Virtual Atelier – Jewellery Making at Home

Virtual Atelier

Back for Craft Week 2021, in response to the extended lockdowns across the eastern seaboard, our Virtual Atelier: Jewellery Making at Home was conceived as a lovely way to stay connected with like-minded creatives and an opportunity to progress jewellery related projects with expert guidance.

Over four weeks, Virtual Atelier is a weekly three-hour online session via ZOOM. Students with intermediate plus skills, even with minimal tools and materials, can catch up each week to get technical direction, design guidance and, significantly, camaraderie from tutor Melanie Ihnen and fellow participants.

Experienced makers who may not consider themselves “students” but long for some creative connection while pursuing their projects from their studios are welcome.

Virtual Atelier: Jewellery Making at Home aims to connect our community and support our regular tutors who cannot teach in our classroom during lockdown. 

At A Glance

  • $200 inc GST
  • Virtual Atelier is a small group, all online making and learning course.
  • Thursdays 6.00 pm to 9.00 pm
Find Dates and Book a Spot!

Wonderful, informative and motivating course with lovely companionship while working. I got great advice from Mel, and could listen in on the advice provided to the other participants too! Really advanced my practice—and really fun too! I’ll definitely be back!

Fiona, September 2021


What is Virtual Atelier?

Virtual Atelier is a three-hour zoom session in our virtual “studio” with Melanie Ihnen on hand to answer technical and design questions, demonstrate techniques, provide guidance and encourage your making.

It will be a way to carry on with your existing projects or start new ones and get advice and encouragement.

Each week, it is a date in your diary dedicated to your jewellery making, a date to work towards and look forward to.

It will be an opportunity to connect with your Jewellery buddies and make new friends. See what projects are being worked on from home, and maybe see some pets too!

What To Expect

Skill Level

Virtual Atelier is ideal for those of you with a home studio set-up or even a small crafting area, it is suited to students who are already makers and not suited to absolute beginners. If you are unsure and would like guidance, please contact us at

What You Make

  • Choose what you wish to make or work to a brief provided by your tutor.
  • Work on your existing projects or start new ones.
  • Design new projects and work on prototypes.
  • This course is aimed to be an opportunity for students to work their own way with support and guidance.

What if I don't have an existing project to work on or don't have many tools and materials?

  • We have developed a brief designed to be achievable using whatever tools and materials are available to you.
  •  “Home isolation is a great chance to embrace working with the tools you have on hand. Explore the materials and techniques you can use in your home workshops and creative nooks. Examine the elements of your previous work (or works). Could you interpret each element via the different mediums you have on hand?”  


Class Size

To ensure the best experience for students, this class is capped at 8, including your tutor.


What do you need to bring

  • A reliable internet connection as classes are online
  • A computer, Tablet or Phone with a camera capable of joining a ZOOM meeting. Having a second device handy can be helpful.
  • Any tools and materials you have access to.
  • Your existing projects to go on with or enthusiasm to start designing and working on a new one.

How will Virtual Atelier Work?

  • You will receive a ZOOM meeting invitation and advice about ZOOM meeting etiquette before the first class. The link will be valid for all 4 sessions.
  • If you haven’t used the Zoom platform previously – it is fun and easy to learn after a simple download.
  • Your tutor will be happy to receive email notifications up to one day before the session if you have a specific technique that you would like to discuss or have demonstrated by your tutor. If you don’t have any specific questions, no problem, tune in, get making and ask questions along the way.
  • At the start of each session, your tutor will speak to each participant about what they are working on and ascertain if they need specific advice. Then, your tutor will create a waiting list, and each student will have their turn for a one-on-one consult. Everyone in the session can observe those consultations if that is of interest to them, or they can carry on working and listen to the chat in the background.
  • When no one is getting specific advice, you are free to chat among yourselves. No problem there, this should be fun : )

Notes, Terms and Conditions

  • We are relatively new to this style of online teaching.
  • We aim to respond to this extended lockdown, offering this course to support our students and tutors.
  • We have kept the price at a minimum.
  • Production will be simple. Please don’t expect a multi-camera setup.
  • Instead, expect jewellery expertise and camaraderie.
  • For this course to proceed, we need to reach a minimum number of 4 students. If we do not get the minimum number of enrolments, we will postpone to a suitable date or cancel and refund fees.

I just completed the first Virtual Atelier Thursday group that ran for three Thursdays with the amazing Melanie Ihnen.
I worked from home from my shed, and I am lucky enough to have a torch and bench. However, it wasn’t necessary to have soldering set up or fancy tools. If you didn’t have the specific tool for your project, Melanie would suggest a household object that would do the trick.
It was great to see all the different individual projects people were working on and seeing those progress.
I really enjoyed making my silver band, bezel setting and stone setting. The Zoom class worked brilliantly for me. We were able to send photos of our developing work and get immediate feedback and guidance.
More importantly, I loved and looked forward to the company of Mel and the other Jewellery Zoomers.
I would definitely do it again. Thanks, Square Peg and Melanie.
Cheers, Geraldine

Geraldine, Lockdown 2020

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

Course Dates

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