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Precious resources

Bodmin Way Youth Club make jewellery out of copper and silver at Bodmin Keep.

Laura Brown of Elby Brown (, a jeweller with 12 years metalsmithing experience, shared her jewellery making skills with seven exuberant young people on a Saturday afternoon, as part of the ‘Splanna’ project, arranged and hosted at Bodmin Keep.

It was amazing to watch Laura explain concisely each complex step of making a ring out of metal and to see the young people following her clear instructions to the letter.

Several things you don’t normally associate with young were used:

sharp saws, clamps, pliers, hammers, pallions of silver solder, fire bricks, blowtorches, fire (heating metal to 800 degrees), tweezers, acid and washing up liquid!

Maths is needed in jewellery making and those in the group who love maths and pi (3.14) were very happy to add, multiply (with and without calculators) and use a calliper to produce the exact diameter of their ring.

Cooper is cheaper than silver. Sawing and hammering skills were practiced on cooper pieces before doing it for real on the more expense precious metal. It was a good reminder to look after natural resources and use them wisely.

The young people rose to the occasion and persevered with the challenging and tricky tasks set before them. The sense of achievement at each stage was huge just as it was at the final outcome.

High levels of concentration were essential.

Young people said:

“I’m so happy I’ve done it.”

“I’m glad I did it myself.”

“I’ve never had a ring of my own and now I have one that I’ve made myself.”

“That was brilliant!”

The session was inspired by trench art and other wartime artwork, that supported the mental wellbeing of soldiers during and after their involvement in war.

Thanks to Jo Keenan, from Bodmin Keep, for arranging the session and providing a superb activity as well as delicious refreshments and a very warm welcome.

Bodmin Way Youth Club’s next Splanna experience is on Saturday 2nd July with a trip to Nantillio Woods in Newquay for a woodcarving workshop and Saturday 9th July for a TicTok sessions with Fran Singleton at Bodmin Keep.

Contact for information about the youth club and joining in the next two events at Bodmin Keep.

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