What is the course about?
Working with an experienced tutor and maker, you will work through a variety of silver soldering exercises and best practices that will really improve your understanding and technique as well as boost your confidence in this area. The course is for beginners with some basic experience, and intermediate levels who would like to experiment and build confidence - all the exercises can be adapted to suit varying needs and abilities. This course deliberately shifts the focus off making a finished piece, instead allowing you to really get to grips with the different methods of soldering, without worrying about the outcome.
What will we cover?
- Different grades of solder: when to use them and how to prepare them
- Different soldering methods – chip/pallion, probe/pick, stick feed, sweat and paste - how to use them and which one to use for a particular join
- Different types of joins and how to prepare a join for successful soldering
- Using just the right amount of solder to minimise cleaning up afterwards
- Multiple joins on the same piece including hollow shapes
- Troubleshooting and solving common soldering problems.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Identify the different grades of solder and describe when to use them
- demonstrate how to prepare solder for use
- identify the different soldering methods and when to use the
- use just the right amount of solder to minimise cleaning up afterwards
- make a hollow shape
- make multiple joins on one piece
- solder confidently with improved soldering skills and knowledge
- build up a series of examples of different types of joins using a variety of different soldering methods.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is suitable for beginners with some basic experience as well those of an intermediate level wishing to extend their skills. You should be confident cutting metal using a piercing saw as well as file. If you have already attended a silversmithing or jewellery class, this course should encourage you by allowing you to experiment without the pressure of completing a finished piece of work.
You will need to be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions to support demonstrations, hand-outs and for health and safety information, and be prepared to take part in group discussions. You should be happy using numbers and able to do simple measurements and calculations.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Through practical demonstrations, discussions and handouts. You will be taught as a group and there will be plenty of 1:1 help. It will not be necessary to do any work outside the class.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Build provides almost all the basic tools and equipment you will need, as well as basic materials in reasonable quantities, such as silver solder and base metals (copper), and other materials such as saw blades and chemicals (pickle, borax, etc). You may bring your own metal to use if you wish to, and if you want to work in precious metal you will need to supply your own.
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
VV862 Develop your jewellery design and making
VV401 Jewellery and mindfulness workshop.
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