Skills Training Programme

Contemporary British Silversmiths

SKILLS TRAINING PROGRAMME

The Contemporary British Silversmiths Skills Training Programme (STP) is a national flexible training model that responds to industry demand for skills training whilst creating the next generation of tutors.

Conceived by former Chair of Contemporary British Silversmiths Rauni Higson and developed with Tony Bedford in 2015, it formally launched in 2017 in partnership with the Goldsmiths’ Centre.

Harnessing the skills of master silversmiths such as Tony Bedford, Ray Walton, Michael McCrory, Brett Payne and Rod Kelly, to teach and play a key role developing course content and learning resources, our aim is to create a virtuous circle of skills transfer to protect and pass on skills for the future.

The CBS Skills Training Programme is led by Rauni Higson with Programme Manager Sally Dodson and the CBS STP Committee (Chris Knight – Chair, Tony Bedford, Abigail Brown, Cara Murphy and Ray Walton).

Please direct any enquiries to Sally Dodson

OUR OBJECTIVES ARE TO:

Maintain and expand the current silversmithing skill base, and develop it for the future to grow sustainable businesses.

Create a pool of skilled and experienced tutors who can be called upon to pass on what they have learned in an agreed and tested format

 

Focus on raising the skill level of graduate members as the future of the craft Address shortage of diversity of silversmithing skills.

Provide targeted relevant industry led continuous professional development for silversmiths throughout their careers.

OUR COURSES

Courses are currently available to full and graduate members of Contemporary British Silversmiths. If you are a practising silversmith and are interested in becoming a member, please get in touch.

Since 2018, we have successfully delivered 11 training courses. These have been held across the UK at locations in North Wales, Northern Ireland, Birmingham, Sheffield and London (The Goldsmiths’ Centre). Our mission is to offer in-person training at specialist workshop venues. However, the overriding aim is to enable skills transfer and when Covid-19 forced us to cancel a course due to be held in Cambridgeshire, we adjusted the structure accordingly and delivered our first distance learning training.

Government restrictions allowing, we are planning to run the following courses in 2021. All courses will include a webinar element as well as face-to-face training.

GRADUATE FLAT HAMMERING
Tutors: Angus McFadyen & Rauni Higson
Venue: Talysarn, North Wales
Date: 25-28 January 2021

GRADUATE SPOON FORGING
Tutor: Howard Fenn
Venue: Talysarn, North Wales
Dates: 15-18 February 2021

CHASING
Tutors: Rod Kelly
Venue: Shetland
Dates: 28 March - 2 April 2021

 

COURSE TOPICS

The following courses have already been successfully delivered and have teaching resources for each. Silversmiths, please contact us if you would like to see any of these offered again or have suggestions for other topics.

ASYMMETRIC RAISING
Tutor: Tony Bedford
Format: 5 day residential course
First held: 15-19 Jan 2018

DEEP DRAWING
Tutors: Michael McCrory & Cara Murphy
Format: 5 day residential course
First held: 17-21 June 2019

FLATWARE FORGING
Tutor: Brett Payne
Format: 5 day residential course
First held: 5-9 Feb 2018

GRADUATE BOX MAKING SKILLS
Tutors: Abigail Brown & Andrew Macgowan
Format: 5 day residential course
First held: 15-19 July 2019

GRADUATE HAMMERWORK SKILLS
Tutors: Abigail Brown & Rauni Higson
Format: 5 day residential course
First held: 6-10 August 2018

GRADUATE HAMMERWORK SKILLS
Tutors: Rebecca de Quin Charlotte & Tollyfield
Format: 5 day residential course
First held: 12-16 August 2019

INTRODUCTION TO HINGE MAKING
Tutor: Ray Walton
Format: Distance learning by 5 x group Zoom meetings and one-to-one telephone support
First held: August 2020

PRECISION BOX MAKING
Tutor: Ray Walton
Format: 5 day residential course
First held: 9-13 Jul 2018

RAISING A SEAMED VESSEL
Tutor: Tony Bedford
Format: 5 day residential course
First held: 8-12 Jan 2018

TRAY SINKING
Tutor: Ray Walton
Format: 5 day residential course
First held: 9-13 Jul 2018

 

ALTERNATIVE TRAINING ROUTES

The CBS Skills Training Programme focusses on enabling skills transfer through the delivery of courses. We also recognise, support and facilitate peer-to-peer learning through online seminars and discussion groups.

Our fortnightly ‘Technical Zoom’ is available free to all CBS members as is inclusion in the CBS discussion group where members can ask technical advice and share skills tips. The Technical Zoom chooses a different topic for each session and asks a master silversmith to demonstrate their approach to the skill, for example Ray Walton giving top tips on polishing and finishing silver.

 

PARTNERSHIP, SPONSORSHIP & SUPPORT

We are very grateful to The Goldsmiths’ Centre for partnering with us and fully supporting the first three years of the CBS Skills Training Programme; to The Pearson Foundation and the Incorporation of Goldsmiths for sharing and supporting our vision at the outset and to Argex for enabling all beneficiaries and tutors to work with silver.

We welcome approaches for support from organisations and individuals who support our aims to equip the next generation with the necessary skills to run successful silversmithing businesses and preserve heritage crafts.

We are also very interested to hear from like-minded organisations and institutions who may want to run courses in partnership with Contemporary British Silversmiths.

Please email us with your contact details and we’ll arrange to meet or call you for an informal discussion.

Transforming training for silversmiths

The majority of craftspeople work on their own, so it’s nice to know there are infrastructures and communities out there to help.’

- Cara Murphy, Silversmith

GALLERY

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