Giovanni Corvaja gives private tuitions in his studio in the centre of Todi, a small historical town in central Italy, near Perugia.

These are intensive courses of five days for four people at a time. The workshop is fully equipped and spacious enough to fit four people at work comfortably. This number of students is optimal, as it is creatively stimulating and cost effective for the participants.

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The course is aimed at people with basic jewellery-making skills, at least.

The course is held in English or Italian.

Each student will obtain a certificate of attendance at the end of the course.

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Designing and making small mechanical work for clasps, hinges and fastening of jewellery is essential for a goldsmith.

During this course each student will realize some example mechanisms such as:

  1. Spring clasp for bracelets/necklaces

  2. Closing system for a pin of a brooch

  3. Earrings clips


The design of the mechanism will be tailored to be functional and match aesthetically the design of the object.


The knowledge acquired will also be of great use for many other jewellery making applications.

The focal points of the course are the following:

  1. Understanding how such mechanisms work

  2. Designing a closing system compatible with the design of the

  3. object

  4. Choosing the most suitable alloys

  5. Learning to work on small-scale, hand-made mechanisms

  6. Learning to make the best use of a miter-cutting vise/jig

  7. Constructing precise geometric forms

  8. Hardening gold for better mechanical resistance

  9. Making objects composed of many parts soldered together

Each participant is asked to bring the following materials and equipment:

  1. Some pure gold (20 or more grams)

  2. Some pure silver (20 or more grams)

  3. Some medium gold solder or, if the participant is interested

  4. in learning how to make his/her own solder, some additional

  5. 5-10 grams of pure gold

  6. A melting crucible (4x4 cm)

  7. Fine pointed tweezers

  8. Fine pliers without teeth

  9. Magnifying glasses

  10. A “Bergeon” miter-cutting vise/jig see K. Fischer Pforzheim

  11. (Scharnierschneider Bergeon Order.Nr. 4365)

  12. A set of good quality needle files cut 5 (square, round, half-

  13. round, flat, knife)

  14. Hand (flat) file cut 4 length 200 mm

  15. Half-round file cut 4 length 200 mm

  16. Saw frame

  17. Saw blades: 3/0 5/0 and 7/0

  18. Scriber

  19. T-square

  20. Precision caliper

  21. Divider

  22. Metal ruler

  23. Set of basic hand tools

  24. Some pieces of jewellery/designs, to which the mechanism may be attached

Tool list Clasps and Locks.pdf



© 2008 by Giovanni Corvaja. Designed and edited by Maria Rubtsova