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Jewelry schools real reviews


#1

I have been looking for on two schools. The Revere
Academy and the Gemological Institute of America. I am looking at
going back to school to reinforce and improve my technical skills. I
can not find many if any real reviews of either school. I am looking
at the intensive bench jewelry courses for both schools, any
or tips would be appreciated.


#2

In my opinion one school you should add to your consideration list is
The New Approach School for Jewelers in Virginia Beach, VA. Being a
recruiter in the jewelry industry I have had the good fortune to
place several of their graduates in bench jeweler positions, and my
client companies have been very satisfied with their training and
skill level. You can preview their programs at
http://www.NewApproachSchool.com.

Vic Davis
Vic Davis & Associates, Inc.
Jewelry Staffing Professional


#3
I have been looking for on two schools. The Revere
Academy and the Gemological Institute of America. I am looking at
going back to school to reinforce and improve my technical skills. 

If you are an original design, limited production designer, then
Alan Revere’s Academy is the place for you. Alan is an excellent
original design metalsmith, a member of SNAG and should give you
great value for money.

If you want to learn rapid casting & setting techniques and assorted
gemological talents, GIA is acceptable.

I am sure that Orchid has a list of schools, courses, videos etc. as
does Metalycyberspace.com

Good luck!

Ray
http://www.raygabriel.com


#4
I have been looking for on two schools. The Revere
Academy and the Gemological Institute of America. I am looking at
going back to school to reinforce and improve my technical skills.
I can not find many if any real reviews of either school. I am
looking at the intensive bench jewelry courses for both schools,
any or tips would be appreciated. 

To give real reviews of any school is a hazardous business, which I
do not want any part of it. If you want to find out how good a school
is, go on an interview with a large jewellery house, like Harry
Winston and others, and ask how many graduates of such and such
school
do they employ and in what positions. It would tell you all you need
to know.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#5

bench work = Revere
gemology = GIA

John


#6
If you are an original design, limited production designer, then
Alan Revere's Academy is the place for you.

I didn’t want to write yesterday, because I’ve never attended
Revere… I’ve known him for years, though, and watched him grow…
And I have at least a passing acquaintance with almost all the
instructors. You’re going to find it hard to beat - good curriculum,
well equipped classes. (a student deal on your tools with Otto Frei,
which is next door, doesn’t hurt a bit) quality people. I steer
hobbyists away because they can toy around for much cheaper
elsewhere, but if you’re serious it’s a fine school. Nice folks,
too…

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#7

I would like to second Vic Davis’ suggestion of New Approach School.
I’ve attended three of the schools mentioned: New Approach for the
Graduate Bench Jewelers program, GIA for the Applied Jewelry Arts
program, and the Revere Academy for a variety of classes over a
3-month period. I believe your decision should be based on where you
see yourself within the industry. If you plan to work as a bench
jeweler in a traditional jewelry store setting, I would suggest New
Approach. Blaine Lewis teaches incredible stone setting techniques
and you would also learn wax carving from Kate Wolf and hand
engraving from Jason Marchiafava – three outstanding talents and
instructors. But I also appreciated studying at GIA for the
incredible knowledge I received about jewelry design and gemstones.
Then the Revere Academy experience was so wonderful, as I had
decided to focus on hand-fabricated “art” jewelry as opposed to
traditional “jewelry store” jewelry. In my opinion, Revere was the
place for me to really hone my skills with hand-fabricated jewelry.
They have a great staff at Revere, plus bring in some very special
instructors during the Masters Symposium each year.

Bonnie Cooper Dancing Waters Studio


#8
I didn't want to write yesterday, because I've never attended
Revere... I've known him for years, though, and watched him
grow... And I have at least a passing acquaintance with almost all
the instructors. You're going to find it hard to beat - good
curriculum, well equipped classes. 

Sorry, I have to disagree on this. They may have the technical
knowledge, but they do not know how to treat people who have any
sort of disability at all! They will totally freak out; which they
did with me and without even speaking with me about my disability;
they kicked me out!

I call that totally unprofessional and I could have sued them for
discrimination. I went in wanting to learn; instead, I was totally
humiliated! This is not how a professional organization treats
people! So, no, I would not recommend Alan Revere’s Academy to
anyone; no matter what anyone else says about them. After the way
they treated me; I just do not think they are a quality organization;
not matter how skilled their instructors are.

And, no, I did not go as a “hobbyist” ; I wanted to really learn how
to design and set jewelry. Their eyes were so fixed on the end
product of their students; instead of what they really were learning
– I do not believe their instructors are that great! That is my
opinion. You are free to disagree.

Jaynemarie Crawford



#9
I have to disagree on this. They may have the technical knowledge,
but they do not know how to treat people who have any sort of
disability at all!... [snip] ....You are free to disagree. 

Boy, that sure doesn’t fit the Alan Revere I know, or what people I
know who’ve gone there have experienced.

I’d sure like to hear Alan’s side of the story regarding your
experience. Were you, for example, in some way being overly demanding
beyond their ability to accomodate your needs? Or overly sensative to
any limitations in what they could do? Would THEY say that is what
happened?

Do keep in mind that Alan’s school is entirely private, without
outside funding, and is a rather small organization. The degree to
which they may be required to make accomodations for students needs
may be more limited that what, say, a public university or school
system might have to provide. While I certainly don’t know all of
their teachers, I do know at least a few people who’ve taught there
for them, and know them to be caring skilled professionals and good
teachers who I would be very surprised to find ignoring a student’s
legitimate needs if they could indeed be met.

I’ve known several people over the years with various disabilities,
including learning disabilities as well as physical ones, who had no
problems with Revere, so I’m surprised and dismayed at your
experience.

Peter Rowe


#10

Jaynemarie, so sorry to hear about your bad experience with the
Revere School. From the bare details you gave, I don’t know the
specifics, but gather that it was some of the instructors who
treated you so badly. Did you take up the matter with Alan? He should
be advised about this as it reflects on his school and reputation. I
am sure that had he known about it, he would have seen to it that you
were treated with respect and courtesy.

I did look over the jewelry you have on Esty, and the pieces are
very nice. Glad you did not let this unhappy experience keep you from
making lovely pieces.

Alma


#11

I could not disagree more strongly! Revere Academy is a amazing
place to learn about the art of making jewelry. I found there to be
a wonderful balance between technical skill and artistry. The
instructors are caring, enthusiastic and the best in their fields.
It was a privilege attend Revere for their JT Intensive as well as
the Graduate Jeweler program. While there, I never witnessed anyone
"freaking out"! I did however see them working to help students at
many different skill levels and abilities.

Simply stated, Revere Academy is a encouraging, positive
environment. Alan Revere is a master. The staff and instructors are
the best of the best. I loved my time there.

Amy C. Krueger


#12

This thread has mentioned various schools as if institutions taught
classes. It’s the individual instructors that make the difference.
Many responses are “I had such a wonderful time”; but no details of
the experience.

I’ve taken classes, workshops, etc and most of ‘those at the front
of the room’ know nothing about methodology. They may be able to do
beautiful work but do not know how to convey what they know. They are
demonstrators not teachers.

If possible find an individual, someone local, who will take you on
as a student in exchange for money or assistance.

KPK


#13

Dear Orchid Friends,

When we give our experiences as a review, it is important to realize
that it is only a reflection of what we personally were needing to
experience and we must give the review as such. My personal
experience with Revere Academy was a most amazing one and from My
experience, they had incredible teachers and facilities and
materials. I feel blessed for having had this experience and
thankful that Alan had the vision and courage to open such a school.

Marta G. Irvin
The Knight ‘N’ Gail


#14
Their eyes were so fixed on the end product of their students;
instead of what they really were learning 

There’s no reason to make this personal, so I won’t. I have no doubt
that the author of the quote had a bad experience for whatever
reason. Revere Academy justs keeps chugging along without any need
for me to defend them, too. Too bad all around, can’t please
everybody…

On a larger scale of schools in general, though, I catch a thread of
a prevalent thing in this. Lately, I wrote about another topic where
I said, “It’s tough, and I’m not going to hold your hand…” I see
many people here who want to make what they want to make, and what
they know how to make. On your own, it is human nature to take the
easy way out - to do what you know, or (the latest buzz-phrase) to go
for the low-hanging fruit.

The value of a place like Revere and others is that they WON’T teach
you what you want to know, they’ll teach you what you NEED to know.
“File these rings - I said file these rings, I didn’t ask you if you
like it…” Any school (of any subject, really) that’s worth it’s
salt is going to push you harder than you imagined and make you work
your fingers into nubs.

I know I would. It’s their job to know more about everything in
jewelry than you do, and pack as much of it as possible into your
brain and hands as quickly as possible, and yes, it’s hard work and
yes, you have to keep up. So many people have no conception of what
it takes to be at another level of jewelry making…


#15

OK, I have to answer this and everyone else who has been so negative
about me. I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromialgia; so I
asked for a couple of breaks in the afternoon from the classes. These
were denied. Alan was out of the country and whoever was in charge
freaked out when she heard CFS and FMS. Stories went flying about me
falling asleep with a lit torch in my hand (NEVER!) or the
possibility of this happening when using the polishing equipment.
They confused CFS with narcolepsy; I don’t just fall asleep with a
drop of a hat. I get tired and slower and am in constant pain, and
yes, I did fall asleep once during a long and boring lecture by one
of the instructors.

I don’t thing asking for a couple of afternoon breaks is too much to
ask for in a school like Revere. It certainly didn’t and shouldn’t
have led them to treat me the way that they did. That’s why I do not
like that school. If Alan has a halo on for you; good for you.
According to the woman who kicked me out; she did it with Alan’s full
approval. You wanted more on what I wanted; you got it. I
still think what they did was out of line!

Jaynemarie Crawford



#16
It's their job to know more about everything in jewelry than you
do, and pack as much of it as possible into your brain and hands as
quickly as possible, and yes, it's hard work and yes, you have to
keep up. So many people have no conception of what it takes to be
at another level of jewelry making....... 

I have no problem with hard work - the problem I had was their
inability to deal with someone’s disability. That is wrong. Period!
That is not whining about the level of work I would have to do; it
is a valid complaint about a total disregard for someones’ disability
and their over-reaction with out any facts to back up this over
reaction.

And for you to compare it to someone whining about the level of work
you are required to do is insulting not only to me, but to every one
who has a disability in the United States. This disability may be
visible or may not be visible; but it doesn’t matter - the school
must learn how to deal with students with disabilities who want to do
the work (which I did - I never once complained about the workload);
I only wanted the accommodation for a couple of rest periods in the
afternoon. These are not major requests. So, I don’t see how you can
compare them with whining about the workload. That is insulting to
me!

And, you are defending Revere Academy, whether you say you are not;
in you statement that you cannot please all students all the time;
you are dismissing everyone who does not fit the “norm”. We should
become like Japan: " the nail that sticks up should be hammered
down." And if it cannot be hammered down, it should disappear. So,
all of us who happen to not fit the “norm”, should disappear from
your life and everything would be find and dandy. No complaints
because schools don’t have to deal with us and no complaints from
people like you who find us tedious.

Jaynemarie Crawford



#17
I've taken classes, workshops, etc and most of 'those at the front
of the room' know nothing about methodology. They may be able to
do beautiful work but do not know how to convey what they know.
They are demonstrators not teachers. 

I think what this actually means is that the material was not
presented in some particular preconceived way. I beg to differ,
anyway. I have taken many workshops, classes, etc, and have found
most of the teachers very committed to the teaching process and to
reaching out to individual students. True, some are better at it than
others. I have no idea what methodology they ostensibly know nothing
about, but almost all have methods and techniques to offer that I
previously knew nothing about. All have been very much worth my time
and money, with very very few exceptions. The point is, classes are,
to some extent, what you make of them.

Noel


#18

I agree with KPK here. I was an apprentice to a goldsmith for 4 years
(and still consider myself so when I work with him) The past two
years I have spent doing an HND in Jewellery and Silversmithing. I
learnt precious little doing the HND that I didn’t already know, or
that I could not have developed alongside Alex (the goldsmith). Most
of my tutors were incredible craftsmen/women but either did not know
how to express their knowledge, or were so busy with other
students/classes that they could only make important suggestions
after my pieces had been finished. As well as that, most of the
craftspeople who had been teaching at the school the longest, and
therefor know exactly how to convey things best, had retired that
year, or were retiring throughout the year and were replaced with
tutors who did not have as much experience, either teaching
jewellery or making it.

Laura
London


#19

Here is my alma mater:http://www.parisjc.edu It has a very well
thought out plan of instruction.All four semesters are built precept
upon precept. The cost is so unbeleivably afforedable for the wealth
of knowlege and experienceone gets. If I had it to do over again. I
would go back there for my education! The only truly quirky part of
the school is the instructors and their vast personalities.They each
stretch you in a way that the prior instructor did not. I don’t
think thatwas done in the planning, but it certainly does help to get
so many different points of view on a project. Ofcourse, we always do
it the way the current instructorwants us to so that we can get that
wonderful high grade!


#20

Hi, I am currently going to the California Institute of Jewelry
Training and have been very happy with the program. We have some
excellent teachers and great facilities. I am going to take the
gemology class in September and will inform people how that went.

Take care
Dan