30a Borwick Avenue is now home to a number of artists and designers who moved up from Dalston, having been forced out of their studios there. They have been here for about two and a half months; time they have spent clearing out dust, putting up walls and transforming the space into functioning studios and an enjoyable place to work.
I have come along for the Make a Silver Ring workshop at Made by Ore, run by RCA graduates Caren Hartley and Lucie Gledhill. They are both very welcoming, providing tea and biscuits, and the workshop is beautifully designed, with brightly coloured work benches and hammers arranged attractively across the wall.
We begin by measuring our ring size and cutting a strip of silver to fit. Caren then teaches us hammering techniques to create texture and lettering on the surface of our rings. Thankfully, we get to practice these on a strip of copper. Suddenly, the workshop is alive with the sound of hammer on metal and the ums and ahs of us trying to figure out which design we like best. Once decided, we go for it on the silver.
The next step is soldering, which did seem to make people (including myself) a little nervous, but once we were shown how it was done, it all seemed a lot more straightforward than imagined and no-one burnt the workbench, blew up their rings nor exploded the blow torch.
All that was left to do then was to make the ring circular, by bashing it into shape on a tapered rod and finishing it off by filing and polishing it up. By the end, I was rather pleased with my creation. It was an enjoyable afternoon and it is great to be reminded of the pleasure of learning something new.
Made by Ore will be the final stop on the Blackhorse Trek next Saturday where participants can not only enjoy looking round the workshops and studios, but collect pieces from each location (Blackhorse Lane Studios, Blackhorse Workshop and Made by Ore) to put together to create their own rosette. See you there!