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Jewelry Instructors Help Needed

I am looking for on how safety is handeled in jewelry
programs. A new policy has come in to place at our city run art
center which requires all students to take a beginning class each
year to acquire a safety card. With three to four sessions a year,
one of those sessions will be a beginning class. The beginning class
is three hours with 45 min. to 1 hour being lecture, and the
projects being basic beginning projects. It will not be possible to
take any advanced classes without a safety card. The card is good
for tweleve months. We all appreciate the need for safety but find
this policy limiting.We are looking for constructive alternatives to
this limiting policy. We hope to present good alternatives to the
administrators of this program. My e-mail is


Tell you what. Just make sure that anybody who gets hurt in any way,
over either the long or short haul, is not allowed to file suit
against you, any supplier, any equipment manufacturer, or your
city’s government.

Until we lop the gangrenous “It’s not my fault” tumor off the body
politic, I guess you’re stuck doing safety instruction. I reckon
that’s the price of government support.

Dan Woodard, Proponent of Real Freedom

I think my question about class safety has been mis understood. We,
the students are in total favor of a safety program. We just don’t
feel we should have to take a beginners class once a year to be able
to take an advanced class. The center is requiring that students
take a beginning class every tweleve months to acquire a safety
card. If you do not have a safety card you can’t take any other
jewelry classes. There is only one instructor that teaches the
beginning classes and awards the safety cards. None of the other
instructors are allowed to make the decision about who qualifies for
a safety card. We feel that this practice is unfair to advanced
students. We are trying to find out how other programs handle safety
so we can propose a more equitable solution. Students that have been
taking classes for years should not have to do beginning over and
over. We all understand the liability and safety issue. Safety is
important. When there are four session a year, and about to change
to three, we will have to have one session of a beginning class.
Does this sound reasonable? We are hoping to have several ideas from
schools or community programs to present to the administration of our center.

I suggest that you organize a petition stating the fact that it is
unreasonable to require the students to keep taking the same class
for the safety card. Once the petition has all the participants
names schedule an appointment with the center’s Board of Directors?
This will allow the students to apply pressure where it is needed
most and I guarntee that something aill come of your efforts.


Hi, One thing you might consider is having a mandatory “safety
briefing and checkout” session that all continuing students would
attend once a year. That briefing would review all safety procedures
for the center, and a qualified instructor would observe (“checkout”)
each student performing the safe operation of each piece of
potentially dangerous equipment in the shop, as well as fire
extinguishers and emergency response procedures.

In our metals shop, each student is issued a card listing all of the
equipment stations. As they successfully complete their orientation
and checkout, the instructor or lab assistant initials and dates
their card next to that piece of equipment. The checkout cards are
filed in the lab, and students cannot use a piece of equipment until
they have been checked out on it.

Seems to work pretty well, and also handles liability issues.

Running a periodic safety session of a couple of hours in length
seems a better alternative (both in time and in meeting the safety
goal) than forcing students to repeat “basic” class once a year.

Just a thought,
Karen Goeller

When I took classes at Revere Academy in SF several years ago, Alan
insisted on safety instruction and handouts at the beginning of each
class, most of which were only three days long. The repetition
really gets into your head! It took 10-15 minutes, was
comprehensive, and did the job. The beginning classes covered all
safety issues in greater depth, but all others had these reminders.
During my time there, nobody was (seriously) hurt–a great record
considering all the torches and sharp tools and chemicals we use.
Always say a prayer to the Safety Gods, and never take anything for
granted! Elna in Berkeley, where the weather is so beautiful it hurts!

Students that have been taking classes for years should not have
to do beginning over and over. 

What about something like this: You take the beginner’s class once
and then each subsequent year have to take a short exam (written
and/or practical) to demonstrate your continuing familiarity with
safety procedures.


Dear Carob Tree. A solution is for the school to offer a 1 or 2 day
safety workshop and charge they same price as the begining class.
Therefore giving people a choice to repeat the begining class or

In a begining class the instructor helps students to develop
efficient and safe working procedures. It also helps to make sure
expensive equipment is not destroyed.

Memories fade,let see… the Beverly Shear should the handle be left
up or down, what about the Mauby Shear

The other choice for the center is raising the price of classes to
cover damage to equipment, extra liability insurance, and make sure
that all students have personally liabilty insurance, and have
students sign a release that they will not sue anyone.

Personally, I don’t want to be in a class with someone who is an
arrogant, know-it-all that has not taken a class for 3 years and
puts my health and safety, and livelihood in jeopardy.

If you decide to start a petition, ask people to add a $100.00
cheque to cover the increased insurance and liability cost for the

Students that have never attended the school, no matter how
expereinced have to take a begining class.

Students then have to maintain their safety card by taking at least
one class within a 12 month period at the center. THEY DO NOT HAVE

Past students can take a test to see if they qualify for the safety


 Students that have been taking classes for years should not have
to do beginning over and over.

Here’s another possible approach.

In all kinds of industries it’s quite common for safety classes of
one type or another to be completed before an employee can do a
particular job.

The initial course my be a day or even longer & require the student
to pass a test before being certified. Then, on an on going basis,
usually a year, any employee in that same job is required to take a
short (1-4 hr) refresher. After all we all foreget somethings &
maybe never quite understood others. The refresher helps to remind
us of all areas of safety concerns pertinent to a particular job or
class of jobs.


   When I took classes at Revere Academy in SF several years ago,
Alan insisted on safety instruction and handouts at the beginning
of each class. 

I’m glad you mentioned this, Elna! I’ll be in SF this
summer/fall,taking Alan’s Graduate Jeweler program. Will anyone else
on the list be joining me there (either for theentire program, or for
any of its parts)? Just curious…

Many thanks,
Doug Turet Lapidary Artist/Designer

Here is another reason for wearing glasses; Imagine you are working
away WITHOUT these much needed glasses and a splinter or shard
of hot steel hits your cheek bone and glances upward, upward and hits
the slight bulge of your cornea. So far quite interesting,eh? Now
this wonderful little speck of hot steel, very hot steel is now being
imbedded directly through the release of the speeding at a rate of
only 36,000 r.p.m. grinding wheel is now being burrowed into the
lense and soft tissue of your eye ball. So for you like this this
factual story? You revolt in panic, the pain, the sudden tearing
thats because the eye wants to reject this article…too late! Its
there for the rest of your life, only if you run to the hospital and
have it removed by the means of an “electron magnet”. How fast does
this happen? Nano-seconds, thats all it takes…:>( You see folks, the
steel shard is already into the eye ball and cannot be removed
surgically, you go home after many anguished hours at the hospital
knowing bloody well you should have worn those glasses. I replace
many times my Opti-Visor lenses and my own prescription glasses
because of the pitting caused by these shards of metal. Whats cheaper?
your glasses or your permanentley damaged eyes? You tell me! Please
re-print this to any person who doesn’t wear glasses, or visit the
eye-clinic! “Gerry, the cyber-setter !” “

Here I am again folks! At my teaching course on “Gem Setting”, I will
not under any circumstances allow any student to go near the bench
grinder without ANY safety glasses! Why, I am responsible to them ,
the school and of course their eyes! I make quite understood that if
I see anyone use a grinder without any form of glasses, they are
immediately gone and out! I’ve seen to may bench workers in my past,
working away, non chalantly while in a daze, dreaming, WOOPS! its
either gold or steel, and the human body doesn’t approve of foreign
material been loped into it. It just recoils! Respect your eyes, they
make money for you, you only have one pair. So please my dear friends
of either proficiency use those damned glasses! and it won’t hurt you
all either to use glasses at the bench also. As a setter I also see
sometimes guys flicking gold articles away from the ring and it hits
the corneas of the eye ball, its not a pleasant thing to watch! the
pain, anguish, constant irritation that lasts for days on end. DO YOU
WANT THIS TO HAPPEN TO YOU??? Even in my video tape on “grinding
gravers”, I implore everyone to use glasses!

“Gerry, the cyber-setter !” “