Did you know you can rent a whole jewellery studio, by the hour or the day, at very affordable rates? If you are starting to learn jewellery making, you might put off your start date as you believe you need a whole lot of cash to set up your own studio - but you can simply rent studios for the amount of time you need.
Most jewellery studios are fully equipped, with kilns, firing stations, equipment - that's not being used most of the time. Many jewellery studios will run workshops to teach various skills, but that still leaves them with a lot of space and equipment sitting idle.
It's for this reason that many jewellery studios hold what are called Open Studio Sessions - where you can simply go along and use the equipment you need.
Obviously there are health and safety issues and competency issues - but the studios will let you know what their criteria is. Usually, if you can simply let them know your level of experience it's enough to be allowed in.
Open studio sessions are also great if you are moving about a bit, or even on holiday - yet still want to make some jewellery.
Rent a Studio by the Hour or by the Day
The rules of each studio will vary, but some will let you rent space by the hour - and others are by the session or day. Once you build a relationship with a studio, from having used them a few times, you can then have a chat with them and see if you can come to your own arrangement. Once they've seen how you work a few times they'll know if they're happy to change their standard agreement for you.
When you rent a studio, you might find you're just sharing the space with the owner, or you might find there are 3-4 others in a larger workshop. Every studio for rent is different as they are all privately owned and run, so the prices and terms will be dependent upon what the owner wants to do. Maybe 2-3 days/week they run classes from the space, so make the Open Studio available on the remaiing days while they are in the studio themselves making their own pieces.
Kiln Firing Service
Another service many jewellery workshops offer is a kiln firing service. With this you take your items to them and they fire them in their kiln.
While many people use a microwave kiln at home, sometimes you either have a large piece of jewellery that needs firing, or maybe a batch if you're making a stock of pendants, rings, or other items for sale.
Charges for a kiln firing service tend to be based on either a whole kiln to yourself, or priced "per item". This can be a very cost-efficient way for beginners to get small projects finished. Some studios offer this service by post - but you do have to think how safe your items are going to be in the postal service as unfired pieces do tend to be fragile.
If you want to try out PMC Silver Clay, for example, you might be wholly comfortable with buying a PMC kit and making your own fingerprint jewellery, but you might not be confident of torch firing at home and have no wish to invest in a kiln either - although microwave kilns for home use are very popular now and have come down in price considerably.
This type of service is great if you need access to a filn, or want to texture metal using a rolling mill.
You can work for weeks beforehand, building up pieces so you aren't wasting any time once you arrive.
Things to Consider
Once you're been on a silversmith course, or a PMC course, you come away wishing you had all the equipment you've just used. A small kiln can cost £200-300, a good one will be more. A cheap milling machine will cost upwards of £200. And what about all those other great tools you want.....
Using the services of an Open Studio can save you buying these things yourself - and gives you the chance to explore and practice your new skills, and to discover if you really want to own any one piece of equipment.
Note: Open Studios are for people to use equipment that they don't own themselves. Open Studios are not a teaching opportunity - you are expected to know what you are doing and how to use the equipment. Before being admitted you will be asked what your experience is and if you say you've never done anything like it before and fancy "having a go", you'll be declined a booking and they will suggest you go on at least a one-day jewellery course before calling them again. The criteria they set will be based around health and safety - so will depend what you are attempting to use.
Online Jewellery Courses and Local Jewellery Courses
- Online Jewelry Making Courses
Why attend a class when you can attend online jewelry making courses for a fraction of the price and with all the benefits of a supportive online community..
- List of Jewellery Making Courses in England
A list of jewellery making courses and many silversmithing courses I've found that teach you to make your own silver and copper jewellery from scratch. These jewellery making courses are daytime courses of at least one day's duration.
- Silver Metal Clay: Baby Fingerprint Courses in Engla...
Learn how to take a cast of fingerprints and turn them into silver jewellery - there are courses throughout England. It's easy, it's fun - and makes for a great home-based business! Find out where..
Chununga Partnership - Studio Open to the Public
Location: High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
On selected Saturdays throughout the year our studio is generally open to the public to come along and use our studio to get creative! Come along and have a go at some of the crafts we have available; metal clay jewellery, ceramic clay jewellery, polymer clay, Dip-It Resin, Glass Clay, stamp making and we will be adding more throughout the year!
Booking a space is not always necessary, but booking is advised during busy times. We recommend calling before you come.
These are not structured classes, more a pop along and have fun with help at hand for all ages!
* Simply buy the materials on the day and make a gift with them! We are there to guide you but it is not a formal training session. There is no studio fee if you are purchasing materials on the day to make your creation but if you simply want to come along and bring your own things but use the facilities then you will be charged a £15 studio fee.
London School of Jewellery - Kiln Hire / Kiln Firing
Equipment available at the London School of Jewellery Open Studios Sessions are: Kilns for metal clay, enameling and glass fusing, Jewellery benches and hand tools, Rolling mill, , Polishing unit, Pillar drill (small and Large), Ultrasonic cleaner, Barrel polish, Torches for firing and soldering, Ring re-sizer, Hammers, doming blocks and mallets, Sander ... and more.
Cost: Full day £30 (10-5)
Frequency: Contact them to check availability, dates/times.
London School of Jewellery Kiln Firing Service
£10 for as many pieces as you like, so long as they will fit into one kiln. Copper clay firing costs £20.
Made by Ore - Bookable Hot Benches
Location: Hackney, London
Would you like to continue with your making but don't have the room at home? Are you are a recent graduate and need a flexible and low cost space to make your work? Or perhaps you a maker and have a specific project or commission to deliver but don't need a studio full time? Then why not come and use our Studio?
Made By Ore run a flexible 'Hot Bench' system, so you can use the studio for as little or as long as you need to.
Magic Minx - Open Studio Sessions
Location: Hinckley, Leicestershire
Referred to As: Open Studio Sessions
Cost: £25 per session, 9.30-4.30, usually weekdays.
"6 ½ Hours for you to come in to the Studio & utilise our tools & services, there will also be occasional demos of new Products & tools etc."
Magnolia Studios, Northampton
Referred To As: Open Studio sessions
It is advisable to start with a few simple, yet very effective, techniques covered in Magnolia's workshops and then progress to some more challenging designs in your own time by booking an open studio session.
You do not have to have attended a Magnolia course to book an open studio session, but you do need to have learnt somewhere before as the open studio sessions are for you to practice, there is no teaching.
Help/Advice Available?: Help and advice are available, however they are not teaching sessions.
Equipment Available: Kiln firing facilities, tools and equipment to try before you buy your own supplies.
Costs: £25 for up to four hours which includes kiln firing and use of all ACS tools and equipment. In addition you pay for any materials used, Silver clay can be supplied at discount prices.
Frequency: Open Studio sessions currently held on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Magnolia Studios Kiln Firing Service
Magnolia Studios offer this service at a cost of just £10 for a full load, or £2/piece. Perfect if you've been on a fingerprint jewellery course and now your friends/relatives want you to make them one!
Mid Cornwall School of Jewellery
Location: St Austell, Cornwall
No teaching will be available, only someone to help you to use any equipment you are unfamiliar with. To get the most from your time, come prepared to work on your project.
Equipment available includes: a motorised polisher with powerful extractor hood, pendant drill and dremmel drill, a wide variety of hammers, flat plates, doming block, draw plates, various punches, triblets, mandrels and ring sizers
Cost: £35 for a full day.
Frequency: There is usually one open workshop per month,
Location: Amersham, Buckinghamshire
Tried PMC and want somewhere quiet and well-equipped to work? Come and use our Studio where you are welcome to use our tools and equipment to make your pieces or come in to fire and finish.
Availability: Tuesdays 10.30-2.00.
Items available to use include: worksheets, rollers, spacers, cutters, stamps, wipe out tools, clean up tools, needle tools, ring mandrels, rubber blocks, brushes, burnishers, hot plate, tumbler, torch (incl. gas) and Evenheat PMC kiln.
Cost: £10 per session
Surrey Jewellery School
Use our studio and Metal Clay equipment to work at your pace on your own Metal Clay projects.
Each session takes place on the first Thursday of themonth from 10am to 4pm and costs £5 per hour plus materials, which are available to buy on the day.
Please note that these sessions do not include tuition. Booking is essential - a £10 non refundable or transferable deposit secures your place with the remainder due on the day.
Cost: £ - enquire.
Surrey Jewellery School Kiln Firing Service
Items for firing can be dropped off and collected from the studio during normal opening hours or alternatively posted. Return postage and packaging prices will be individually quoted. All items submitted for the Fire & Shine service must be accompanied by a competed and signed Kiln Firing Request Form. Offering a kiln firing service, on a per item basis, or a whole kin. Additional shine/polish service available too.
Cost: From £2/item. £12-36, depending on type of precious metal clay, for a dedicated kiln load.
Availability: Contact for details
Location: Chew Magna, Somerset
The Open Studio Sessions enable students to use tools and equipment for a small fee. Although these sessions are supervised, to ensure your safety, they do not include teaching. Advanced booking is necessary.
The fully equipped studio is open on Monday mornings 10 - 1pm and Wednesdays 10 - 1pm and 2 -5pm. Pre-booking is required, with a maximum of 6 people per session.
There is no tuition on these days - only supervision when using equipment and tools.
Cost: £10 per 3 hour session.
Frequency: Weekly sessions.
Touchmark Studios Kiln Firing Service
The cost for the kiln firing service is £10 per full load or £2.00 per item. Delivery costs are not included and it is recommended that any items are posted by Special Delivery. Return postage is also not included in the above prices.
|Studio||Open Studio Sessions||Kiln Firing Service|
London School of Jewellery
Made by Ore
Yes. £25/4 hours
Mid Cornwall School of Jewellery
Yes. £10/4.5 hours
Surrey Jewellery School
Yes, £10/3 hours
Do You Know of a Studio That Offers This Service?
If you know of, or run, a studio that runs hot benches, open studio sessions, or similar opportunities for people to use your kiln, workshop or specialist tools, leave a comment below and we'll fit you into the list on this page!
Dedicated Content Curator from United Kingdom on May 27, 2013:
Renting a jewellery studio for a few hours or a day seems a great way to get into making more professional jewellery without the huge expense and space of all the tools and equipment - especially being able to hire a rolling mill as they're large and expensive. With some planning you could achieve a lot of work in batch mode in an hour even!
Thanks for info.