For a week, during the beginning of August, myself (Karen-Ann Dicken) and Eilidh Wood delivered a workshop for 18 young people from the Prince’s Trust looking for employment. We were both a little apprehensive at introducing a novice group to all the equipment and chemicals we use. The first trial day went brilliantly and some good samples were produced. The following week however the group blew me away.
One girl produced a brilliantly made sterling silver ring with tiny granulation on the top. Another girl scored and folded a hexagonal box to create a pendant. Both of these techniques can take months to perfect. The group as a whole were so enthusiastic to learn and it was a pleasure to spend the week teaching them. They excelled, to a level of jewellery making that I never would have predicted. Many of them trying multiple techniques and working really hard throughout.
On the final day we had a presentation and lunch as well as a small exhibition of the work they had created. Some of the students spoke at the award ceremony about how much the week had meant to them. They spoke about how much confidence the course had given them, how they had made new friends in similar situations to themselves and how they had learned much more then they had expected about jewellery design. The week meant a lot to the majority of the class and I know that a lot of them came away feeling more optimistic, productive, educated and many also seeing routes for their future.