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 held in English or Italian.

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

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This course focuses on making functional, beautiful and precious tools for goldsmithing. Each participant will make one or more tools of their choice, with the use of very high quality steels, including Damascus steel, silver, horn and rare woods, such as ebony. Hammers, scrapers, engravers, burnishers or chasing tools can be made during this course.


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Students will achieve a deeper understanding of the function of some tools and acquire knowledge on how to build their own ergonomic tools according to specific requirements. For it is crucial to use the right tool for a particular process.

Once registered, please inform us at which tool/tools you are intended to make during the course. You will receive a list of materials to order from* in advance.

The focal points of the course are the following:

  1. Understanding how a particular tool works mechanically

  2. Making a tool into a work of Art

  3. Choosing the most suitable material

  4. Shaping a tool (forging, filing etc)

  5. Hardening and tempering tool steel

  6. Polishing and sharpening a tool in a correct way

  7. Finishing the surface

  8. Correct use and maintenance of tools

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

  1. Good quality files (recommended Friedrich Dick* files or

  2. alternatively Vallorbe files):,

  3. Hand (flat) engineers’ file with handle cut 0 length 250 or 300 mm

  4. Hand (flat) engineers’ file with handle cut 4 length 200 mm

  5. Half-round engineers’ file with handle cut 0 length 250 or 300 mm

  6. Half-round engineers’ file with handle cut 4 length 200 mm

  7. Square engineers’ file cut 2 with handle length 200 mm

  8. A set of needle files cut 4 (square, round, half-round, flat, knife)

  9. Emery paper, at least a couple of sheets of the following grit: 180 grit, 240 grit, 400 grit, 600 grit, 800 grit, 1000 grit

  10. Piercing saw with saw blades (size 2 and 4)

  11. One pair of comfortable leather working gloves

  12. Protective goggles

  13. For those who intend making a scraper or any other tool that requires sharpening: a sharpening stone (Natural Belgian stone or alternatively Arkansas stone)

  1. *Please note Dick and Friedrich Dick are two different companies

Tool list Tool Making.pdf



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