I tried a jewellery-making class in Cleethorpes and absolutely loved it

A stunning and intricate piece of jewellery in the form of an adorable silver heart ring has just become part of my collection - and it feels amazing to say that I made it myself!

Having followed their page on Facebook for many years, I'd seen that Coastal Silver in Cleethorpes offers a wide array of fun jewellery-making workshops, and I'd been meaning to book myself on to one for ages.

So when the opportunity finally arose to try my hand at making my own jewellery, I headed down there on a showery Saturday afternoon to get stuck in.

READ MORE:

Situated on Meridian Road, Coastal Silver was set up ten years ago by silversmith Andrea Warnock, who wanted to showcase her passion for making jewellery and give members of the public the chance to have a go.

It has gone from strength to strength in the decade since and now occupies two units - one where customers can purchase an array of gorgeous silver and seaglass jewellery, and the other for the business' popular workshops.

The workshops at Coastal Silver have proven very popular - Lauren (centre) with her group -Credit:Grimsby Live
The workshops at Coastal Silver have proven very popular - Lauren (centre) with her group -Credit:Grimsby Live

After being introduced to my group, signing the waiver, tying my hair up and putting on an apron, it was time to decide whether I'd like to make a ring or bracelet. I haven't worn a ring in years and already have quite a few bracelets, so I thought a ring would be the better option.

First, participants are asked to measure their ring size, and are given a piece of silver wire in the corresponding length. The first task was then to use a flat file to file down the ends, to enable them to later be glued together to make a ring.

Next, it was time to twist the silver wire into a "candy cane" shape using a pair of pliers. Once that was done, each group member is given a pair of safety glasses and the task of glueing the opening of the ring/bracelet closed, before using a blow torch to dry the glue.

Owner of Coastal Silver Andrea Warnock guides participants through the process -Credit:Grimsby Live
Owner of Coastal Silver Andrea Warnock guides participants through the process -Credit:Grimsby Live

The oval-shaped ring is then placed onto a mandrel and I had to hit it with a rawhide mallet until it became circular. Then, using a little file, it was time to file the murky grey ring until it was a gleaming silver colour.

Participants are given the choice of having their ring or bracelet "hammered" - a style of jewellery which achieves its unique shape after being, you guessed it, hit with a little hammer. I wanted mine hammered, so I got to work in hammering the little dents into the ring, which was probably the most fun part of the whole experience. You do have to hit quite hard, and you're not supposed to hit the same place more than once, which is actually more difficult than it sounds.

The ring before filing and adding the charm -Credit:Grimsby Live
The ring before filing and adding the charm -Credit:Grimsby Live

Indecisive old me took forever to decide which charm to have glued onto my ring. There are so many options to choose from, from dangly stars and flowers to hearts, starfish and shells, among others. And they're all absolutely beautiful, too. In the end I went for one of the larger hearts, which was glued on by a member of staff and taken away to be placed in an acidic solution.

You're then given about 15 to 20 minutes to peruse the stunning items in the shop, have a snack or drink (you're allowed to bring your own refreshments) or just chat to other members of your group.

Then, voilá, my ring was ready, and I headed home a very happy girl indeed.

The finished product -Credit:Grimsby Live
The finished product -Credit:Grimsby Live

My verdict:

I absolutely loved the workshop at Coastal Silver, and will definitely be going along again at some point in the near future. It was so interesting to see firsthand how jewellery is made and become a silversmith myself for a couple of hours - I really enjoyed the whole process. It's a perfect self-care treat to unleash your creativity, get you out of your comfort zone and help you to try something a bit different.

Whether you go along with your other half to create your own engagement ring or wedding bands, take your mum along for a special Mother's Day workshop, go as part of a birthday or hen party or even as a work team bonding exercise, there's a workshop to suit every taste and occasion.

To find out more about the different workshops that are available, click here.