Learn the basics of jewellery making at NorthCity4 in Brunswick
NorthCity4 in Brunswick is run by jewellers for jewellers – or a budding wanna-be jeweller in my case – offering skill-based and ideas-based masterclasses and workshops for both the novice and professional. With no experience, just love for finger bling, I signed up for five weeks of beginners’ jewellery making on Wednesday nights.
This is not a bead threading class: rather, it’s intense learning in how to saw, pierce, drill, file, texture, form and solder with bronze and silver. It’s hard work on your hands and fingers. Concentration to detail is a must and there’s even some maths required (my trusty iPhone calculator does the trick). But the end result of wearing your own hard work is, in fact, priceless.
On arrival you receive a beginner’s starter kit which includes a dozen saw blades and a drill bit, plus free access to plenty cups of tea and cookies to keep your energy up over the three hour session.
Over the course of five weeks you’ll learn to transform sheet metal into earrings and rings, picking and choosing each technique to create your own uniquely designed piece of jewellery.
Once you learn the skills you’re able to work at your own pace, and choose whether to focus on earrings or a ring – or both. The tutors are all professionals in the field and practice the ‘learning-by doing’ philosophy rather than a three hour demonstration each week.
Other classes for beginners include jewellery casting and stone setting and if you’ve done one beginner class you have access to a tutored workshop. If you’re serious about your new learnt craft, workshop space is available for hire among other resident creatives with access to shared equipment from $50 per day.
Similar to when I achieved a new-found appreciation for water aerobics after a one-off class, I now have new appreciation for hand-made jewellery. Best of all, whenever I look down at my fingers (especially as I write this story) I feel a sense of achievement looking at the bronze and silver rings that were once nothing more than a sheet of metal.
Located in Brunswick there’s no shortage of places to eat and drink before or after class. My choice each week was Bar Estrella on Sydney Road, just a five minute walk from NorthCity4. The authentic and modern Spanish bar has adopted the Spanish tradition of giving customers a complimentary serve of tapas with any drink order, a unique offering here in Melbourne.
61 Weston Street
Brunswick 3056 VIC