Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Proud father / message to newbies

Today my 10 year old son, Sam completed his first gold ring! He
made it for a school project on the Lord of the Rings. He measured
and cut the gold, bent it, sawed the joint, soldered it, rounded it
out, rubber wheeled, buffed, rouged and chased some designs into the
surface. He did this all himself, with me only watching and
advising. For any newbies out there who are considering working with
gold for the first time, if my 10 year old can do it so can you! So
get out and do it!

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140

Daniel, That is wonderful! Something I hope I can teach my girls
when they are that age. Right now my oldest is 3 and I have already
had a proud moment. She found a scrap copper circle on my bench and
wanted to “clean” it. So I let her use my hand cranked buffing wheel
to shine it up and then I let her stamp her name on it - she hammered
while I held the stamps (being very careful of my fingers!).


Hats off to Daniel ! There is no greater source of satisfaction to a
parent than to be able to transfer ones’ knowledge and passion to a
child. I have two sons who are jewelry professionals; one is an
independent jeweler and the other is in management with a large
chain firm.

Next month I am going to have the pleasure of training my very
enthusiastic nine year old grandson who will be visiting from
Colorado. He is enthralled with the jewelry business and is looking
forward to making his first ring with grandpa. What a joy children
can be ! Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA.

That’s the way it goes! If you can afford to give kids the best
materials to work with. Many years ago I was a teacher and,
despairing of the nasty powder paints we had managed to persuade a
very doubtful head to supply me with OIL PAINTS! The children did
amazing work with them.

Tony Konrath

G’day; My suggestion in this thread is to get in touch with young
people’s organisations, like The Scouts, Guides,and so on. To
encourage children to branch out a bit and see what they can do if
they try, and to widen horizons, these organisations offer badges
for learning about elementary skills in all kinds of things from
carpentry to cooking. They like to bring in knowledgeable people
outside the movement for this purpose. Get in touch with a few
youth leaders, and offer to show their members some skills in
jewellery making, but first be prepared to demonstrate that you are
a person capable of being trusted with the responsibility of having
a young person with you for a few hours. (There’s a lot of predatory
animals about these days)

I have done this and have enjoyed the experiences greatly. I
suggest they make a ring in sterling.

Firstly they watch whilst I melt scrap and pour it into a home made
rod mould. I do that myself because it can be a bit dodgy
manipulating molten metal for a first experience.

But they have to use a rolling mill to reduce the rod to square
wire, then reduce the square to a strip, explaining why it has to be
frequently annealed. They size their finger, using a piece or copper
or florist’s wire, then cutting it to get the length to cut the ring
strip. Clean up the edges etc then stamp a very simple design (using
my home made stamps). They turn up a ring and make the ends meet
without light showing through then they silver solder the ends using
flux and a paillon of solder. They pickle and clean up the whole
thing with a file and graded abrasive papers, polish the inside with
a flexishaft, slip it on a tapered wooden mandrel and polish the
outside on buffs. Sometimes they like to sulphide the ring and
polish it off so just the stamp indentations are black, but it is
pointed out to them that it will soon wear off.

Finally I give them a nice looking computer generated signed
certificate with their name and date and a list of skills they had
seen and used. I get a great deal of satisfaction when a parent
rings me up to say they couldn’t believe that their child had made
this beautiful thing, and to thank me. I know for a fact that a
girl aged 12 I taught for her Scout badge still treasures her ring
and certificate; - she was recently married.

Cheers for now,
John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua Nelson NZ