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Professional Jeweler's Schools in the Midwest

I’ve decided that I would like some traditional professional jewelry
education - my schooling was strictly the artistic side of the
trade, and I am seriously lacking in a lot of the technical skills. I
live in Indiana, so there aren’t a lot of options for me if I don’t
want to go too far. What I really want is to learn stone setting &
goldsmithing, as well as the basic repair things. I’ve found two
places that seem promising: Connor Jeweler’s School in New Albany,
Indiana, and Drouhard National Jeweler’s School in Mansfield, Ohio.
Both seem to have good programs; Drouhard’s seems to be cheaper,
although I’m not sure if the class length is the same in both (I’ve
e-mailed Connor’s to clarify this).

My question for you all is whether you know anything about either of
these schools, and do you recommend one over the other? Or is there
another place that you would recommend instead? I want to stay within
my bordering states, so preferably within Indiana, Michigan, Ohio,
Kentucky, or Illinois. I might be willing to go further if I become
convinced that it would be worth it.

Thanks to anyone who helps me out with this!!!


There is a school in Wisconsin, which I realize isn’t on your list,
but it’s close, that has the most amazing set up. Every tool you
could ask for.

William L. Howard
Master Goldsmith
P.O. Box 472
Stoughton, WI 53589
FAX 608-873-0960

Take the virtual tour.


Try TIJT - Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology in Paris Texas. 25
Miles from Oklahoma’s Indian Nation Turn Pike to the north. A world
class technical school. Check it out.

Robb = Retired Old Baby Boomer

Try TIJT - Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology in Paris Texas.
25 Miles from Oklahoma's Indian Nation Turn Pike to the north. A
world class technical school. Check it out. 

Thanks for the tip, Robb, but unfortunately Texas is way too far for
me to go.

Also, I guess I didn’t really make this clear - I need a place with
one-week programs or something only on weekends, because I can’t
designate a whole semester to take a program. I do have a full time
job, and do not have the funds to take that much time off of work.
I’m not looking for art programs - I already have a Bachelor of Fine
Arts. I just want to learn some basic bench jeweler skills to add to
my techniques (I’m not looking to actually get a job as a bench

Anyone else have any place to refer me to in the Midwest? Or did I
find the only two available already?

I graduated from Connors. If you are looking for basic jewelry
skills you will get them there. The focus is on jewelry repair, and
stone setting with additional classes in waxes, molds, and casting.
We worked in gold, silver, and had a chance to touch on platinum. The
classes were small and very personal, which I needed since my
background was self-taught jewelry beading and wire wrapping, and I
really didn’t have any experience using a torch. I was very satisfied
with what was offered. It gave me a good basic foundation that I have
used to expand what I have been doing with my jewelry. I live in
southern Indiana, so if you want to contact me off-line, that’s

Dee Garza

I just want to learn some basic bench jeweler skills to add to my
techniques (I'm not looking to actually get a job as a bench

Jen - Can you find a local rock club? They can help you find a
beginning jewelry making class. Or look to your local community
college or senior citizen center. Senior citizen centers usually
don’t limit offerings to seniors. Often they teach the basic skills
on a hobbyist level. That would get you started locally and cheaply.
If you have a jewelry supply shop, ask them where to learn. Many
stores now have a school too.

I sometimes think we send folks off to learn how to make a clock
when they simply want to find out what time it is.

And to defend the hobbyist level instruction - there are some
incredible artists working to amuse themselves. They may not be able
to size 20 rings an hour, but they can make pretty much any kind of
jewelry and do it very well. They often teach locally.

I took my first jewelry making class at a community center. We sawed
out a piece with lots of internal detail and made a pendant of it.
Then we made a ring with a stone. That was 6 evenings at two hours
each. It got me started. I then took several semesters of
metalsmithing at a community college. In the middle of that, I took a
GIA jewelry class. It was very good, but I didn’t have the “bench
time” experience to absorb the terrific instruction. Start simple.
Figure out what you want to learn. Get the books and magazines that
deal with technique. Learn on your own after some simple hands on.
After that, you may want to go to Revere or one of the big
non-degree schools to learn more techniques.

Lastly, if you can find a local metalsmithing organization, they
often have good classes on weekends. Colorado Metalsmithing
Association and Pennsylvania Society of Goldsmiths are good examples.

Judy Hoch

Hello Jen,

Regarding your question about the two schools - Connor or Drouhard -
both offer good programs and have good reputations. I don’t have
personal experience with either, but I know plenty of people who
have, and I have always heard good reports.

Indiana Jewelers Association: 317-258-1128
Michigan Jewelers Association: 517-372-5757
Ohio Jewelers Association: 800-652-6257
Kentucky Jewelers Association: 270-443-7069
Illinois Jewelers Association: 217-528-3436

Another great resource for jewelry skills training is community
colleges and education extension programs. These programs are always
under-funded and therefore not marketed outside their college course
catalogs. I have met incredible instructors associated with local
community college and university programs, from whom you would
receive excellent instruction. You may find a college very near you
where you could accomplish your skills training over a series of
evening or weekend classes, and some colleges offer week-long or
multi-week programs in the summer. I haven’t been maintaining my
schools directory in about a year, so some of the following
may be slightly outdated, but here is the I
have on programs in the states you mentioned (also, some of them
will be more design or fine art in focus - sorry, but my list
includes both). You’ll have to do a little legwork to see if they are
offering weekend, evening, summer or condensed technical skill


  • Anderson - Anderson College, Art Department, Fifth & College,
    46012; (317) 641-4320.

  • Bloomington - Indiana University, Henry Radford Hope School of
    Fine Arts, Fine Arts Building #123, 47405; (812) 855-7766; fax (812)
    855-7498; e-mail

  • Goshen - Goshen College, Art Department, 1700 S. Main St., 46526;
    (574) 535-7400; e-mail

  • Indianapolis - The Indianapolis Art Center used to have a jewelry
    program. I don’t know if it was more design related or more
    technical skills related, but it would be worth looking into.

  • Marion - Indiana Wesleyan University, Art Department, 4201 S.
    Washington, 46953; (765) 674-6901.

  • Mishawaka - There used to be a bench training program in Mishawaka
    IN called Benchmark. I know at one point they offered 12 week
    courses. I couldn’t find a phone number for them in my records, so I
    couldn’t confirm if they are still in business.

  • Muncie - Ball State University, Art Department, Attention: Pat
    Nelson, 47306; (765) 285-5797; fax (765) 285-5275; e-mail

  • New Albany - Conner Jeweler’s School, 2608 Charlestown Rd., 47150;
    (812) 283-4367; fax (812) 949-9663; e-mail

  • Upland - Taylor University, Art Department, 236 W. Reade Ave.,
    46989; (765) 998-5322 or (765) 998-4910.

  • West Lafayette - Purdue University, Visual & Performing Arts
    Department, 47907-1352; (765) 494-3056; fax (765) 496-1198; e-mail


  • Murray - Murray State University, College of Fine Arts &
    Communication, Art Department, P.O. Box 9, 42071; (502) 762-3784.

  • Richmond - Eastern Kentucky University, Art Department, Campbell
    Building, 40475; (606) 622-1629.


  • Allendale - Grand Valley State University, Art & Design
    Department, 1105 CAC, 49401; (616) 331-5000.

  • Ann Arbor - University of Michigan, School of Art & Design, 2000
    Bonisteel Blvd., 48109-2069; (734) 764-0397; fax (734) 936-0469;
    e-mail a&

  • Birmingham - Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center, 1516 S. Cranbrook
    Rd., 48009; (248) 644-0866; fax (248) 644-7904.

  • Bloomfield Hills - Cranbrook Academy of Art (Graduate program),
    39221 North Woodward Ave., P.O. Box 801, 48303-0801; (248) 645-3300;
    fax (248) 646-0046.

  • Detroit - College for Creative Studies - College of Art and
    Design, Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design, 201 E. Kirby, 48202-4034;
    (313) 664-7400; fax (313) 872-8377.

  • Detroit - Wayne State University, Department of Art and Art
    History, 150 Community Arts, 48202; (810) 762-0443.

  • Flint - Charles Stewart Mott Community College, School of Arts &
    Humanity, Art Area, 1401 E. Court St., 48502; (810) 762-0443.

  • Kalamazoo - Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, 314 S. Park St.,
    49007-5102; (616) 349-7775; fax (616) 349-9313; e-mail

  • Marquette - Northern Michigan University, Art & Design Department,
    49855-5301; (906) 227-2700; fax (906) 227-2276.

  • Midland - Alden B. Dow Museum of Science & Art, 1801 W. St.
    Andrews Rd. (48640); (989) 631-5930; fax (989) 631-7890; e-mail

  • Mount Pleasant - Central Michigan University, Art Department, 132
    Wightman Hall, 48859; (989) 774-3025; fax (989) 774-2278.

  • Plainwell - Michigan Jobs Commission Career & Technical Institute,
    Alber Dr., 49080; (616) 664-4461.

  • Traverse City - Northwestern Michigan College, Art Department,
    1701 E. Front St., 49686; (616) 922-1325.

  • Ypsilanti - Eastern Michigan University, Art Department, 114 Ford,
    48197; (734) 487-1268; fax (734) 487-2324.


  • Carbondale - Southern Illinois University, School of Art and
    Design, Mail Code 4301, 62901-4301; (618) 453-4315; fax (618)

  • Champaign - Parkland College, School of Fine and Applied Arts,
    2400 W. Bradley, 61821; (217) 351-2200; fax (217) 351-2581.

  • Champaign - University of Illinois/Urbana-Champaign, School of Art
    & Design, 408 E. Peabody Dr., 61820; (217) 333-0855 or (217)
    244-7101; fax (217) 244-7688; e-mail

  • Chicago - Lillstreet Art Center, 4401 N. Ravenswood, 60640; (773)
    769-4226; e-mail

  • Chicago - Loyola University of Chicago, Fine Arts Department, 6525
    N. Sheridan Rd., 60626; (773) 508-2820; fax (773) 508-2282.

  • Chicago - Northeastern Illinois University, Art Department, 5500
    N. St. Louis, 60625; (773) 583-4050, ext. 2644.

  • DeKalb - Northern Illinois University, School of Art, 60115-2854;
    (815) 753-7851; fax (815) 753-7701.

  • Edwardsville - Southern Illinois University, Art & Design
    Department, P.O. Box 1774, 62026-1764; (618) 650-2000.

  • Elgin - Elgin Community College, Liberal Arts & Social Sciences
    Division, 1700 Spartan Dr., 60123; (847) 214-7341; fax (847)
    622-3048; e-mail

  • Glen Ellyn - College of Dupage, Division of Humanities, IC
    Building 3098C, 425 Fawell Blvd., 60137; (630) 942-4291; fax (630)
    942-3711; e-mail

  • Joliet - Joliet Junior College, Fine Arts Department, 1215 Houbolt
    Rd., 60431-8938; (815) 729-9020 ext. 2223.

  • Macomb - Western Illinois University, Art Department, 32 Garwood
    Hall, 61455-1396; (309) 298-1549; fax (309) 298-2605; e-mail

  • Normal - Illinois State University, Department of Art, Campus Box
    5620, 61790-5620; (309) 438-5621; fax (309) 438-8318; e-mail

  • Quincy - Gem City College, 700 State St., 62306; (217) 222-0391;
    fax (217) 222-1557; e-mail


  • Ada - Ohio Northern University, Department of Art, Wilson Art
    Center, 525 South Main St., 45810; (419) 772-2160; fax (419)
    772-2164; e-mail

  • Akron - University of Akron, Myers School of Art, 44325-7801;
    (330) 972-6030; fax (330) 972-5960; e-mail

  • Bowling Green - Bowling Green State University, School of Art,
    1000 Fine Arts Center, 43403; (419) 372-2786; fax (419) 372-2544.

  • Canton - Canton Museum of Art, 1001 Market Ave. North, 44702;
    (330) 453-7666; fax (330) 453-1034; e-mail

  • Cincinnati - College of Mount St. Joseph, Art Department, 5701
    Delhi Rd., 45233-1670; (513) 244-4420; fax (513) 244-4942.

  • Cleveland - Case Western Reserve University, Art Department,
    Wickenden Bldg., 44106; (216) 368-2714; fax (216) 368-2715.

  • Cleveland - Cleveland Institute of Art, Jewelry and Metals
    Department, 11141 E. Blvd., 44106; (216) 421-7000.

  • Cleveland - TAP Studios Art Jewelry Workshop, 1667 E. 40th St.
    #3B, 44103; (216) 773-8277; e-mail

  • Columbus - Capital University, Fine Arts Department, 2199 E. Main
    St., 43209; (614) 236-6011; fax (614) 236-6490.

  • Dayton - University of Dayton, P.V.A. Department, 300 College
    Park, 45469; (937) 229-3237; fax (937) 229-4000.

  • Delaware - Ohio Wesleyan University, Fine Arts Department, S.
    Sandusky St., 43015; (740) 369-4431; fax (740) 368-3299 Attention:
    Fine Arts Department.

  • Harrison - American Watchmaking Institute, Jewelry & Arts
    Department, 701 Enterprise Dr., 45030; (866) 367-8924; fax (513)

  • Kent - Kent State University, School of Art, P.O. Box 5190, 44242;
    (330) 672-2110; fax (330) 672-4729; e-mail

  • Mansfield - Drouhard National Jewelers School, 2236 Main St.,
    44907; (888) 663-9335.

  • Springfield - Wittenberg University, Art Department, P.O. Box 720,
    45501; (937) 327-6311; fax (937) 327-6340.

  • Sylvania - Lourdes College, Art Department, 6832 Convent Blvd.,
    43560; (419) 885-3211; fax (419) 882-3987.

  • Tiffin - Heidelberg College, Art Department, 310 E. Market St.,
    44883; (419) 448-2202; fax (419) 448-2124.

  • Toledo - University of Toledo, Center for Visual Arts, Art
    Department, 620 Grove Pl., 43620; (419) 530-8300; fax (419) 530-8337.

  • Youngstown - Youngstown State University, Art Department, One
    University Plaza, 44555; (330) 742-3627.

Good luck in your pursuit of additional technical skills! I hope this
will prove to be helpful (and not overwhelming :-])to


Andrea M. Hill
Hill Management Consulting

Indianapolis - The Indianapolis Art Center used to have a
jewelry program. I don't know if it was more design related or
more technical skills related, but it would be worth looking into. 

Yes, the Indianapolis Art Center has a fine jewelry program,
including casting, enameling, fabrication, metal clay and glass

There’s a terrific ventilation system, the best of any place I’ve
ever taught. There’s ventilation for the soldering area and above the

Students may sit at benches or tables.

Tools are well stocked.

Indy is a fun place to visit, hotels are affordable. IAC has weekend
workshops as well as on-going classes.

Check it out at

They also have a steel and stone studio, and glass blowing, by the


Wow Andrea, thanks so much! I am actually in the process of trying to
figure out if I can get instruction from someone at the Indianapolis
Art Center - they don’t have any classes on what I’m wanting, but I’m
hoping maybe someone will be willing to do a one-on-one or something.
I didn’t know there was an Indiana Jewelers Association - hadn’t
found it in any of my searches! Thanks for the contact info!! Much


they don't have any classes on what I'm wanting, but I'm hoping
maybe someone will be willing to do a one-on-one or something. 

Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago will arrange custom classes for
small groups or private lessons for one person, FYI.