Frequently Asked Questions

Get your answers here! If there’s something not covered, drop me an email at info@thejqset.co.uk – you won’t be the only one wondering, so I’ll update the FAQs too!

Check out the FAQs for your answer – if it’s not there, let me know and I’ll add it, just get in touch at info@thejqset.co.uk

I’m working on a glossary of jewellery terms as us jewellers use some weird and wonderful phrases – if you’re stuck on any of the language, please do give me a shout!

More about The JQ Set…

What kind of jewellery making does The JQ Set teach?

The JQ Set’s jewellery making classes teach small-scale metalworking skills so that you can learn to make jewellery pieces from precious or non-precious metals. The JQ Set workshop is a “clean” jewellery workshop, so we mainly use sterling silver, and sometimes gilding metal, copper or brass for larger pieces.

Traditionally, these are known as the skills used by a goldsmith (no matter which precious metal is being worked in – gold, platinum or silver), whereas the term silversmith is traditionally used for a craftsperson making large-scale work, like bowls, vases, candlesticks etc.

The Beginners Ring-making project teaches the following metalwork skills; Saw-Piercing, Filing, Buffing, Drilling (pendant motor), Pickling, Annealing, Soldering, Polishing (pendant motor and polishing motor), Cleaning (ultrasonic). You will use smaller versions of the kind of tools you might have come across in metalwork at school, and we use flames and torches (similar to blowlamps) for some processes.

The JQ Set do not cover more simple jewellery techniques such as wire-wrapping and beading as we specialise in traditional jewellery handskills and craftsmanship. Some simpler jewellery techniques might be available to learn from online videos, but lots of what we teach here will benefit from in-person support, feedback and troubleshooting, which is what we do best!

Do you teach beading or wire-wrapping?

No, we don’t teach these things, we focus on the small-scale metalwork techniques used in fine jewellery.

The jewellery handskills taught at The JQ Set benefit from in-person support, feedback and troubleshooting, which is what we do best! We don’t cover simpler jewellery techniques such as wire-wrapping and beading, as we specialise in traditional jewellery craftsmanship.

Does The JQ Set offer silversmithing courses?

First, let’s check what you mean by silversmithing!

Many learners use the term silversmithing in it’s literal sense, ie making stuff from silver. If that’s what you mean, then yes, our courses teach you how to make stuff (jewellery) from silver.

At The JQ Set however, we use the traditional meaning of the word silversmith – a craftsperson making large-scale work, like bowls, vases, candlesticks etc. This work would have traditionally been made from silver as it was a relatively “cheap” precious metal, and the term goldsmith is used for a jewellery maker (in particular a “fine” jewellery maker), as gold was used traditionally for jewellery and especially fine jewellery. The metals used in jewellery have changed over the years with the metal price increases, but in the jewellery industry we still use these terms to describe the skills the maker has, no matter which metal is being worked on.

So, using the traditional meaning of the term silversmithing (as we do at The JQ Set), then no, we don’t offer silversmithing courses. Try BCU’s brilliant School of Jewellery for part-time silversmithing courses – it’s well-equipped with hammers, stakes, tree trunks and huge torches, which is what you need for bashing large bits of metal around! And at The JQ Set, we teach the jewellery skills that form the basis for goldsmithing – in fact the Advanced courses are based on apprentice-like fine jewellery projects.

Can you run parties or corporate events?

Yes! If you’d like to book a party (a hen do or a birthday celebration, etc) or organise a corporate event (an office day out, jewellery making training for a related industry, etc), then get in touch through the Contact Us form. See our Bespoke Events page for more information.

Bespoke tuition is charged at £60ph, plus materials.

Do you offer online classes?

No, we don’t offer online classes. The jewellery handskills taught at The JQ Set benefit from in-person support, feedback and troubleshooting, which is what we do best!

I can’t find a way of serving students virtually with the same quality of tuition and support that I can provide in-person. For instance, how can I point at an issue with your piece of jewellery, or adjust your soldering set-up, via a video call? Plus, you’d need a jewellery workshop at home! Online demonstrations certainly have their place, but I do much more than demonstrate in my classes, and I’m not comfortable doing less (oh, there’s my perfectionist streak coming out again!).

Do you teach classes using alternative materials?

The JQ Set’s jewellery making classes teach small-scale metalworking skills so that you can learn to make jewellery pieces from precious or non-precious metals. In general, we don’t teach classes other than metalwork, except in the case of wax-carving (which is then cast into metal, which you are then taught to neaten and finish).

The JQ Set workshop is a “clean” jewellery workshop, so we mainly use sterling silver, and sometimes gilding metal, copper or brass for larger pieces. Aluminium, lead, and pewter are not used in the workshop as the dust can cause pitting and damage to precious metal items. Other materials such as wood and perspex can need different Personal Protective Equipment so they are only used with advanced notice, and resin needs specialist ventilation which The JQ Set is not equipped for.

More about the booking a spot…

How do I book onto a course?

You can book onto our courses through our webaite  booking system.

On the specific course webpage, click the Book Now button and select the number of spots you’d like, confirm you’re not a robot and click Next to be taken to the booking form. Enter your details there, and click Next to be taken to the checkout. Complete the checkout and you’ll be all booked! You’ll receive an email confirming your booking, with the important information about your course. Pop the dates in your diary and you’re all sorted, just refer back to the email nearer the course start date to remind yourself of the information.

How many spaces are left on a course?

On the specific course webpage, click the Book Now button and the number of available spots are shown underneath where you can select the number of spots you’d like.

Can my child attend a course at The JQ Set?

Although the classes are not designed for children specifically, 14-17 years old can attend, accompanied by a supervising adult.

Children 13 years old and under can attend ifthe accompanying adult has a fully paid place as well, so the child can be given the extra assistance (ie get things done for them) that’s likely required for this age group. Please note that a lack of hand strength is the main struggle for younger students.

Please see the Booking Terms and Conditions Section 1.1 for more details.

How do I book a 1-to-1 or 2-to-1 class?

If you’d like some one-to-one or two-to-one tuition (say, to boost your skills at a particular technique, or to enjoy a couples day out), then get in touch through the Contact Us form.

Bespoke tuition is charged at £60ph, plus materials.

Are there any other course dates?

If the current course dates that are scheduled don’t suit, please sign up to the Newsletter to be notified first when new dates are available on the website.

More about the courses…

Which jewellery course should I start with?

Most students start with our Beginners Ring-making course, and there is also the option of a Taster class, where you can try out The JQ Set and dip your toes into jewellery making. We run the Beginners courses more often than the Tasters, just because we focus on giving students ALL THE SKILLS PLEASE!

The Beginners course teaches you to make a saw-pierced ring band from flat sheet silver. If you haven’t got any experience in the following metalwork skills, then you will need to do the Beginners course to get safely introduced to the tools/equipment; Saw-Piercing, Filing, Buffing, Drilling (pendant motor), Pickling, Annealing, Soldering, Polishing (pendant motor and polishing motor), Cleaning (ultrasonic).

If you’ve already started learning to make jewellery and are missing just one of the skills listed, or it’s been a while and you’re a bit rusty, get in touch for a chat about what might be the best option for you.

Please note that soldering is not taught on our Taster classes, as it gets taught in a detailed and thorough way on the Beginners course only, so that you can get a firm foundation in it. Soldering is often the trickiest thing to learn (especially to learn quickly), and we like to take the time to teach you well, so you’re able to apply the techniques to different pieces and shapes without any wobbles.

I want to learn to solder, which course do I need?

If you’re new to jewellery soldering (or you’ve been struggling with it and your soldering is hit and miss), then our Beginners Ring-making course is the best option. Even if you don’t count yourself as a jewellery beginner, we teach soldering in a very detailed way on the Beginners course only, so that you can have a firm foundation in it. In fact, the Beginners course teaches all the basics in a pretty detailed way, and we’ve had great feedback from improver students who’ve picked up loads of extra tips on the Beginners course (and sorted their saw-blade breaking habits!), having attended it after completing other courses elsewhere. Please note that the Improver courses assume that you have the basics nailed, and they often move on to much trickier soldering techniques.

Soldering is not taught on our Taster classes – soldering is often the trickiest thing to learn (especially to learn quickly),and we like to take the time to teach you well, so you’re able to apply the techniques to different pieces and shapes without any wobbles.

Can I skip the Beginners course and go straight onto an Improvers course?

If you’ve already done some jewellery making classes elsewhere, then the answer is probably yes, you can – just have a quick check throught the list below to double-check you’ve got all the pre-requisite skills. The Improver courses assume that you have the basics nailed, and they often move on to much trickier jewellery techniques.

Most students start with our Beginners Ring-making course, which teaches you to make a saw-pierced ring band from flat sheet silver. If you haven’t got any experience in the following metalwork skills, then you will need to do the Beginners course to get safely introduced to the tools/equipment;

– Saw-Piercing– Annealing
– Drilling (pendant motor)– Soldering
– Filing– Polishing (pendant motor and polishing motor)
– Buffing– Cleaning (ultrasonic)
– Pickling

If you’re missing just one of the skills listed, or it’s been a while since you’ve been at the bench and you’re a bit rusty, get in touch for a chat about what might be the best option for you. We can arrange an induction or re-cap session, or you might decide to do the Beginners course anyway – it’s a great project and teaches all the basics in a pretty detailed way. We’ve had great feedback from students who’ve picked up loads of extra tips (and sorted their saw-blade breaking habits!), having attended it after completing other courses elsewhere.

Please note that soldering is not taught on our Taster classes, as it gets taught in a detailed way on the Beginners course only, so that you can have a firm foundation in it. A Taster class does not cover enough skills and techniquues from which to move onto an Improvers project.

How much are The JQ Set's jewellery courses?

The Beginners and Improvers courses are either 3-day or 6-evenings, and start from £230, and include all consumables and materials for you to make one version of the course project.

The one-day Taster classes start from £95, and include all consumables and materials for you to make one version of the class project.

The variable costs of the courses reflect the varying materials costs – if the course is more expensive, it means the materials are too. Course prices may change in times of high metal prices, but the price you pay at the time of booking will be honoured (there won’t be any surprise extra charges on day one). When we say consumables, we mean saw blades, drill bits, emery paper etc. By materials we mean wax, metal, solder, findings, chain, casting charges etc.

More about the workshop…

How accessible is the workshop?

The JQ Set’s workshop is situated in the rear ground floor studio of 85 Spencer Street. There is a small step at the threshold of the building from the pavement outside through a doorway 780mm wide, where a temporary ramp can be used.

Inside the workshop, there is an upwards slope in the entrance area, and wide access routes around the benches and equipment. However, the WC is not wheelchair accessible, as there is a step up, and the door is narrow (650mm) and opens inwards without space for a wheelchair to turn and close it.

Please get in touch to discuss your requirements as I’d like to make the workshop as accessible to everyone as I reasonably can. The JQ Set doesn’t currently own any specific equipment or accessibility aids (adjustable height benches, etc)

Is the workshop dog (Tino) hypo-allergenic?

Tino is a cockapoo, a mix of working cocker spanial and poodle. His fur is more on the poodle side of things compared with most cockapoos, but he has not been tested with someone with allergies (and allergy levels can vary between people anyway). We leave it to you to judge how allergic you are and how hypo-allergenic he might be to you.

He hangs out in a seperate area to the teaching studio, but does walk through the teaching space to get there, and he always comes to say Hi at the dog gate next to the teaching area (he’s very friendly and loves some attention!). He soon settles though, in his spot on a sofa in the other area, which is about 5m away from the dog gate and seperated behind a wall. So the only close proximity you’d have is whilst he’s craving some attention at the gate, if you were to approach him. There are student benches situated up to 5m away from the dog gate, so you could avoid him if you wanted to. Obviously he is present though, so if you’re very sensitive to dogs then our studio probably isn’t a good fit for you.

Address

Studio 6, 85 Spencer Street
Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham
B18 6DE

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