Learn the Art of Jewellery Making
The opportunity to learn a new skill is what inspired many of our students to enrol on one of our courses, and many of them are now proficient jewellery makers. Find out what motivated our students to pursue a new venture and their experiences of jewellery making by reading below.
“I started learning to make jewellery with Martin around 7 or 8 years ago now and got totally hooked straight away. When the studio moved, I followed. I drive quite a long way to get there, but I’d happily drive even further. Tracy and Martin aren’t just professional jewellers, but also fantastic teachers and craftsmen, and they’ve managed to create a studio where everyone feels welcome and inspired. It’s become my treat to myself, a really special time each week.”
“Signed up for classes with Martin and Tracy at their studio/workshop in St Albans three years ago and have been attending one morning a week most of the time since then. It’s been great to learn a completely new skill and to make one-off pieces of jewellery for myself and the family – including a simple gold wedding ring for my son when he got married last year. It’s fun and addictive – and my Wednesdays wouldn’t be the same without it.”
“Having embarked on numerous jewellery courses over the years, I have enormous respect for the skill, expertise and experience that Martin Hopton and Tracy Furlong have. They offer superb teaching in the best-equipped workshop any student could dream of. I would recommend courses at The St Albans Jewellery School above all others.”
“The tuition at The St Albans School of Jewellery is second to none; as well as benefiting from decades of their teaching skills and experience in the jewellery industry, I enter each week into a calm, friendly and extremely creative environment with stunning countryside surroundings. Escapism of the very loveliest kind!”
“Martin and Tracy are very inspiring professional jewellery designer makers and teachers. They are incredibly patient and always willing to help make creative ideas into reality.”
“I love the classes at The St Albans School of Jewellery. I am so glad I came across this school of jewellery; I enjoy every single lesson and am always longing for the next one as soon as one is over. Martin and Tracy are both highly skilled designers and makers, who leave no problem unsolved and are always very committed to helping each student to finish their projects in as close to perfect as possible. Their special gift on top of this is their ability to explain very well and with patience if necessary. The setting is perfect and can sometimes feel too cosy to get working hard : ) …”
“I’ve been studying with Martin and Tracy for a few months. Jewellery is a hobby, for me. It brings together a perfect mix of creativity and technical manual skills. The St Albans School of Jewellery is a wonderful environment to learn and practice this art form in their fully equipped jewellery studio and using the wide range of available tools under the expert guidance of Martin and Tracy.”
“I attended the St Albans School of Jewellery as a complete beginner, and found Martin and Tracy to be inspiring, supportive and knowledgeable. There was a fantastic mix of technical tuition as well as design inspiration, always in a relaxed, friendly environment. The class can be tailored to suit individual needs, so is perfect for any skill level ~ I highly recommend it!”
“I highly recommend their beginners course – I was delighted with the ring I made and enjoyed learning the techniques and handling the tools and precious metals. The courses are designed to appeal to all and I thoroughly recommend anyone to have a go.”
“About a year ago I met a jewellery designer at a show who had been taught by Martin Hopton and she recommended I went along to meet designer goldsmiths Martin Hopton and Tracy Furlong at their studio to try a taster jewellery making class. Being a complete novice, I was very nervous. To say it has changed my life is an understatement. I am taught by two amazing jewellers who are so inspirational, nothing is too much trouble and the patience they have with a beginner is second to none. The passion they have for this art shows through in their own creations, their studio and the wealth of knowledge they have to share. It is the highlight of my week to go to class.”
"Just wanted to send a big thank you to you and Martin for making the jewellery class yesterday do thoroughly enjoyable. Both Janice and I really enjoyed the relaxed but professional approach and we're delighted with our final product. I am so glad I choose this course as a gift to mark our special birthdays and I have no doubt that I will be back in the future. Once again, thank you both."
"Attending my Sunday class is still the highlight of my weekend even after joining nearly three years ago. The school provides a perfect environment allowing you to develop your own ideas but giving you expert support when needed. It's given me the inspiration and skills to start my own jewellery making business which may have just remained a dream if I hadn't found the school."
"The Classes at the St Albans School of Jewellery are absolutely awesome. You are taught to make jewellery to the highest standards in a relaxed and creative environment. Martin and Tracy are extremely patient, always pleasant and totally professional in delivering the learning. You will become addicted!"
"Thank you for the most enjoyable and productive day yesterday. I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and will look forward to returning soon. Glad I found you!"
“I had been thinking of trying silversmithing and jewellery making for some time and heard about the skills of the designer and goldsmith Martin Hopton through a friend who was a student at Central St Martins College Of Art & Design in London. I contacted The St Albans School of Jewellery studio in Hertfordshire and booked on a Sunday class. As a complete novice, my first project was to make a silver ring. The first step was to measure and mark out the width of ring I wanted to make on sheet metal. Using a piercing saw and a steady hand I carefully cut off the strip without deviating from the marked line. After this, I filed the edges of the strip of metal to ensure it was smooth and perfectly straight. The next stage in making my ring involved a process called annealing which required me to heat the sheet of metal with a small blow torch. Great fun! I learned that this process gives the metal the flexibility it needs for bending. Once I had achieved this I decided to add a pattern to my band and chose to emboss a series of small letters onto the band using a metal letter print and a rolling mill. To get the spherical shape I then manipulated the embossed strip into a round shape to fit around a mandrel by tapping it with a leather mallet. I was then shown how to solder the two ends of the band together to form a complete circle of metal. For a fantastic finish, my ring then required further filing and papering. This ensured smooth edges and any fire stain from the metal that occurred whilst annealing disappeared. Using a pendant motor, the final stage of making my ring was to polish it. Incredibly, the process suddenly transformed my band from a dull matt colour to a bright, sparkling silver and I was absolutely thrilled with the results! Martin and Tracy were excellent tutors providing clear guidance throughout and yet allowing me the freedom to experiment and apply the techniques myself. Had a great day and left with my handmade unique silver ring which made a wonderful birthday present for my sister, who was thrilled.”