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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Giovanni Corvaja is renowned for his virtuosic skills of working with fine wires. Making wire of gold or platinum finer than a human hair, almost invisible, has become, in the last 15 years, one of the major obsessions of his life. So far he has managed to draw down wires to a diameter of 10 microns (10/1000 mm). Giovanni came across numerous problems and obstacles that, slowly, and with many experiments, he has overcome.


This course focuses on making and using very fine precious metal wire.

The focal points of the course are the following:

  1. Choosing metals/alloys best suitable for a particular design

  2. Some information on the metallurgy of those alloys

  3. Calculating, preparing and melting an alloy

  4. Making a very simple, inexpensive but efficient drawing down machine

  5. Drawing the metal down and annealing it

  6. Different types of draw plates and where to find them

  7. The use of wires:

  8. Knitting

  9. Weaving a tubular necklace

  10. Soldering fine wires to each other

  11. Braiding

  12. Considerations and experiments on designs

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

  1. Some pure gold, pure silver (20 grams of each) in casting grains and optionally some platinum

  2. A square open melting crucible (4x4 cm)

  3. Fine, pointed tweezers

  4. Fine pliers without teeth

  5. Magnifying glasses

  6. A scraper

  7. Fine escapement needle files

  8. Normal needle files

  9. A few bobbins (like those for fishing line)

  10. A set of basic hand tools

  11. A G-clamp (should open at least 70 mm)

Each student will be supplied with the material necessary to build the wire-drawing machine, at cost price (approx. € 20). The devise will be taken home by the participant.

Tool list Fine Wire Work.pdf



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