Who has heard of the World Skills Competition, also called Skills Oympics? It is
conducted every other year somewhere in the world.
I just returned from the 35th World Skills Competition in Montreal. An overwhelming
event: Over 600 young people under the age of 22 from 34 different countries
competed in 41 skill groups, each person in a separate shop with modern machinery,
all set up in the Olympic Stadium. Only one person from each country is allowed to
compete in each skill group.
Skill Group No. 27 was Jewelry. 14 countries competed. All competitors had to
fabricate the same Baguette, size about 2 inch, following a drawing, to an accuracy
of better than 0.1 mm (4 thousands of an inch). The competitors had 4 days of 6
hours each, or 24 hours total, to complete the job. 18k white and yellow gold was
supplied. The jewelry competitors used their own tools. While the piece was made to
be decorated by stones, stone setting was not required.
The US was not represented. The winners weRe: Gold Medal: Japan, Silver: Korea,