The jewellery workshop in Yardley Hastings is a fully equipped space with hand tools and pendant motor at each station. The central bench is home to the larger tools such as rolling mills, fly press, ring stretchers, bangle mandrels, hole cutters polishing wheel, barrel polisher and doming blocks and punches.

The workshop has come a really long way since Yardley Arts first opened. Originally the workshop was set to be a multi use area and was named the craft room but I slowly took over the space and with my tool addiction and filled the space with lots of kit.

I’m so chuffed with how the space is now looking plus it’s amazing feeling to have it permanently set up and be able to make it my own.


I was interested in making and designing from a very early age and was intrigued by the intricate cake decorations that a family friend made in sugar. I was, and still am, always building and making things with my father who is an engineer and he repaired and made jewellery, so I had a little knowledge of the techniques he used in his loft studio.

I studied art and design at Bath college with an amazing group of inspiring tutors and one of the pieces that I used in my application was a flower made from copper which was my first piece of soldering.

When applying to universities I was breath taken by the silverware at the Buckinghamshire University degree show an knew from that point I wanted to work in metal. I gained a BA in Designed Metalwork and Jewellery from Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College where I was taught by an exceptional group of tutors who still influence my work today.

This took me to become a fellow of the Bishopsland trust where I developed my range of stainless steel and silver jewellery while on the year residential programme. This was an excellent platform for me to learn all about how to start up a business and how to do craft fairs. Pope and Oliver along with the visiting tutors do an amazing job at this very unique programme.

I had never dreamt that I would do an MA but I applied to do Royal College of Art goldsmithing, silversmithing, metalwork and jewellery and was amazed to get a place. I had the most amazing time and was surrounded by such inspirational people. This was where my teaching spark began and what really built my confidence in making and developing designs.

Since my masters I have taken part in many shows including the Goldsmiths fair and Collect to name just a few and had work in galleries all over the world.

My home studio was founded in 2010 where I taught up to two individuals together and in 2017 I worked with Yardley arts to set up a jewellery teaching studio for 11 learners at a time. Since COVID the learners numbers have been reduced to 8 to give learners more space, their own bench tools and screens are also between each learner.

I love teaching all the learners that come to my workshops, multi week courses and 1:1 sessions. It is a real pleasure to help someone make a piece of jewellery so personal to them that they will wear and treasure for a lifetime. Who knows it might even get passed down to younger family member one day.


Goldsmiths Company Future of Design Award for Silversmithing 2001.

Goldsmiths Company Young Designer Silversmith Award 2000.


Great workshop… as usual! Beccy is really enabling as a tutor, and treats everyone as individuals and supports each person, whatever their knowledge or skill level. I always learn lots and enjoy my time in these workshops. Looking forward to the next one!

– Lesley Sexton

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