Treasured – future heirloom Workshop

A silver signet ring with lightening bolt detail on teh front face

In the ‘Treasured’ jewellery-making workshop, students are introduced to the ancient art of lost wax carving and finish the workshop with a beautiful jewellery design of their own creation.

Participants will create talismans of power for their own lives while enjoying a meditative creative experience in our inclusive and inspiring Marrickville studio.

The ‘Treasured ~ Future Heirloom’ workshop is taught by experienced tutors Emily Copp and Melanie Ihnen, who will guide participants through a three-day designing and making journey.

No prior experience is required to take part, and this class is suitable for total beginners.

At A Glance

  • $0 inc GST
  • Held at 10 Junction Street Marrickville - SquarePeg Studios
  • 10am to 4pm - Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th of November + Wednesday the 22nd of November.
Find Dates and Book a Spot!

I loved this class! It was so fun and informative, and I left with a beautiful ring that I made myself. Highly recommend this workshop to anyone who has an interest in jewellery making or wants to learn a new technique.

Kit, Recent Student

ABOUT THE COURSE

For eons, people have worn talismans, amulets and charms for protection, for hope and for reasons as varied as the challenges faced by those wearing these objects of personal power.

In the ‘Treasured’ workshop, participants embark upon 3-days of jewellery making, learning how to create a personal work by carving a design in wax which will then be lost wax cast into sterling silver.

The workshop is led by two expert tutors and will be presented over three days/two weeks in the SquarePeg Studios classroom in Marrickville.

Week One: Participants design and then make their works over the first two days of the course. Students will learn how to create their designs in wax using various carving techniques.

There is a one-week break before the final class allowing students’ works to be professionally cast in sterling silver.

Week Two: In the second week, students return for a final day, where they learn how to polish and complete their designs in precious metal and polish the casting, ready to wear.

Participants will be guided through a design process to help them draw upon their own history, connections, and inspirations to create a wearable object infused with personal meaning to treasure.

 

This workshop is a 3-Day Workshop over two weeks.

Week one = designing and making – 10 am to 4 pm – Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th of November

Week two = completion of work in sterling silver) – 10 am to 4 pm – Wednesday the 22nd of November

What is lost wax casting?

Lost wax carving is a traditional technique used in jewellery making and sculpture. A model is carved or shaped in wax and is then cast. To do this the wax model is ‘sprued’ to a wax tree, put into a special container and then filled with investment plaster. Once dry, the investment plaster containing the wax model is put in a kiln and the waxes are ‘burnt out’, leaving the space in the plaster where the model used to be. Molten metal is then injected into the space at high pressure and then allowed to cool. The plaster is then broken up to reveal the metal piece, which will then be cleaned and finished.


What To Expect

What You Learn

Students will learn how to carve jewellery wax to make a model of a jewellery piece, most likely a ring and how to finish the cast piece

  • how to measure, mark up and make a carved wax ring model
  • technical terms
  • good understanding of the tools and materials needed to continue working with wax
  • how to remove a sprue, file, emery and polish the metal casting finished ready to wear
  • techniques learnt here are ones that can be used at home to make wax models for jewellery

What You Make

Students will make a ring, pendant design, or similar scale project in consultation with the tutor. We encourage students to choose these types of wearable projects as it is an opportunity to learn accurate measuring and how to apply that to the wax model.

Please note that stone setting is not within the scope of this workshop.

Class Size

To ensure an excellent experience for our students, we cap this class at 10. We request that students joining the class are ready to participate in the curriculum of designing a work of personal meaning. In saying this, rest assured that there is no need to share the details of the meaning of your work unless you want to – the guided design process will help you create your piece in an inspiring and inclusive environment.

Practicalities

What is Included

  • A welcome pack inclusive of a journal to keep
  • All wax materials for experimentation and for the wax ring model.
  • Each student has an included budget as part of their enrolment, which covers the cost of casting their work in sterling silver
  • This budget is set at a typical amount for a wearable such as a ring or a pendant design
  • All tools and consumables such as saw blades, emery and patina.
  • Delivery and collection of the wax models to and from the casting house.
  • Coordination of the pieces to be cast in time for the second class.
  • A selection of teas, coffee and yummy biscuits for morning and afternoon tea.

What to Bring

  • Your ideas and creativity
  • Your lunch
  • Magnifying glasses or a jeweller loupe if required (ie, if you wear glasses to read it is a good idea to bring your glasses)
  • As this workshop presents supported places, there is an allocated casting budget for each student as a part of the enrollment, which covers typical cast fees for works in sterling silver
  • If a student’s work exceeds this budget, the student will need to cover the shortfall.
  • Students are very unlikely to go over the included budget unless they choose to
  • The expected cost of the work will be calculated in week one well in advance of the casting process and should always be able to be covered by the included budget if casting the work in sterling silver

Safety

  • We take safety seriously at SquarePeg.
  • All students must wear enclosed shoes (no sandals or thongs), long pants or skirts and have long hair tied back.
  • We provide safety equipment and training on how to use all relevant equipment.

Payment Options

  • This workshop provides subsidised places for 10 participants from our community.
  • Participation is by invitation only, valued at $650
  • We are grateful for the support of an Inner West Council Arts Project Grant in subsidising this project for participants.
  • Invitees will have their enrolment process completed through our partner.

Is the date you want sold out?

Please send us an email to register your interest and to go on a waitlist. mail@squarepegstudios.com.au

I really enjoyed this class. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn about the lost wax process. I left with the skills to continue making my own pieces at home. Emily is a great teacher. she explained everything clearly, gave demonstrations, answered all questions and made sure to have one on one time with each student. She also provided us with information to take home so that we could continue our learning with confidence,

Jessica, 2021

Our Tutors

Why choose a jewellery making course at SquarePeg Studios?

Our courses are taught by highly experienced and passionate teachers who are practising contemporary jewellers. This is the closest to an accredited course – without the assignments, stress and cost – that Sydney has to offer. Students not only gain the satisfaction of designing and hand-making their own piece of jewellery they also have the opportunity to get a behind the scenes look at a contemporary professional jewellery studio while learning great new skills in jewellery techniques and design.

Melanie Ihnen

Melanie studied design at Newcastle TAFE and Jewellery and Object at Enmore Design Centre Sydney. She has since been a maker, teacher, curator and gallery director. Melanie has been teaching, exhibiting and practicing jewellery in Sydney for over 15 years and works in her studio in the CBD producing her hand made collections. Her signature works are influenced by geometric shapes, architecture and the subtle colour and tonal variations of metals. She employs the technique of Married metals working with various gold alloys and silver.
Melanie Ihnen - Square ring
Emily Copp smiling at camera whilst seatedat jewellers bench with an alight jewellers torch

Emily Copp

Emily is a Sydney based contemporary jeweller who works with diverse materials and technologies such as 3D printing alongside traditional silversmithing. Her practice spans jewellery and object design. She has presented work in many group shows, as well as exhibiting solo. Emily earned her Advanced Diploma in Jewellery & Object Design at The Design Centre Enmore (2014). Emily is a resident artist at SquarePeg Studios and teaches various classes in the studio's classroom. In 2017 Emily became a Director at SquarePeg.

Emily also spends a few days a week as a sessional lecturer and technical officer at the University of NSW Art and Design Campus in the Jewellery, Metal & Wood workshops.

“I love the alchemy of transforming ideas into materialised design through the varied efforts and explorations of making.”
'Boundless' ring in 18 karat white gold and Australian Sapphire by Emily Copp

Course Dates

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