I teach Metal Work in a northern BC town. In my program I offer
jewelery making componets, for those students who may not want to do
traditional projects. We do decortive belt buckles, wire jewelery,
band rings and bracelets, and recently silver rings using low domed
wire and pre-made bezel cups.
I'm still working out the bugs for traditional enameling, and will
be purchasing a small enameling kiln this semester. Also I have
found chain making to be a process that kids really enjoy. There are
many resourse on the net for patterns etc. So far I have needed very
little additional equipment, other then specialized pliers and
jewelers saws. If we really need something, such as chasing tools,
we make our own.
We work mostly with copper, brass, and non traditional materials
(stainless steel, steel etc) as silver is just to damm expensive for
I'm really enjoying the jewelery making aspects of the program,
students are making things that they are proud of as they should as
I'm amazed at the quality of work they are producing. The program
now is attracting a higher level student who normally would come
into my shop. And my administration is pleased when they come into
the shop and see students actively engaged in learning.
In my district there is another fellow who offers a complete
jewelery making course, which is quite successful. And I do know
that there are many other metal programs that do offer what I do or
have a complete jewelery course in this province.
In the course of experimenting and developing projects for my
students, I've found that I have a talent. So much so that I'm in
the process of starting my own jewelery buisiness. Talk about a
strange twist, as I never felt that I was really all that creative.
Maybe you could help me, I'm looking at buying one or 2 jec ultra
lite kilns for enameling and I would love some perspective on this
product and the whole process of enameling. It looks like it could
be a good process that the students could really get into. What has
your experience been?