Where and how to make your own jewellery in south London

A creation from an Upcycled Jewellery event by Crafty Pint

A creation from an Upcycled Jewellery event by Crafty Pint

First published in News Streatham Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

Let's face it ladies, we love jewellery: whether it is a sparkling Tiffany diamond or a string of fair-trade beads.

If you are anything like me you have overflowing boxes of cheap costume jewellery, a scattering of gems, passed down heirlooms and a pile of broken bits you are ‘definitely going to do something with’ one day.

Streatham Guardian:

Creations by Crafty Pint 

So much of my jewellery is loaded with emotion, representing stories or moments in my life that I do not have the heart to throw it away, however worthless. As Gollum would say they are ‘my precious’.

However, I am not alone in my jewellery hoarding habit - ancient Egyptian kings would be buried with their jewels believing they could use them in the afterlife.

Thousands of years later jewellery is still an important feature in our lives whether it is a wedding ring, a friendship bracelet or that giant sapphire and diamond ring weighing Kate Middleton down.

So why not gather up all those broken bits, your Nan’s old Art Deco brooch and that tacky bracelet your ex-boyfriend bought you and turn it all into something you actually want to wear?

Arts group, Crafty Pint, has been organising craft sessions in pubs across south west London for three years. Their Upcycled Jewellery Workshop, held at The Railway pub, in Streatham, and The Gorringe Park, in Tooting, gives people the chance to transform broken and old jewellery into designer pieces under the instruction of local artists for £20.

Organiser Gillian Elam says: "The idea is about promoting artists you don’t normally see, who work behind closed doors. It’s lovely seeing people transform unused bits into treasure. It’s important for us to supply everything.

"All the tools and materials - so people can turn up and try lots of different things. Jewellery is quite a personal thing so people bring things that mean something to them that they can use."

However, if you want to make something special from scratch then SCOLA (Sutton College) is the place for you - offering jewellery making classes from silverwork to bead stringing.

Streatham Guardian:

Teacher Liz Pearson runs classes in traditional jewellery skills such as shouldering, piercing and enamelling but also works with ‘metal clay’ which has become increasingly popular over the last 15 years.

Streatham Guardian:

One of Liz Pearson's pieces 

She says: "The product is made by the Japanese and it looks like a piece of clay with particles of silver. You work it like a piece of plasticine and fire it in a kiln and the finished product is silver. It’s great because you can do it in your own kitchen and you don’t need to have your own equipment."

Streatham Guardian:

Silver rings made at SCOLA

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