Tuition - classes with Ernst Pfenninger:
Learn to design and create unique jewellery, silverware, hollow-ware and sculptures, using a myriad of materials, under the expert guidance of Swiss professional designer, master goldsmith and silversmith Ernst Pfenninger. We teach beginners through to advanced and professionals ensuring student's needs are individually met, with a maximum of 9 students per class working at your own pace. A rare experience to be taught in a well equipped professional workshop (not a classroom).
A master craftsman with a flair for design excellence, Ernst combines the time tested Swiss techniques of gold and silversmithing with creativity, enthusiasm and passion to fashion an item that is truly unique. His desire to go beyond traditional boundaries has led to individual and exquisite creations.
Ernst is a master designer, goldsmith and silversmith. He completed both professions in Switzerland and attended the prestigious art school, Kunstgewerbe Schule in Zurich. Ernst arrived in Australia in 1973 to establish his workshop, showroom and private school.
A diverse range of materials are used giving tangible expression to innovative and unique ideas. Spectacular works are produced in customised jewellery from contemporary styles to classic elegance. Ernst's work is renowned both in Australia and internationally.
A strong alliance was formed in 1989 when Sharon and Ernst Pfenninger's business partnership began.
"From my very first day at Studio 303 I knew I was in good hands! I have never taken a jewellery class before but since I was living in Australia for 1 year I wanted to make my wedding bands with my own hands, before I returned to Vancouver, B.C to get married. I signed up and went for it. What a great decision! I learned so much from Ernst, he always would take the time, even if it meant staying back to make sure I really learned everything thoroughly. You can still see his passion for making jewellery and teaching after all these years! Not only did I learn a lot but I also made some great friends for life. Whenever you walk in the door for class, Sharon is always there to greet you and make sure you have everything you need and makes you feel comfortable and welcomed. The shop is clean and very impressive! I know from how much I learned from Ernst that I will continue to make jewellery here in Vancouver, B.C with ease.I truly recommend this course with Ernst Pfenninger if you want the best of the best Jewellery making class! "
"I have been a student at Ernst Pfenninger's school on and off for the past 15 years. During this time I have developed a great love and respect for the art of jewellery design and production. Ernst is a teacher of outstanding skill and workmanship. The environment in which one learns is educational and inspirational yet relaxed ~ altogether an enjoyable experience which leads one into many aspects of the jewellery trade. Ernst seems to have an inexhaustible well of expertise and experience for his students to draw from... I could attend these classes till I'm 99!"
Tuition - classes with Lucas Blacker:
Lucas Blacker is a master jewellery goldsmith and designer with over 38 years of professional experience and international acclaim. Lucas is one of Australia's leading innovative and multi-award winning jewellery designers with his own superb unique style. His work has been extensively exhibited across Australia and overseas. Lucas is looking forward to exploring all directions of jewellery design and is very enthusiastic and passionate to be sharing his broad and diverse skills, knowledge and experience with our students at Studio 303.
“I attended classes with Lucas to get back into my jewellery making after many years of looking around trying to find the right course. Lucas is a very experienced jewellery maker and also a very experienced and great teacher. His patience and trust in the abilities of students has exceeded my expectations and helped me produce some wonderful pieces. The work environment of the studio offers everything you can imagine in order to let your creativity go wild and I was very grateful for the generous way we were able to use the tools and the space. A wonderful experience which I will certainly build on and come back to. Thanks Lucas and Studio 303”Barbara Simon
"Lucas has instilled in me the importance of precision. I have learnt several new techniques like stone setting, metal forming using jewellers tools with accuracy, and of course soldering, to name a few. Lucas is very hands-on in his transfer of knowledge to his students. The course has given me confidence in my jewellery making. The teachers at and owners of Studio 303 are very encouraging and helpful."
Tuition - classes with Chris Harrison:
Chris has been working at the Jewellery suppliers, Australian Jewellery Supplies in Sydney for the past 5 years. He has been in the trade for 46 years and is the 3rd generation in his family to be continuing in the trade. He did his apprenticeship in Sydney and continued to work at the same company as a professional for a further 4 years before leaving and setting up his own business which he has run for 25 years making handcrafted jewellery. Chris continues to work in the trade for his customers and is a fantastic craftsman and has a wealth of knowledge, expertise and experience and is a wonderfully person.
Phone (02) 9564 1411
for enrolments in our classes, workshops & courses
or send us an email
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Classes: (maximum 9 students per class, individually taught): see COURST TIMETABLES
JEWELLERY WORKSHOPS & SPECIALISED COURSES
Studio 303 is running different specialised workshops and courses throughout the year with excellent and very experienced tutors who are very well known in Sydney and excel in their fields of expertise. Our tutors have expansive knowledge, many years of professional experience in their trades and great reputations throughout the industry and within the trade. Workshops will include: wax modelling and making moulds for metal castings; jewellery design and hand constuction intensive; engraving; enamelling; etching; making different settings; and, more. Information about forthcoming workshops will be advised. Our workshop is a great space, not far from the city in Leichhardt, frequent bus services just outside our door both from the city or from the west, great all day parking close to the workshop and a wonderful learning environment.
Why Studio 303?
- A great opportunity to learn from Sydney's most respected and experienced teachers
- Beginners to advanced students are taught in a fully equipped authentic gold and silversmith's workshop (not a classroom)
- Individual or group tuition, maximum 9 students per class or workshop
- We ensure student's needs are individually met
- Design and create your own individual pieces fully guided through every process, at your own pace
- Ability to learn from a master crafts person is "a rare gift"
- Students all levels: beginners to advanced will benefit from the experience of working in a fully equipped professional workshop
What you will learn:
- Learn the traditional techniques of forging, raising, joining, settings, design and hand construction to a finished piece.
- Experience the ancient craft of wax modelling and mould making for metal casting
- Enjoy the traditional and contemporary craft of enamelling, etching and dieforming
- Learn an integral part of jewellery making : setting your gemstones
- By learning traditional techniques you obtain a very broad depth of knowledge and understanding so that your base for potential is substantially increased
- Be experimental in your own work. We offer students a wide range of expertise and experience
"What I like best is unsparing access to the best equipment plus unstinting advice and support from Ernst in all my projects. Others in the class do interesting projects which gives additional inspiration and the friendly atmosphere adds to it as well."
- Centrally located - rear of 303 Parramatta Road, Leichhardt (entrance Redmond Street)
- Parking - good untimed street parking & council car park: 2 hour limit until 8pm (park rear to kerb)
- Good bus connections - frequent bus service in Parramatta Road
Testimonials — What Past & Present Students are Saying
"I found the workshops with Ernst to be fun friendly and most of all educational and inspirational. His professionalism is outstanding and pieces I made at the workshops helped me to secure an apprenticeship. Well worth the money and time and definitely not to be missed. "
"Ernst was my teacher for many years, it was a wonderful experience. Ernst has designed and executed pieces of jewellery for me over many years, these pieces are unique and as fashionable today as when he designed them. Ernst's workmanship is outstanding, unique and perfect. Thanks for your excellent service over the years. "
"It has been my pleasure to work with Swiss trained jeweller Ernst Pfenninger on special projects over a number of years, one of which was most complicated because of the mechanics and originality. Ernst has the rare talent of working in different mediums and can visualise a finished product immediately. In addition, Ernst is an outstanding hands-on highly sought after jewellery teacher here in Sydney. "
"For quite a few years I have been attending the Studio 303 Jewellery School, so.... what do I like about learning jewellery making from Ernst? Ernst is very generous with design ideas and the use of all of the tools He has an amazing breadth of knowledge about jewellery construction and silversmithing and the workshop is very well equipped to handle any project. Ernst and Sharon provide an enjoyable and welcoming atmosphere and I can certainly recommend Studio 303 Jewellery School to anyone interested in learning the art of jewellery making and silversmithing. "
"I had the privilege of attending Studio 303 for several years. Ernst Pfenninger is a very gifted and accomplished artisan who is prepared to pass on his extensive knowledge to his students. Ernst helps his students achieve their goals in creating their own individual jewellery and make their design concepts a reality. Challenges that arise are met with calmness and ingenuity. There is no one better to inspire a love of the creative process and leave you with the belief that in the world of jewellery anything is possible."
"I have loved the creative atmosphere of Ernst's studio. He encourages excellence by sharing his exceptional skills and knowledge of jewellery making. I particularly enjoyed the small group situation that allowed me to progress at my own pace developing ideas and designs into really individual pieces of work. Ernst is a patient teacher with a wicked sense of humour. He and Sharon open their workshop to students and encourage a camaraderie within the group that develops creativity and enjoyment for all participants."
"Having been a student taught by Ernst Pfenninger at Studio 303 for over 20 years I highly recommend Ernst as a teacher for anyone wanting to learn about or improve their jewellery and silversmithing skills. I had previously learnt at other schools but none can compare with that so generously taught to me by Ernst. I do not believe there is a more versatile teacher in this field to be found in Sydney. The school is well equipped, conveniently located and always a friendly environment to visit. I greatly admire Ernst's skills and knowledge in his field. This school is one of our cities hidden secrets."
"I have enjoyed attending Ernst Pfenninger's closely supervised workshops for over the past three years during which time my interest in silver-smithing and decorating items with semi-precious stones in the "Arts and Crafts" style has been realised many times. Workshops are highly individual in that students are encouraged to pursue their own designs. However, Ernst will provide projects to suit all abilities particularly for those students just beginning the hobby and requiring more direction. One of the major benefits of attending these workshops is the help that is provided to recover from one's mistakes!"
Dr. Barrie Egerton, PhD., CPhys., MInstP.
"Jewelery making/silversmithing was always something I'd wanted to try so my partner bought me a term's tuition as my Christmas present. She had been a student of Ernst for years. I was nervous before going to my first class thinking I'd stuff up and set myself on fire or something. But I was blown away by how good the instruction, facilities and people are at Studio 303. It caters to everyone from brilliant long term gifted students producing amazing work to complete newbies like myself. Ernst works with you to produce something individual to yourself and your own style, a truly one of a kind piece of art. He's there every step of the way to teach and guide you through the process, building your skills through each new piece. The ability to learn from a Master Gold and Silversmith is quite a rare gift and I'm thankful to be able to learn from one of Australia's best. I've been a student for a year now and am excited to keep building new one of a kind special pieces with Ernst's help and patient guidance for years to come."
"I've done 2 terms at Studio 303 (1 Days and 1 Nights) with Ernst, and I really like the freedom to create anything I want. Ernst has so much knowledge from his many years of experience that he is able to help fine tune designs so I could bring them to a finished piece."
"I have been a student at studio 303 for years now, I love that I can turn my ideas into reality and create one of a kind pieces. Ernst is a fun and extremely patient teacher who has helped me learn any new technique I wish to learn. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to learn from a master artisan such as Ernst."
"I have learned a huge amount about silver smithing from Ernst who is a master craftsman. He encourages you to show initiative and try out your own ideas but is always there to give you help when you need it."
"I've been a student at Studio 303 for over a year and I've found it a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I've created some wonderful pieces of jewellery and had a lot of fun doing it. Ernst's knowledge is boundless and he is happy to share it and spend time guiding his students, but also allows us the autonomy to proceed with our projects as we wish. Watching him work is inspiring - there is always something new to learn. The atmosphere in the studio is friendly and inclusive - everyone is happy to lend advice if sought. There is a diverse mix of people of all ages and styles and there is plenty of room for all. There is a vast amount of specialised equipment and plenty of basic stuff to go round. Overall, it's a really great experience."
"I attended Studio 303 for approx. 8 years and enjoyed the creative atmosphere, a workshop stocked with every imaginable tool and the unrivalled experience of Ernst Pfenninger. I learnt a lot from Ernst and was able to make many pieces, with his guidance, that I am very happy to wear."
"I first met Ernst in 1975 and was inspired by his skill and craftsmanship as well as his teaching ability. I have always wanted to further my silversmithing experience and have been most fortunate to attend Ernst's school for nearly two years at studio 303. It is amazing to have all the equipment available to use, to be encouraged to use it and to have the guidance and support of Ernst. I find the work of the other students and their encouragement inspirational as well. I am looking forward to starting the new term next month, and would highly recommend the studio 303 school to anyone who is interested in learning how to work in precious metals!"
"Studio 303 is a fantastic place to learn silversmithing. Ernst is technically the best lecturer I have come across in Sydney. I highly recommend the school. "
"I attended Studio 303's jewellery school for two terms. Unfortunately I had to stop going for personal reasons. Ernst Pfenninger has vast and varied experience and enjoys exploring new ideas and materials. He is an excellent tutor that guides and supports his students through their individual jewellery projects without taking over and doing the more difficult tasks for them. I also enjoyed the small size of the group classes, the generous work space and the friendly and relaxed atmosphere at the school. I would highly recommend the school to anyone interested in learning jewellery."
"Ernst believes in originality and perfection. He pushes you to explore your design, expand on the theme but guides you to find the best way of achieving a professional result. I like the way the classes are kept small, assuring each one of us has ample time for questions or for help with a complex piece. I wear the jewelley I made every day because they are unique and express who I am. "
"I have been a student at this school for the past 26 years. My longevity in this situation was solely due to the following:- 1) Ernst, the master is a fine teacher as well as being inventive and a lateral thinker. As a result learning is facilitated.I learned a great deal in this environment. 2) His studio is very well equipped and he is generous in supplying one's needs. 3) The atmosphere in the workshop is a most pleasing experience and over the years I met lovely, friendly people. 4) I have been impressed by his ability to stimulate ideas as far as design goes. All in all These are just a few of the reasons why I came to learn an stayed so long. Finally, I can strongly recommend this school to anyone interested in making Jewellery and using precious metals."
Monty Shnier. (MB. Bch, D.C.H.R.C & S, F.R.C.P.E, F.R.A.C.P.)
"I was a student of Ernst Pfenninger for a long time and enjoyed the many years I attended the classes. Ernst is always helpful and patient in his advice and I found his work inspirational. His attention to detail and precise instruction in the use of the tools made it "seem" easy to a beginner. All the skills I learnt from Ernst enabled me to do today what I love most: making jewellery ! Thankyou Ernst"
"The classes and Lucas' expertise has taught me how much creativity and skill goes into making a fine and bespoke piece of jewellery. I am looking forward to developing my skills and appreciation over the next few decades, and I'm sure that Lucas and Studio303 will be invaluable in my development."
"Lucas has been my teacher for the past two terms and I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of his tuition. He has a directness about him that is very re assuring and easy to learn from. Lucas teaches you techniques step by step and guides you through the entire process with a positive “anything is possible” attitude. Above all, Lucas is a lovely guy with years and years of experience, he is passionate about his craft and loves to impart clever tips and tricks about how to problem solve even the trickiest designs. He has a great sense of humor and makes me laugh week in and week out. I have made some beautiful pieces under his guidance from chunky gem stone rings to intricate earrings and am currently working on an elaborate multi-stone pendant. I would thoroughly recommend Lucas to any practioner whether a beginner or someone who wants to hone in their skills - he’s fabulous!
"I had an amazing time during my classes with Lucas. I've learned so much and really look forward to learning more when I next join the class. Lucas is a really great teacher, very patient and friendly. It's such a pleasure to learn from someone with so much experience and yet so approachable. He guides you every step of the way but also gives you freedom to create pieces in your own style. The workshop environment is fabulous too, with everything you could possibly need to make jewelry at hand. The other students were lovely too. I only have good things to say about my experience at Studio 303, highly recommended!"