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First piece? Teaching


#1

I will be mentoring another 13 year old in jewelry making as
part of a local scool program. Feel free to give me some advice.

1.) What was the first piece a teacher had you make? (mine was a
forged shape in copper sheet- I studied under Richard MaFong at
GA. State University).

2.) Safety first- any safety pointers for a first class day
briefing?

3.) What I have been doing is a ring- a sheet silver band
(sawing, forming & soldering) with a small round bezel set stone-
usually takes 2 sessions but gives the student a fairly quick
sense of accomplishment.

4.) Your suggestions for other projects- I tend to let my
students self direct, but would like to give an overview fairly
fast…class starts Tuesday…

Rick Hamilton


#2

I will be mentoring another 13 year old in jewelry making as part
of a local scool program. Feel free to give me some advice…

Wish I was located closer to you, bet I could learn alot
watching you teach.

The first project I had to do was a bangle bracelet in Nu-gold.
Got me onto the torch before I had time to panic. A few wacks
with the hammer and I had a bracelet to wear. Unfortunately, the
Nu-gold is hard to melt, so when I tried working with silver
bezel next, whoops! you guessed it, meltdown.

I don’t know how wide a band you use on your ring project, but
some piercing would add another dimension to the lesson, without
taking up to much time.

You talked about safety and one aspect that no one had hammered
into my head, and it’s obvious, is a neatly organized and
maintained work area. A teenager will probably not think of that
as a safety issue (we all know your immortal from about 12 until
your 21+), but fumbling around for your tweezers or pick while
holding a lit torch in your hand could lead to disaster, and I’m
sure there are plenty of stories out their that could have been
avoided by a well organized bench.

Good luck and enjoy the experience!!

Sharon


#3

Having done a little training, mostly adults, but children are
just little adults and even ‘the big ones’ require encouragement.
I think I would ‘hook’em first’, do a project that can be
completed in the first session but very safe, leave out the
safety the first time, IT TENDS TO BE BORING EVEN TO ADULTS! Then
bring in the safety aspects as it related to each class and
individual project with just a taste of general safety in each
class.

Jim


#4

I don’t know how wide a band you use on your ring project, but
some piercing would add another dimension to the lesson, without
taking up to much time.

You talked about safety and one aspect that no one had hammered
into my head, and it’s obvious, is a neatly organized and
maintained work area. A teenager will probably not think of that
as a safety issue (we all know your immortal from about 12 until
your 21+), but fumbling around for your tweezers or pick while
holding a lit torch in your hand could lead to disaster, and I’m
sure there are plenty of stories out their that could have been
avoided by a well organized bench.

The band is usually 5-7 mm with a 3-4 mm round stone.

The bench that my students use is simple, clear and organized-
can’t say that for my own benches- so I do set a bad example.
Mistakes are a good learning experience- as long as there are no
injuries.

Thanks for the info.

Rick Hamilton
Goldsmith
http://www.rick-hamilton.com
@rick_hamilton


#5

Having done a little training, mostly adults, but children are
just little adults and even ‘the big ones’ require encouragement.
I think I would ‘hook’em first’, do a project that can be
completed in the first session but very safe, leave out the
safety the first time, IT TENDS TO BE BORING EVEN TO ADULTS! Then
bring in the safety aspects as it related to each class and
individual project with just a taste of general safety in each
class.

Good point , Jim

I plan to start with a bit of layout (with a pair of 3"
dividers), sawing a straight line to make the strip for the band
and then demonstrate soldering the band together. A few bones
tossed to the patron saint(?) of safety might be nice, though.

(st. Dunstan is the patron saint of locksmiths, blacksmiths,
armorers, and goldsmiths)

Rick Hamilton


#6

In a message dated 97-01-23 21:35:50 EST, you write:

<< 4.) Your suggestions for other projects >>

I’ve taught mostly beginners for years and usually start with a
split shank cabochon ring, the cab being 13x18 for easy handling
by a novice and the split shank being double half-round sawn back
a half inch or so and spread. ( The bezel is plain)

I frequently have them make a tear drop shaped pendant out of
14 or 12 ga. round, hammered in some areas,with a free form cab
set in a different bezel soldered on the inside, with a jump ring
and bail on top, as a second project.

I also take a selection of easy pieces I have done to give them
ideas for succesive projects, and encourage them to design their
own (subject to my approval and based on their level of
expertise).

The biggest safety tip is teaching them to watch where they
point their torch flame. As you know, they can become quite
cavalier after the first few hours and have been known to scorch
the bench, set stray paper on fire, etc. The other major danger
seems to be the buffing machine.

I’m sure with your years of experience, you’ll have no problems
at all. Sorry we won’t be able to meet you in person at Tucson.

Cheers,
Gayle Morris

Cheers,


#7

I’ve taught mostly beginners for years and usually start with a
split shank cabochon ring, the cab being 13x18 for easy handling
by a novice and the split shank being double half-round sawn back
a half inch or so and spread. ( The bezel is plain)

The split shank ring is a good idea- I’ve made many of them over
the years myself.

I frequently have them make a tear drop shaped pendant out of
14 or 12 ga. round, hammered in some areas,with a free form cab
set in a different bezel soldered on the inside, with a jump ring
and bail on top, as a second project.

My other student is making a bracelet of ocean worn ceramic
pieces with bezels soldered to a back plate- I’m thinking that
this would not be immediate enough for a 13 year old, but the
pendant certainly is a two session project. I am thinking about
something using rivets and moving parts, and maybe some textural
tooling.

I also take a selection of easy pieces I have done to give them
ideas for succesive projects, and encourage them to design their
own (subject to my approval and based on their level of
expertise).

My previous student was out on her own on the second project-
she was quite creative- but then, her mom did the images for 3
children’s books for Carly Simon, so it came as no surprise.

The biggest safety tip is teaching them to watch where they
point their torch flame. As you know, they can become quite
cavalier after the first few hours and have been known to scorch
the bench, set stray paper on fire, etc. The other major danger
seems to be the buffing machine.

I have them use small buffs- and I have lexan shields in front
of the wheels. I knew two jewelers who lost fingers to polishing
machines, and one who crushed her hand making a mold in plaster
in a can. I am serious about safety.

I’m sure with your years of experience, you’ll have no problems
at all. Sorry we won’t be able to meet you in person at Tucson.

Haven’t been to the show in 15 years- though I did live there
one winter, worked for a jeweler named Abbey Taylor. I missed the
ocean.

Rick Hamilton
Goldsmith
http://www.rick-hamilton.com
@rick_hamilton