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A silver jewellery workshop with Sarah Drew

Bedruthan’s first craft workshop of the year fell on a gorgeously sunny day. There really isn’t much in life that’s better than looking out at the sea from a warm craft studio bathed in sunshine, about to embark on a new making adventure.

Ours was a small class of three, with the lovely Sarah Drew as teacher – a perfect number for plenty of hands-on tuition.

Sarah introduced us by showing us some of her beautiful work – really original pieces using anything from tufts of lichen, to pretty chunks of sea glass, beautiful chains handmade in eco-silver to tiaras made from antique brooches.

We started small by each making a pair of drop earrings. Taking two pieces of silver wire and melting the ends with a blow torch (slightly daunting!) to make a little blob at the end for the beads to sit on. We could then hammer the blobs of silver flat for a more attractive earring before cleaning the silver until it sparkled! All that was then left was to add colourful beads of our choice before bending the wire into our preferred shape.

It was a surprisingly simple process with very satisfying results. By now the group were hooked – keen to get stuck into our projects for the day

We had brought along bits and pieces from our own personal collections – broken necklaces we could never bare to throw away, odd earrings, beach finds and numerous buttons and beads – hoping to breathe new life into them.

Sarah taught us a variety of techniques – how to cut out rings of metal with a fine saw, how to apply and melt the solder to form rings and joins, melting a variety of scrap silver or gold to form interesting centre pieces – giving us the basic knowledge so that we could continue our silverwork at home.

By the end we’d completed between us: three pairs of earrings, a bangle from an old brooch, a charm necklace full of precious memories, another necklace comprised of handmade chain and broken beads, a rustic ring and a beautiful silver bracelet.

Everyone left enthused with ideas – so much so the class overran by an hour – after an enjoyable day topped off with the treat of lunch and lemon meringue pie in the Wild Café.