunch*. Attendees must be over 16.