Masterclasses from the master jeweller

A GEM OF A MASTERCLASS – students proudly display their designs for items of jewellery, overseen by top jeweller Theo Fennell

A GEM OF A MASTERCLASS – students proudly display their designs for items of jewellery, overseen by top jeweller Theo Fennell

THEO FENNELL is Britain’s leading jeweller – period. And some of his biggest fans can be found at The Winston Churchill School, where he could once again be found sharing his secrets last week.

While Theo’s jewels are crafted using traditional materials, they are anything but conventional in themselves.

Head of jewellery for the auctioneers to the wealthy (Sotheby’s), Martin Downer, says: “Theo will become one of a handful of names who will be collected in his own right,” and it’s fair to say he should know.

Technology students of The Winston Churchill School were treated to a day with the world-renowned designer, who came to give three jewellery-making masterclasses to 28 gifted and talented Year 9 and 10 pupils.

LOOK AT THESE – Theo with Jodie Norton and Charlie Glanville

LOOK AT THESE – Theo with Jodie Norton and Charlie Glanville

To earn their place on the classes, the students had to submit their own detailed design, for which they had to show they’d researched the materials, gems and processes involved, while incorporating motifs common to Theo’s own works.

These were displayed and then critiqued by the master himself, who issued one-to-one advice on how to further develop the ideas.

Students also relished the opportunity to take on Theo’s masterclass challenges, in which they were asked to first design a timepiece inspired by nature, and then a brooch or ring that opens to reveal a surprise.

They accepted the challenges with gusto and produced very impressive ideas and concepts, using their knowledge of resistant materials and design technology to complete plans in the kind of detail needed to make the pieces.

Theo has since challenged the students to develop one working design, and they have until half-term to finalise the ideas, either on paper or through modelling. The designs will be posted to Theo, who will select the 10 best, and their creators will get to pay a visit to his fabulous workshop in London.

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