At RK Jewellery Designs we offer lessons and training in both traditional and digital skills with full tutor support, either on a one-to-one basis or in groups of two students. For all our lessons and training a healthy light lunch will be provided as well as locally produced juices, please let us know 48 hrs in advance if you have specific dietary requirements or are caffeine sensitive.
If you have any difficulty booking feel free to get in touch.
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We offer tuition on basic jewellery making, as well as some advanced skills, classes are informal but well informed and you will leave with a finished piece of work to treasure. Tools and materials are provided as well as a dedicated workspace in a relaxed rural setting. Lessons are six hours long and are booked in advance, we offer lessons in one or two day blocks to allow for the completion of complex projects.
Please be aware that due to the use of chemicals and tools these practical lessons are not suitable for children. A suitable induction into correct workshop practice will be given prior to starting to mitigate the risk of incidents, but please be aware that this is a practical trade and accidents can happen. If you are not comfortable with this please select one of our digital courses instead.
Where appropriate courses may be combined (for example basic technique and oxidisation/patination) to form a finished piece, please feel free book and let us know what you are trying to create and we will be happy to help.
Tuition on offer includes:
Basic technique lessons (make a ring, pendant or earrings) in sterling silver using a variety of techniques.
This course is an introduction to practical jewellery making or a great refresher course for those who may be a little out of practice. It also serves as a starting point for most other courses here. You will learn basic piercing saw work,polishing, soldering and get a basic understanding of materials while completing their project.
Cabochon gemstone setting in sterling silver (simple or complex tuition available). Gemstones can be provided or bring your own to set.
A perfect match for the basic technique course, this course has two levels one for those just starting and wanting to understand how stone setting works and a second higher tier level with tutor Andy Young for those interested in more complex work. Andy has many years of experience setting complex and irregular shaped stones as well as an encyclopedic knowledge of the stones themselves. A successful jeweller in his on right, he has been kind enough to offer tuition with RK Jewellery Designs.
Electroplating (18ct gold flash plating) or pen plating.
This course focuses on teaching the principles of good quality "flash" gold plating which can work alongside oxidisation or simply add a burst of colour to a piece. often paired with electroforming to create high impact natural designs, this complex and secretive artform will be demystified in a series of practical lessons alongside little known tips to make the process run smoothly.
we also offer lessons in pen plating, a technique based in flash plating but lending itself more to the creative and allowing for some really different designs.
We teach with 18ct yellow gold as standard,but are happy to teach with 18ct rose gold by arrangement.
Electroforming is the art of electroplating natural or non conductive objects with a thick layer of metal (often copper) and is the most mysterious of the arts of electroplating. At RK Jewellery Designs we have a good understanding of the variables that can make this process very complex and frustrating and have developed techniques and best practices that allow us to confidently teach this art. As this tution requires some set up work, please do let us know well in advance so we can work out how to help you succeed.
Polishing and special finishes, hammered, matt, satin, frosted, high gloss).
Often underrated, polishing can completely alter the tone of a piece with different polishing effects providing different accents completely. Professional jeweller or hobbyist, a good understanding of this seemingly simple process can radically alter the results achieved and the levels of satisfaction attained. An added benefit of attending this course is that you will be shown trade secrets and insider knowledge allowing better results faster.
Patination and oxidisation.
Patination and oxidisation are methods of applying colour to the surface of silver and copper via chemical reactions. On this course you will learn how to create surface colour in silver (usually this would be black as you may have seen on your own jewellery) using our own patina recipes as well as well known oxidisation techniques such as "black oxide". To add to this you will learn how to (and how not to) remove these reactions from the metal, saving a lot of time and heartache with your own work. Finally sealing techniques will be taught that will protect these effects for long periods of time.
Enamelling (all kinds).
Essentially the process of fusing coloured glass to metal, this process creates colour and vitality in its own unique way. You will learn the basics of hot enamelling (wet pack/dry pack) and experiment with different effects and techniques once competent in the basics. We can also teach "cold enamelling" by request. This course complements the basic jewellery course as well as others and can be extremely comprehensive, discounted rates are available for in depth studying.
Etching on silver or copper
Etching is the technique of using an acid to eat away metal to create an effect such as a picture, this allows creators to essentially draw into the surface of the metal - paving the way for other techniques such as enamelling or plating. You will experiment with the process, learning about how acids can give interesting organic effects as well as more controlled lines and experimenting with different tools to draw with. This technique is lots of fun to do (don't worry we will handle the acids!) and always has interesting results.
These metals (known as refractory metals) have a peculiar quality, they refract light in a way that makes them appear coloured in a very bright pearlescent hue. Titanium will be provided or Niobium/Tantalum can be purchased by arrangement and you will use an anodisation unit to create hand applied or dipped coloured effects to a finished piece. This course is aimed at attendees who have completed the basic course or who already have a good working knowledge of metal work (especially cold joining). Because projects using these metals can be complex please give us plenty of advance warning so that we can make a helpful workflow and lesson plan.
Cold joining techniques (various kinds of riveting).
In the days before soldering and welding, these joining techniques were perfected, often creating beautiful effects as well as being intrinsically useful. You will revisit riveting techniques learning to create different types of rivet and exploring the effects this can create as well as the practical value of the practice.Simple to look at and hard to perfect this is a perfect match to our anodisation course.
Simple chain making or chainmail weaves.
Deceptively simple yet endlessly complex, this technique can be enjoyed by beginners and the highly skilled alike. A dying art within the trade, You will gain an understanding of chainmaking and complete a simple soldered chain or learn a chainmail weave that can be made into a bracelet or necklace.
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At RK Jewellery Designs we offer training in CAD (computer aided design) and relevant CAM (computer aided manufacture) on a one-to-one basis with full tutor support. These are conducted on our state-of-the-art workstation and with a professional standard high-definition 3D printer in either standard resin or high-quality casting resin used in the jewellery trade to bring your creations to life.
We offer training in:
Basic Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator skills
Basic video editing skills
McNeel Rhino (an industry standard for jewellers)
3D printing in resin (basic)
Rendering in Maverick render (an industry standard for photo realistic rendering)
Packages on offer include:
One day "design and create jewellery with CAD" course
Suitable for couples,or singles and makes an exciting day out using the latest in cutting edge technology to create real jewellery that you can wear. this course includes sterling silver and gemstone and is suitable for complete beginners to computers and or CAD techniques.
You will be helped to design your own ring in sterling silver on our state-of-the-art workstation and see it brought to life in a series of photo realistic rendered images using Maverick render (which will be printed for you to keep on photo paper), you will then be shown how to prepare your design to print and have a sample of your work 3D printed on a high quality resin printer for you to keep. We will then produce your design in sterling silver, and it will be hallmarked and ready for collection or delivery within two weeks.
This course can be adapted for pendants, earrings etc and makes a fantastic gift to mothers, partners or as a nice treat for you!
CAD tuition (Rhino)
This course is 22hrs long and is booked in advance in blocks of four or eight hours and will leave you confident and comfortable with CAD and the Rhino interface.
This is a course aimed at people who want to learn to use Rhino to a high standard on a workstation that is built with CAD in mind (quite different from a standard home computer). This course is suitable for all levels from complete beginners to intermediate and will improve your understanding of good practice in 3D design immensely, preventing frustrating errors and wasted time.
This is a virtual course, given as a series of video lessons from a fantastic and highly qualified teacher, but with a tutor standing by in real time in case you get stuck. We use this course to train team members ourselves and cannot praise it highly enough.
Without presenting a huge list, suffice to say that this course makes all the confusing and infuriating things that come up in CAD clear and simple, in a very accessible way that can be applied every time you undertake CAD work.
This is a simple one-day course in how to use Maverick render a game changing piece of rendering software, it allows you to experience the maverick interface and render 3D images they have created (or ours if necessary). You will work using a top of the range graphics card with the latest ray tracing technology, making waits for rendering a thing of the past and allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the creative side of rendered image creation. This course can be paired with the Adobe creative suite course below to make the most of your new skills.
Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator (2D CAD) One/two/three day suitable for all.
This is a course aimed at introducing you to 2D design in the Adobe suite (which can export to rhino and vice versa). It covers simple photo editing and effects, fonts and layout as well as many other aspects of these two programs, you are welcome to bring high quality digital images to create with or you will be shown how to obtain them. A project will be established according to your needs and wishes (for example a collaged card or poster using designer fonts amoungst other possibility's) with the option to either have a photo paper copy of your creation printed (A4) or for an extra charge a professionally printed and framed version or a digital/physical photobook (professionally produced with an ISBN number giving you the option to sell your work) showcasing your designs. you will leave confident in the interfaces and able to work comfortably alone on a home p.c. or other device to continue their creative journey, of course with our full support if you get stuck.