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Jewelry projects for commuity college classes


#1

I am looking for some advice on projects to use in a Commuity College
class. After working at the bench for some 35 years I am now at a
store where I am the only jeweler and I miss the times when I managed
a larger shop and had the opportunity to train new people. I am
preparing to approach the local Community College with a plan for a
beginning jewelery class. This would be part of their non credit
program and for beginners /hobbyists. I am looking for suggestions of
simple projects involving sawing, filing, forming with copper, brass
and maybe some sterling that would be good to use. Probably no
torches.Also, what type of support from the school might I expect as
far as materials and tools. Are these costs usually a part of the
students fee?

Thanks in advance for your advice.
charlie


#2
I am looking for some advice on projects to use in a Commuity
College class... I am looking for suggestions of simple projects
involving sawing, filing, forming with copper, brass and maybe some
sterling that would be good to use. Probably no torches.Also, what
type of support from the school might I expect as far as materials
and tools. Are these costs usually a part of the students fee? 

When I took a few classes at that level, the instructor had us start
with a bezel-set ring. We did use an acetylene torch in the class,
however. For classes without torch work - I’d start with basic sawing
techniques, cold connection techniques, and focus on the techniques
rather than the projects. For your proposal - show an overlapped
ring, a pendent, a pair of earrings, maybe a fibula. All easily
attainable with cold connection techniques.

Basic tools that will be used by each student should be the student’s
responsibility to purchase on their own. By that, I mean files, a
bench pin, maybe a ring mandrel, a chasing hammer, a saw frame and
blades, basic pliers and the metal. You can sell additional supplies
(metals, stones, etc) at the class on a per-case basis. Larger tools
should be brought by you (they will be misused - be warned - LOL).
The college may have their own suggestions also, but will just put a
class materials fee as the student’s responsibility rather than
adding the costs to your personal renumeration.

Sandra Graves
Stormcloud Trading Co (Beadstorm)
Saint Paul, Minnesota


#3

A pierced work brooch is a good project to start them on. Lots of
room for creativity and simple tools.

As to having the students purchase their own tools: If the students
are serious about learning to make jewelry they’re going to need
things like a saw frame, bench pin, chasing hammer etc. constantly as
they go on. Those things are cheap enough to encourage them to
purchase now.

And if you’re going to offer supplies, don’t forget to include saw
blades and beeswax or other lubricant.

RC


#4
I am preparing to approach the local Community College with a
plan for a beginning jewelery class. This would be part of their non
credit program and for beginners /hobbyists. I am looking for
suggestions of simple projects involving sawing, filing, forming
with copper, brass and maybe some sterling that would be good to
use. Probably no torches.Also, what type of support from the school
might I expect as far as materials and tools. Are these costs
usually a part of the students fee? 

Charlie, this is something I have been doing for several years.
Currently I do one-day, Saturday classes (in Syracuse, I used to do
ten-week, once-a-week evening classes) – all but the chainmail
class require that a basic jewelrymaking class be taken first. That
class requires the purchase (as part of the class fee) of a kit of
tools (jewelers saw, blades, pliers, etc.) I cannot use a torch in
the classroom I use.

I begin with a project which I call “folded pins.” I furnish a
choice of 3 patterns and encourage any who have more designing
confidence to use scratch paper and fold it into a pattern of their
own choice. This pin project teaches pattern transfer, sawing,
filing, some hammer-shaping, folding metal, and doing a patina. I
also show them how to set a cab using prongs sawed up from the sheet
metal and how to saw their own jump-rings. If I have time, I show
them wire twisting (using a cup hook in an old manual drill).

After that, I teach them how to make wire coils into earrings and
(if there’s time) how to make the “Egyptian” bracelet. I used to
start with the wire coiling, but since more students have trouble
with sawing, I now begin with the pin project.

Most of my students are older women who are beaders, and they are a
great group! They come already motivated, and they know how to work.

I only use copper, brass,and nickel-silver (since the processes used
are also good on silver).

As for support from the community college, they order and pay for
the tool kit, and the price of that is included in their registration
fee. I put each student kit together (maximum of 12 in a class), and
I bring extra wire and sheet and a small selection of beads and cabs
and sell them to the students at my cost. If you furnish anything of
value to the tool kit, I think the best way to cover your cost is to
ask the college to pay you for an extra hour (assuming you are paid
by the hour).

My classes involve carrying a lot of my equipment back and forth,
which is tedious. I now have two lockers across the hall from "my"
classroom, in which I keep many things, and that is a great help.

I’ll be glad to answer any more questions you may have (although
I’ll be in Europe and the Middle East for a month, beginning near the
end of September). I hope you’ll enjoy this kind of teaching as much
as I do. Many fewer of my students sign up for “advanced” courses,
such as low-tech photo-etching, etc. But it’s always fun, and the
feedback is always an “upper.”

All the best,
Judy Bjorkman


#5
I only use copper, brass,and nickel-silver (since the processes
used are also good on silver). [snip] I bring extra wire and sheet
and a small selection of beads and cabs> and sell them to the
students at my cost. [snip] My classes involve carrying a lot of
my equipment back and forth, which is tedious. And, apparently,
unpaid. 

This is far too typical of craft/art teaching situations. I’m not
sure whether the problem lies more with the expectations of the
venues that hire the teachers, or the teachers themselves. The
instructor furnishes a huge amount of extra work to put together
kits, schlep equipment (so the venue need not invest) – and then
sells materials at cost!! I used to do this. Now, I at least try to
make a small profit on materials that I provide as a convenience for
my students. And there is no sign that they begrudge me my share!
After all, they are free to obtain their own materials and bring them
to class. If you can’t get paid for your time and get a return on
money you lay out ahead of time for supplies, then it is volunteer
work and not an attempt to earn a living.

Noel


#6
instructor furnishes a huge amount of extra work to put together
kits, schlep equipment (so the venue need not invest) -- and then
sells materials at cost!! I used to do this. Now, I at least try
to make a small profit on materials that I provide as a convenience
for my students. And there is no sign that they begrudge me my
share! After all, they are free to obtain their own materials and
bring them to class. If you can't get paid for your time and get a
return on money you lay out ahead of time for supplies, then it is
volunteer work and not an attempt to earn a living. 

Noel, I understand and agree with your point, but I do get paid $25
an hour for my time in class plus a couple of extra hours. My
students often pay me more than what I ask, for a little metal and a
few stones, most of which they can’t buy locally. I don’t do this to
earn a living (I don’t see how anyone could!). But I remember how it
was when I was younger and wanted to try out something new and
either couldn’t afford it, couldn’t find a class, or got a mediocre
teacher. I love teaching and am good at it (at least, that’s what my
students keep telling me), and I love them and am constantly amazed
at their diligence, humor, and creativity. My purpose is to introduce
them to the field of jewelrymaking/metalworking in an affordable way,
so they can use more metal in their beading (or whatever) and decide
for themselves if they want to go further in some areas. We also have
fun together. This is what I remember when I (helped by my wonderful
husband!) am schlepping the stuff into my car and thinking, “I’m
getting too old for this!” The money I get from the college a couple
of weeks later is also a little bright spot.

Judy Bjorkman