What is the course about?
This course will introduce you to electroforming. Electroforming is suitable to make a wide range of non-metallic
materials conductive to coat them with a layer of copper. The technique also enables you to create intricate,
complex three-dimensional shapes in wax and Polymorph (a polymer, which can be modelled, when warm). Once prepared, they can be turned into hollow and lightweight pieces which cannot be done using any other technique. We will work in copper and you will be able to electroform between 4-6 pieces depending on the size of your pieces which can vary between a two-pound coin and the size of your palm. If you aim to have a silver or gold finished surface, you can get your pieces plated after the course.
What will we cover?
- The principles of electroforming.
- The possibilities, potential and limitations of electroforming different materials
- How to prepare and process pieces for electroforming
- Health and safety best practice; safe use of the equipment
- The correct use of handling chemicals and operating the tank
- The properties of different metals: copper, silver and gold
- Wax carving and working with Polymorph
- Integrating bails and other jewellery findings
- Finishing processes and surface dyeing.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Have produced between 4 and 6 electroforming samples or jewellery pieces in copper
- Describe the principles of electroforming
- Identify suppliers and to obtain electroforming materials
- Design and prepare pieces of work appropriate for electroforming and outsourcing
- Compare the properties of electroformed/deposited copper versus copper
- Apply health and safety best practice
- Discuss what you have learned and apply your new skills to your jewellery practice
- Contribute to a culture of mutual support within the group, and enjoy the profitable exchange of ideas, information and inspiration.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
The course is specific to jewellers, individuals and creative practitioners working in 3D design, sculpture, textile and ceramics. All levels are welcome and no prior jewellery skills are necessary.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Through theoretical and practical demonstrations both to the group and to individuals. You will get a handout and list of resources. We will also watch a short film about the technique and you will see sample images of electroformed pieces. Group discussions and feedback are encouraged.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Course materials such as copper and materials to prepare for electroforming will be provided. Please bring a selection on small pieces (not bigger than the size of your palm), including but not limited to natural found objects, sundries, lace, textiles, plastic ready-mades, leather, buttons and everything that you wish to electroform.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Build offer a wide range of short and year-long courses in Jewellery design and making, from beginners to advanced, and for professional development.
The courses below might complement what you learned on this course:
VV821 Jewellery making: all levels
VV432 Try it out: resin jewellery
VV862 Develop your jewellery design and making.
General information and advice on courses at Build is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details