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Hi Rick,
It sounds as if you have considerable knowledge of your own to
share; one of the good things about working at GIA is the
sheer amount of info that gets bandied about everyday and I’ll
take any info I can get. . . even at this late date. In regard to
mentoring, the only advice I have is that at the beginning,
humor and excitment might be more important than technique. It
seems to me if someone is excited about what he’s doing., he’ll
be motivated to improve his technique. I might suggest a wax
project to begin with. My 12 year old nephew and I carved a
dolphin pendant and cast it for his dads birthday. It was pretty
easy and kept him interested. We had to finish the casting and I
demo’d a litte soldering with the jump-ring etc. So there was an
intro to fabrication. Also, in wax its easy to correct your
mistakes. Hope that helps some.



Hi Steve-
This forum is attracting some good people and some great
discussions. I had a student from the mentor program 2 years ago-
she carved a frog ring as one of her self-designed projects.

I like to start with fabrication (though I do a lot of wax
carving) because I think it is more challenging and they get to
work with a “precious” metal right away. One of my helpers is up
in Boston for the spring (living on his schooner- spring
sailing!!) and at my suggestion taking a course in jewelry at
Mass Art. He has blacksmithing background, so all I had to do was
hide the hammers and the big torch tips :slight_smile: and his skills were
quickly evident. He and I have been talking knife making for
years- however the two of us are restoring a 1920 wooden catboat-
and I think it will make it into the harbor this summer.

Rick Hamilton

The flex shaft seems a more difficult tool for students to encompass
than soldering with a torch.

Richard D.