My jewellery making masterclass inspired by the art of our ancient ancestors – part 1

It still gives me a buzz and feels quite surreal that at the end of March I was teaching back down in London again, this time a 2-day jewellery making masterclass inspired by the British Library’s gold exhibition and illuminated manuscripts.

I feel so lucky to be able to share my passion for jewellery making and the art of our ancient ancestors, and put my design background and teaching skills to use in such an amazing place. Although, this time I was more nervous than usual, as due to Covid I hadn’t taught since my last masterclasses at the British Library 3 years ago, but happily once I started teaching all my nerves melted away and the creativity started flowing.

jewellery making inspired by Anglo Saxon decoration

Actually, I just felt thankful to be there at all and finally be able to get to London after the masterclass was postponed from September due to the train strikes, and even this time, my normal shorter train route had sold out, so I had to travel a longer route via Manchester and getting back, rather than go this longer route home after teaching the class and travelling late on Sunday night, I decided to pay for a hotel and stay in London an extra day. You’d think I was travelling to a different country and not to London from the North-West of England!  

It also wasn’t certain if it was going to run, as it needed to have a certain number of people booked on it. So, I was pretty relieved that it all came together in the end, I managed to get all my prep work finished off, my hotels booked, my materials ordered in time, and then appear to be quite calm and organised when I was teaching. 

Happily, I was blessed with a lovely group taking part in the masterclass, interested in learning how to create scroll work jewellery with wire, beads and cord and how these designs were inspired by Anglo-Saxon, Byzantine, Celtic and Arabesque works of art. Everyone had an engrossing weekend and crafted many beautiful pieces of jewellery to take home with them.

some of the jewellery created at the jewellery making masterclass at the British Library

If you’re enjoying something, I feel the learning part of it just comes naturally… so my aim is to make my classes enjoyable with a creative buzz and the type of classes I’d like to be a student on.

I believe teaching is a 2-way street, you get back what you give out, when you share some of your skills and passion and help others be creative, it helps your own creativity blossom too, and you can fire up your creative MOJO when you teach... some of my prep work for teaching on the 2nd day of the masterclass did just that, and inspired some of my new designs, such as my elfin alchemy vine scroll earrings design.

Read more about this preparation and the other work that goes into making my teaching flow and seem effortless in part 2 of my blog post (coming soon).

Thanks for reading my blog post about my teaching a jewellery making masterclass inspired by the art of our ancient ancestors at the British Library in London, March 2023.

There is magic all around us, wishing you sparkles and hugs xx Sam Rowena, elfin alchemy