Jewellery Making Courses
Welcome to the new website!
The JQ Set offers part-time evening and weekend jewellery making classes in the heart of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.
– Pippa Leaver, The JQ Set
Notes on COVID-19 Coronavirus
Sunday 22nd March, 2020
New Update: Sunday 22nd March – I’ve changed my mind.
This is tough to write, but I am closing The JQ Set’s classes for the remaining weeks of the term, and until further notice. We will be finishing your courses at a later date, and I’m so sorry, but I am financially unable to offer partial refunds for the postponed dates. However, I will be sending out gift vouchers to my current students for future courses, as none of this has been the expected outcome for any of us.
I have been back and forth about making this decision – My intention in staying open (with social distancing) was to provide a space for my students to take a break from the outside world. I am passionate about the idea that learning, making and craft in general is good for mindfulness and your mental health, and I felt like I wanted my students to still have access to that in a time when we probably need it more than ever.
But, as with a lot of rapidly-developing information related to recent events, it has become increasingly clear that we must act and behave very differently if we are to expect a different outcome from other countries. I feel a responsibility in having a part in that action and behaviour, and must accept that by providing a venue for people from different areas and different households to gather, I could participate unknowingly in the spread of the disease. There IS a chance that one of us has it, or one of our households have it, or we have come across someone else who has it, without the normal symptoms. I cannot guarantee that the studio will be a safe space for us, and whilst I had thought it would be enough to apply social distancing measures, there will be areas in the studio that all the students will use in the same space of time, and I now feel that it’s not enough to think that it would only be a very outside chance of facilitating any spread of the disease.
I’m still not panicking, I don’t feel under threat on a personal level, but the larger picture is showing that we, as a nation, are not making the changes to our behaviour that are necessary to curb the spread, to flatten the curve, and I don’t want to be part of that resistance to change.
So, I’ll be spending the next few days pulling together those kits and tool lists I’ve mentioned before, and I’ll be in touch when you can get hold of these either by collection or post, and you’ll hear from me again when I’ve got some online courses sorted. Some classes will be charged for, to try and cover some of the business expenses over the next months (it’s unclear at this point whether I will be able to access the government business support, as it depends on the local authorities’ classification of the premises and business), but some will be totally free. Just for the joy of making something. You’ll need a few tools, some metal, and maybe a printer, but I’m hoping to be able to point you in the right direction for this stuff, or even pop stuff in the post for you.
I’m sorry to change my mind about my approach to staying open, but I hope you all understand. It’s a difficult choice, but whilst we can try and make it as safe a space as possible, we might not get it right.
Keep well, look after each other, and I’ll see you all soon in a virtual format!
Update: Saturday 21st March – Thank you so much to my lovely students for their 100% attendance this week. I’m so glad that you all felt that the precautions I had put in place and the principles on which I had stayed open have made sense to you.
So far, The JQ Set is hoping to carry on and finish this term (just 2 more weeks, guys!). This obviously relies on our students being wonderful, responsible, and following the latest NHS guidance. So, please ensure that you’re up to date with the information available, that you only travel on public transport if you need to, and that you are self-isolating if necessary. This should keep our studio a safe space. Please get in touch if you are self-isolating so I know not to expect you, and we will sort out some catch up sessions for you on the other side of all this.
There will be a significant shift in how I will be running the remaining classes from next week, as I will be applying social distancing rules to the workspace. Studio Sessions will only be available on Monday evenings (not on Tuesdays), so that I can limit class sizes to 5 students and spread out the bench spaces available to 2m apart, by asking students to sit diagonally opposite each other in the bench blocks. These bench spots will be alternated for the Monday and Tuesday evening class, meaning you will sit at a bench that hasn’t been occupied for the last week. Demonstrations will be done on an individual basis, to avoid the group crowding around one bench. Although classes can be social too, I don’t view them as a “social activity” like going to a pub, restaurant, theatre etc, but please get in contact and let me know your thoughts on this – ultimately, I’m very aware that it comes down to a personal decision, and any of my students who decide not to attend the rest of term, for any reason, will have the opportunity to finish their course at another time.
I am plotting away to come up with some alternatives to face-to-face teaching, which won’t compromise the value you get from the normal studio classes. So, coming soon, there will be wax-carving kits available to buy, to go with an online class that I’ll be running. Plus suggested tool lists, ranging from “keep-it-simple” to “I-want-it-all” from my favourite local suppliers. I hope to pair up these tool lists with some tips on how to prep and set up a new bench peg, and some mindful making projects to keep us all going through anything that might be coming our way.
As always, please get in touch, stay in touch, and make suggestions – I’m always listening.
Here’s a few notes on how I am approaching the COVID-19 Coronavirus at The JQ Set, just in case you need a little reassurance:
I am not panicking. Nor panic-buying. Having said that, we already had a stock of tissues, toilet roll and soap at the workshop, pre-frenzy, and they will be available for you to use, obvs. No weird hoarding here either.
I will not be closing or rearranging courses this term (ie before Easter) due to coronavirus, without a drastic change in the situation locally. That includes in the event of government-recommended school closures, and here’s why:
- The JQ Set’s students are adults, and as such, us adults can surely be trusted to follow the current NHS guidance if we are well, and use the 111 coronavirus service if we are unwell. In summary, that means that we can:
- Recognise if we feel unwell and stay home – for coronavirus this means a fever and/or a new dry cough or new shortness of breath
- Use the Catch it, Bin it, Kill it process for sneezes/coughs into a tissue (or sleeves in a sneak attack!), throw the tissue away, and wash our hands afterwards. I’m not sure what you’re meant to do with your jumper sleeves, but don’t wipe them on anybody, and I’ll turn the heaters up if you’d like to take it off to wash at home.
- Wash our hands properly with soap and water for 20 seconds when we arrive at the workshop, and before we leave at the end of class. We’ll have Bohemian Rhapsody lyrics in the bathroom for you to sing along to. I’ll be cleaning the door handles, light switches, coat hooks and taps regularly, so please wash your hands straight away before you sit at your bench, and avoid handling things from outside the workshop at your bench (like your phones – unless you’d like to clean them first, I’ll have cloths on hand for that too)
- We have a current total of 10 students per week (plus those wanting to avoid the news and corona chat who join us on our upcoming Improvers course) through our doors, plus us 4 jewellers that use the workshop. That’s a pretty low turnover of people, it is not anything like a regular school, and probably less than a regular office. Let’s be sensible!
- Kids are a different demographic, and a little more unpredictable in their adoption of the advice, coz, you know, they’re just kids. We are not a “school” in the same sense, and take the view that any school closures do not apply here. We’re all grown ups, right?!
We are a local business, with local customers. I’ll be keeping an eye on the situation in Birmingham and the surrounding areas, and will take my approach under review if necessary. Whilst I’m advocating for calm and common sense, I’m also not going to be reckless. I have a form of immunosuppression myself, and I expect to respond appropriately on behalf of others in a similar situation. So if you or someone you live with or care for is at a higher risk from it, please don’t think that I’ll be carrying on regardlessly and recklessly.
Whilst I’m hoping all my students are comfortable with this approach, I understand that due to personal circumstances, some might not be. Please get in touch and let’s have a chat about your concerns. The same goes for if you are advised to self-isolate by your doctors, or become ill with coronavirus. Please get in touch and let’s chat and see if we can arrange catch-up sessions.
Next term’s courses are going up on the website in the next week or so, and so will gift vouchers (sign up to the Newsletter to hear about them first!) – please be reassured that in the event of the local situation changing beyond an acceptable level, that I will be rearranging or refunding next term’s courses as necessary. I will be reviewing this week by week, so if necessary we can pause the courses and finish them at a later time.
Thanks for reading!
About Our Studio
The JQ Set is a jewellery workshop for both established makers and jewellery students.
Half of the studio houses our resident jewellery designer/makers, and the other half is our jewellery school; a welcoming teaching space with 10 student benches, tools and machinery.
We teach jewellery craftsmanship and hand skills to students wanting to learn to make jewellery.
Get In Touch
0121 236 3458
Make a Domed Pendant & Earrings
(3 days, Saturdays)
On this course you will experiment with metal texturing techniques, and you will add doming and soldering earposts to your jewellery skillset
Make Your Own Pierced Silver Ring
(6 evenings, Wednesdays)
This course will teach you to make a wide silver ring band with a cut out pattern in your own design, starting from a flat sheet of silver
Make a Saw-Pierced Silver Ring
(3 days, Saturdays)
This course is our favourite format – just like the six-week evening course, but you get three whole days to play with your shiny metal pieces
The Best Jewellery Courses In Brum
If you’re looking for a new hobby, give this a go!
I’ve just done the beginners’ course and absolutely loved it! My first attempt at jewellery making and I’ve made a sterling silver ring that looks very professional!
Pippa is a great teacher, the studio is absolutely beautiful and the classes are fun and relaxed.
Our jewellery tutors not only have amazing jewellery making skills, they are also are passionate about sharing them. And our workshop dog is the friendliest you’ve ever met.
Tino the Cockapoo
If you have a specialist jewellery skill or technique that you’d like to share with our students, we’d love to know
Pippa is a professional jeweller and gifted teacher – very friendly and easy to approach (and her dog is lovely)!
The project is broken down into simple steps, which she demonstrates, and she gave us tiny hints that make a huge difference!
I can’t praise this course enough.
I’ve just completed the beginner’s course and I would highly recommend it!
We learnt a wide range of techniques, Pippa is very knowledgeable, friendly and patient – under her instruction I made a ring which I’m really pleased with.
Subscribe to Our Newsletter
We haven’t linked this up yet!
Studio 6, 85 Spencer Street
Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham
0121 236 3458