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[Central New York] Schools


I have been working in precious metal for forty years. While somewhat
advanced in some areas, I lack training in others as I am totally
self trained and work in isolation. My need is driven mainly by
curiosity. I don’t have to rely on my metal working for a living as I
am a retired school administrator with a good pension. I would like
to join an art community and take some classes. I don’t need a credit
or degree program as I am 65 and very well educated otherwise. I am
not looking for a day here and there, but rather a more in depth
experience. I live in Central New York and would like to find
something nearby other than the degree programs at Syracuse
University and RIT, but have not been successful at it. I do know
that there is a general art community in Syracuse, but it doesn’t
seem to have a metal working component. If anyone has suggestions
about metal working programs that might fit my need, I would
appreciate your suggestions. Thanks. Rob

Rob Meixner - Jewelry


Hi Rob,

I got my BFA from the Syracuse program. Great shop, but you’re
right, it is a serious ‘degree only’ program.

The woman in charge (last I heard) was Barbara Walter. She’s good
people. You might drop her a line, and see if she knows about any
community metals programs, or other non-degree resources in the
area. If they’re around, she’ll probably know about them. I have a
vague memory that she went for coffee at the wrong time, and got
stuck with the entire visual arts school, at least temporarily, so
she may not be listed under the metals program at the moment, but
she’s the brains of the outfit. Find her and you’ll find what there
is to be found.

Hope that helped.
Brian Meek.


You might look into 2-5 day workshops that are offered all around
the country. There is the Center for Metal Arts

in New York State, with classes in Blacksmithing, Foldforming among
others. Peters Valley in New Jersey is located near the Pa-NJ-NY
border area, and also offersworkshops across multiple disciplines.

The workshops are often taught at various levels of expertise, and
by well-known instructors with plenty of experience in their fields.
They are generally focused on a single technique and you will leave
with new found knowledge, resources, and some fabulous times spent
with a like-minded group of new friends. I call this “going to
jewelry camp”, and it has stood in place of a more formal education.

These workshops are not inexpensive, and accommodations for meals
and lodging will vary, but often the venues have arrangements with
local establishments for the convenience of their guests. I have
stayed at Peter’s Valley several times, and can attest to the beauty
of nature and the food at their cafe. Spending time immersed in the
creative process is the most rejuvenating times for me.

Melissa Veres, engraver and goldsmith



My experience at New Approach School For Jeweler’s with Blaine Lewis
in Franklin, TN, was the best experience of my life! I know it
doesn’t fit the “nearby” desire, but his program is so good, I think
it might be worth consideration anyway.

Good luck!
Donna W
Huntsville, AL


OK, so not central NYS, but Snow Farm, The New England Craft
Program, is located in Williamsburg, MA, which is about 3-4 hours
from Syracuse, NY. I don’t know where you are located in NYS, but
this would be an easy drive on I90 east to the Berkshires of MA and
on to Williamsburg. Great jewelry making classes (if I do say so
m’self, as I do teach there once a year), with a wide range of
techniques and skill levels addressed.

Hope this is helpful,
Linda Kaye-Moses


Hi Rob,

I am also a Central NY native. Syracuse metals grad 1980. The New
Approach School is excellent, but then it is over unless you have a
job or business where you can put into practice what you learned. I
took two apprentices there several years ago and then they each went
back for more courses on their own the next year. Also did the same
sort of thing with Peter’s Valley.

I can’t offer you a position in my own shop, but you are certainly
welcome to come visit. I have a store in Fairport, which must be
about an hour from you on the Thruway. I am only there on Fridays,
spending the rest of the week at my studio in the Southern Tier.Come
over and have lunch sometime. Just call first in case I have another

Stephen Walker


You all are so lucky to be surrounded by so many schools and great
classes… I am surrounded by alligator farms. Not a bad thing but
not a good thing either!! Chris