I’ve been meaning to blog about Budgie Galore ever since my 11 year old daughter had her birthday party there. I’ve now had the pleasure of attending a silver earring workshop too so thought it was about time I sang Jules’ praises.
Budgie Galore is run from modern well organised workshop space at Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet. Jules organises a variety of courses – some part or whole days, and some repeating weekly courses at different levels. She also runs birthday parties which give kids the chance to design and create their own pendant or keyring and charm bracelet.
I bought the silver earring workshop as a birthday surprise for my mum, who told me immediately that she isn’t creative and was a little concerned that she might not be able to do it. Having watched Jules calmly run a jewellery making party with 10 girls (at least one of whom only wanted to hit things with a hammer) I was confident she’d be able to encourage us to achieve something beautiful, even if we aren’t particularly crafty, and she did.
The 3 hour workshop (which costs £35 a head) gives you the opportunity to learn some core jewellery techniques like bending wire in the correct way to make loops and coils, and different methods of decoration like embossing, stamping and doming.
Jules used the serious machinery to do the cutting out, drilling and polishing (thank goodness), but it really felt like we did the rest to create a pretty beautiful pair of earrings. After playing around with different ideas using aluminium, I chose to hammer my earrings and to add a bead above each one. Mum went for an embossed net pattern. We both spent some time filing the edges and we added the findings to our silver pieces at the end.
It was a lovely way to spend a morning – chatting to my mum and a lovely group of ladies who had lots of different jewellery ideas and a variety of levels of experience and skills. I suspect Mum and I won’t be starting our own jewellery range any time soon but it has inspired me to get my wire cutters out again and have a play. If you are thinking about doing a jewellery workshop I’d highly recommend Jules at Budgie Galore – her calm nature and positive energy makes the class a complete joy.