Experience with Jay Whaley's classes

Hello All,

For the last year or so, I have taken ongoing jewelry classes at the
Crafts Center at UCSD in La Jolla, Ca. My instructor Jay Whaley
deserves a bit of recognition. I would like to do so at this time.

Jay has been extremely patient and thorough. He delights in making
sure his students know how to do more than order prepared material
from a catalog.

I have learned how to alloy the silver I love to Reticulate. Have
developed muscles rolling my own sheet and wire as well as bezels. I
thought I knew what I was doing before, now I know for sure I do,
thanks to Jay.

I have watched fellow students prepare their own waxes for casting,
and have watched Jay observe what they were doing. He then goes off
quietly and sits at his bench creating a tool to help the carver. He
gets deep appreciation from students for making their carving lives
a lot easier.

I encourage a dialogue between Orchid members and Jay. I am
impressed by his tool inventiveness. I am currently watching the
development of a device many of us would welcome. Stayed tuned for

Jay has a web site, http://www.whaleystudios.com Stop in and see

A grateful student.

I have to second this. About four years ago, having recently settled
in San Diego, I went to Jay with literally a couple of shopping bags
of my own woven wire pieces sans finishing solutions ( ie; custom
end caps and findings). I tease him by telling him I literally
brought him bags of problems… looking for solutions.

Over the past few years, we’ve worked steadily on cast solutions for
my pieces. He’s also designed and carved tools to speed the
direction of my own work and generously applied his magic,
creativity and wondrous mechanical foresight.

I know he’s searched high and low (even China) to put together the
assortment of tools on his new website at www.whaleystudios.com. I’m
sorry if that’s a shameless pitch but he came to demo wax carving at
one of my workshops last weekend and we were both thrilled to see
the student’s reaction to the new tools. He’s also prototyping
additional tools, very cool.

In any event, I’d also like to give something back to this guy who’s
always willing to not only explore with me but build a tool that
will help me on the journey.

Sounds very much like my experience in life Tam, My hats off to
somebody else who still teaches jewelry from the caveman attitude!
Learning and out of the box thinking was what cave people were all
about. Like the person who coined out of the box thinking was any
better than artist in training? In reality everything done has an art
to it! Wait till you make your own solders and alloy your first mined
by your own hands metal add that to a hunted object of beauty that
you wrested from basalt, cut, shaped, and polished with your hands!
Viola “the complete Jeweler” wonder if there is any interest in
teaching others the art? I would love to pass my knowledge before the
inevitable takes my soul from you!

Ringman John Henry

Ps. I have enjoyed my tenure here and have learned much!
Hope I have added to the pool! Thank you I am never giving up the


I think many people onlist, who have not dug for material would be
surprised to know how rewarding it is.

I started learning to fabricate gold and silver to add uniqueness to
the beading I had gotten into. I then of course needed stones to
mount. I did find calibrated cabochons and similar. Hmmm found
another thing I did not like, calibrated anything.

I then got involved in lapidary, and from there rock hounding. There
is an arena for persons such as me. I do frustrate Jay Whaley as I
do not start with a sketch of anything. It is not within me. I will
take a natural stone and design around it. That frequently leaves me
with difficult to say the least bezels.

I enjoy playing fire on silver and taking the result and working
with it. Yes that leaves me curvy and bumpy surfaces upon which to
attempt to set a bezel. I do believe ultimately, the solution will
be in incorporating Metal Clay with poured or fabricated Silver to
create a seat or a bezel for my odd shaped stone or mineral.

I would love to sit at your bench and learn what you are willing to

You are a great contributor to Orchid, and a good friend. I know you
will win your battle with your health. My heart and soul are with



Being the only person to offer me part of your body to save my life
has commanded not only my deepest gratitude for the offer but my
undying respect! I may do a video, perhaps that will cover the
bases. I am planning a trip to the Mts. and will begin the adventure
then. I am hoping that showing this may inspire other to taste the
reward of your own piece created and supplied for by your own
efforts. There is a pride that says I’ve made it myself and truly
ALL the work is mine! I have had to learn to draw my ideas so others
understand what I am making for them! less than 2% of my Original
pieces have ever been sketched let alone photographed, something I
regret as it would have served as proof of my ability. But on the
other hand it keeps me from repeating design. I have had my good
moments, and of coarse my bad! Try setting a one carat princess cut
diamond without having a chance to loupe it cause the customer is
waiting and whack! The dam stone breaks, to late to show the flaw
and ya gotta dig in yer pockets to replace the dam thing! But as
long as ya make custom dig the design out in a working effort then
your liability is only to the project, not the customer … hats off
to ya darlin…

God Bless

John Henry

Continue from:

JH, Hey, if a piece of me can keep you among us longer, why not?

I told Jay Whaley the two of you may just hit it off. He and his
lady friend are avid bikers.

I think the video is a good place to start, go for it.

Yes, I guess I should start sketching.

Today I showed Jay a piece of silver I had flamed. I wound up with a
piece that to me appears to be the head of an Eagle. I have a tiny
stone I want to set as an eye. Jay did not see what I did. He
suggested I could make a wax of an Eagle head and he would teach me.

I have done wax in the past, and am not into it at the moment.
Basically I play with the silver and fire, let the pieces speak with
me, and find an appropriate stone. Stones may be one I have dug and
formed, or one I believe has beauty within.

I need to better learn settings, and will.

Thanks for your message.