[Quincy, Illinois] Gem City Jewelry School

Im in my 40’s, disabled, and trying to gain retraining. I have an
opportunity to attend gem city college in Quincy Illinois, but I
have some questions that they will not answer, as they are hard on
selling, and my Voc Rehab consoler wants to know this as well, as
they will be paying part of the bill.

Is the education at Gem City jewelry school up to today’s standards?
If one works hard and learns what is taught, is it enough to get
employed, or to be self employed? Do you get the real skills, or is
it just another diploma mill? The jewelry and watch repair part of
the school has been around since the early 60’s but finding anyone
who actually attended there, or knows someone who did is harder than
I thought it would be. I really need to find out more about them, as
this is basically my last chance. I want to make it right, and Voc
rehab does as well. Unfortunately, I cant really travel to far from
St. Louis Missouri area as I have 2 younger daughters I need to be
there for. Since Trenton in Memphis closed, this is the only other
real, or I hope its real, training facility within driving distance
for me.

D-maybe you could post thier classes and training schedule to the
list so those with experience can give you an opinion. if they wont
answer some questions thats a big red flag ! those are the key ones
like will they help to place you in a job. the voc tech program
would be better off to pay a repair shop to give you on the job
training - best regards goo

I don’t know alot about Gem City College, but I do know that for a
number of years they were pretty big in training watchmakers. I am
sure they place more emphasis on jewelry nowadays, because
watchmaking has gone a different direction in recent decades. Quartz
watches have been devastating to mechanical watchmakers, and their
livelyhood. If you are considering watch repair,i.e. quartz watches,
there are far cheaper, and practical ways, to learn it than enrolling
in an expensive school program. Dan Gendron (online somewhere) offers
books and video training courses that will get you going, and
profitable, fairly quick. He used to have a traveling school, but I
think that kinda played out after 3-5 yrs.I doubt that the gov will
pay for his educational material tho. Also, the American Watchmakers
Institute(AWI) offers a number of courses(short and long term) in
quartz and mechanical watch skills, as well as clock repair. They are
based in Cinncinati, Ohio, and their training just might be workable
with various gov financial aid programs. If you are considering
mechanical watchmaking/ repair, tread carefully, as demand is there
in larger metro areas, but in smaller towns and rural areas, it is
rather difficult to get people to pay the price for this skill.
Probably the biggest demand for mechanical watchmakers is by the
manufacturer’s service centers that are mostly east and west
coasts.Also, some states still require liscencing for watchmakers,
and annual renewal. My state, Indiana, dropped liscencing aprox 10
years ago.

As far as jewelry repair goes, the demand is huge, especially since
so much of what the general public buys from the mass merchandisers
is poorly designed, poorly constructed, and worn way too hard by the
owners. A skilled repairman should be able to make a very
satisfactory living just about anywhere in the country, except very
rural maybe, whether they work as an independent retail repair shop,
like myself, as a wholesale trade shop, or for someone else in
tradework or retail. I am scheduled to the hilt yearround, and
haven’t advertised in at least 10 years. I depend heavily on places
like Walmart, JC Penny, most mall jewelry stores, etc, to keep
selling the junk they do, as it gets lots of emotional wear, and
needs lots and lots and lots of repair. If someone fails to make lots
of money at jewelry repair and quartz watch, its their own fault, as
the demand is enormous.

Good luck! Ed in Kokomo


I graduated from Gem city 29 years ago and received excellent
training in watch repair clock repair hand engraving, jewelry repair
and design. I have been earning a good living ever since then with
the skills that I learned there. I can’t speak for now, 29 years was
a long time ago and things can change. Pay them a visit and take the
tour, ask for phone numbers of more recent grads.

John Wade
Wade Designs

Dear Daniel and All,

My husband and I attended Gem City in 1989-1990. Like all programs,
there are good things and not so good thing about it.

My husband took the watch/clock program, hand engraving, and the
jewelry course. I only took the jewelry course, but I was there long
enough to observe and interact with all of the teachers. At that
time, the watch program was their strongest course. I believe at
least one of the instructors in that department has moved on though.
At the time their names were Doug and Al, and they were both real
good teachers.

Engraving is a pretty good course. The jewelry course is, in my
opinion, somewhat lacking. There are a lot of things you will
encounter in the real world that never get touched on in their
classes. Of course, I think that is probably the case in most
educational programs. When my husband and I attended, there were a
lot of people there that were never going to work in a jewelry store,
and every one knew it. They were mostly just putting in their time
because either their parents were footing the bill, or they were in a
vocational rehab program for something to do. There were a few of us
taking it seriously, but a lot were just taking up space. I think
instructors pick up on this, and they don’t waste effort where it’s
not appreciated.

It is work at your own pace, and that is nice, as you can repeat
projects that you didn’t feel comfortable with the skill being
taught. I think they could modernize their lessons; one of the first
jewelry projects was learning how to create your own fishtail style
crown from scratch. Now let me ask all of you jewelers out there; how
many diamonds are you setting in fishtail crowns you made from
scratch? In the schools defense, all projects teach some skill,
whether it is filing, sawing, soldering, etc. I just feel that they
could update the projects to reflect jewelry actually being worn and
sold today, and they would be better received.

When I finished the jewelry program, the school did help me find a
job, which was great- I’m still at that job, and so I am very
grateful for that. My employer looked at my work from school and
pronounced my trainable, but with a lot of training left to go. And
without sounding conceited, I was one of the better students down
there at the time. I needed a lot of hand holding on the job before I
was proficient at most all repairs. My husband is more mechanically
minded than myself, and is a better jeweler because of it, but his
opinion of school is much the same as mine. It is just a start at
what you will need to know in a real jewelry job.

Unless the program has changed a lot since we were there, you will
not be ready to strike out on your own. You will need to work with
someone in the field to get more training. They may be more willing
to hire you once you have had the courses, as you will have been
introduced to the basics of filing, sawing, soldering, etc.

They also have a design course, which, I hate to say, is pretty much
a joke. There is little guidance on what is possible, practical, good
design, or anything else.

So… Like I started with, there are good points and bad points.
I’ve already been pretty wordy, so I will let is go at that. E-mail
me if you have any specific questions. I would have loved to talk to
someone before I went.

Take care.

gustavo hoefs

Ive tried for years to get an apprenticeship around here, no one
will really do it. I dont blame them,they are to busy trying to make
money, they dont have time to teach. And Voc rehab cant pay for
things like that anyway, they say they have to stick to the
guidelines. more Gov red tape.

I have found 1 person in the city that went to gem city, he said its
not the greatest, but its not the worse either and he would jump at
it especially if Voc Rehab would pay. He went about 20 years ago,
and to me its seems they are still teaching the same things. I ask
about cnc cad, laser welding and such, and the college says those
are easily skills to learn on the job. I do know people who own
these, work with these, and they laughed when I told them that. They
say its not easy,especially all the software for the cnc programs. I
kind of agree as I’ve played with AutoCad in the past. 2d isnt easy,
3 d and 4 axis is very hard. All that considered, I would at least
get my basic skills improved and Gem setting skills I really need.
As for job placement, I dont anyone can promise that, all they can
do is try. My worry is that if no one knows about them, who would
hire someone that went to school there? It does baffle me how a
school that has been around since the 1960’s ( the jewelry and watch
part started then) and its hard to find anyone in the area who has
heard of them much less knows about them.

I know its good to know the old skills. but if your looking for
employment, you dont learn ancient blacksmithing arts to try and get
a job working on aircraft. I know you must learn the basics, and I am
all for that, but you cant stop it there anymore. There is so much
that has changed in the jewelry industry just in the last 10 years. I
am almost done with my Gemologist degree from GIA, and even gemology
has changed vastly in just the last couple years alone. High tech is
changing everything, and I would think a trade school, or college, or
university would have to be first in line to modernize. Then again,
without many schools to choose from, they can pretty well teach what
they want as its a closed market.

Wow, must say I have been getting some good info. Not all what I
wanted to hear, but I am getting it.

I did visit the school the other week. I did find some things to be
a little discouraging, but not devastatingly so. I did notice more
watch students than jewelry though. Im a little concerned as I have
been doing this as a hobby for almost 15 years, and have helped out
at friends jewelry stores once in a while. All the jobs in my area
want people who can walk in and work at the bench. They don’t want
anyone who they have to train or sit with and worry about constantly.
I know what I need help in, stone setting and casting are two things
I have not had much work with. I can do it, but its mostly self
taught and I know if someone could teach me the tricks of the trade,
things would go much faster. Under confident is my middle name here.
But when you can easily break a couple grand worth of stone in an
instant, I think a little bit of paranoia is ok. I can say from what
I read, gem city doesn’t give anyone the ability to do this. As I
said before, or I think I did, Im almost finished with my GIA grad
gemologist course, and if I can get some kind of real training on
repairs behind me then I think I will be ok. But at my age, 43, I
want to make sure it’s the right thing to do. Investing a year and
half into it, I want to walk out with something worth while. Sure, I
would love to go to New Approach School or Revere, but without a pell
grant and Voc Rehab, I couldn’t afford it. And they don’t do fed
financial aid. Forget a loan, after I became disabled, my wife
divorced me and left me with credit cards and other loans, and I had
no choice but to file bankruptcy and that kind of blows student loans
out of the picture.

Anyway, All things considered I am still thinking of going. First
and foremost because it is close enough I will still be able to see
my daughters on a regular basis. I can make the drive one way without
to much pain and discomfort. So coming home for the weekends would
work. Secondly, I can get the money to go there in a Pell grant and
Voc Rehab. One thing I wasn’t happy about is they told me rent was
195 a month for apartments. That turned out to be only one place that
isn’t open anyway. And Voc Rehab agreed to the 195, but once the
truth came out, they weren’t to happy and wont pay anymore than the
195. I still have my place in St. Louis, so I cant afford to take on
another by myself. I considered selling my house, but its really all
I have left besides my $300 dollar car. And I may never be able to
buy another house the way things are going. Also, I was told if I
sell the house, and made a profit, I wouldn’t get any help from Voc
Rehab, or a pell grant, and I would not only get broke again, but
homeless. Go figure.

There are not real places to go here in St. Louis. I was working
through the fine arts program at the local community college and then
wanted to go the SIU in Edwardsville Illinois, just across the river,
as they have a great jewelry program, but that would be a long time
off for me, and even then a maybe as SIU is very expensive. When Gem
City came up, I was ready and willing. Now, I still willing, just
worried it might be the wrong thing to be willing about.

I went to Gem City in 1970 for their diamond/stone setting course.
Didn’t learn a whole lot more than I had already been shown by the
guy I was apprenticing for. I actually picked up more,
technique-wise, from some of the “students” than from the instructor.
I guess the boss just wanted the piece of paper to hang on the wall.
From what I’ve been able to tell from talking to some folks who have
attended some of the jewelry schools out there, Gem City, etc., about
all you’re going to learn is basic “how to” stuff. Enough to get you
in deep trouble without a lot of practice, exposure, and advanced
tutoring. Just because you learned how to size a ring, or solder
something in a controlled environment doesn’t mean you’re ready to
hang the ol’ shingle out and start “jewelling”. You will need quite a
bit of practical exposure/experience before you’re ready to be on
your own. Anyone who has been at the bench for any number of years
will tell you, every day something new or odd hits the bench for
repair. Number one, you need an aptitude for this type of work.
Outside of sizing and chain repair, rarely are two jobs just alike.

Number two, study every piece of jewelry that hits your bench. Don’t
just look at it, but actually study how it was put together. Study,
and remember, how it was engineered and constructed. You’ll also
need to figure out the steps of assembly. Which piece was put in
place first, second, etc. Someday you will see a piece in need of
repair and you’ll know how the missing, broken, crushed, or just
plain worn out part looked when it was new.

I’m not trying to rain on anybody’s parade, but simply saying, if you
intend to go into this business, don’t expect some school to be your
great savior. Schools are only a starting point that will probably
get your foot in some jewelry store’s door a bit easier than starting
out with nothing. After school, hit the top jewelry store in town and
see if they’ll give you a break. Learn everything from anyone who’ll
show you. There are a lot of tricks of the trade and shortcuts that
schools won’t show a beginner. When/if you get an opportunity to sit
beside and learn from someone, make sure he/she is well regarded in
the trade. There are already too many hackers and butchers out there
taking good money for shoddy workmanship.

Something I saw on a shop wall years ago and it stuck with me - “Why
is there always time to do a job over, but never enough time to do
it right the first time?”

Good luck. Hope something breaks for you.


Unfortunately it has been my experience over many years of trying to
get into the industry unless you have a degree, or years of previous
employment, no one wants you. No one does apprenticeships anymore.
Understandable so as they are so busy trying to make money and keep
the business going. But the days of “on the job training” are long
gone. At least in the Midwest. School are the only way in the door
anymore, and even then it siffy. Most want a fully trained, fully
skilled machine to walk in an just work. In a perfect world I guess
this is possible, but yet, that is what I hear the most. And I have
tried many times over the years. Sometimes I hear they found just
that, sometime I hear they thought they did, and dont like what they
got. Either way, its the parchment that gets you in apparently, so I
guess that is what I have to do. I have the feeling it will just put
2 more years between me and my ultimate goal, but that is the system
we now live in. You can not walk in with a case full of work and a
book full of pictures of past jobs and get employed. You need to show
you spent thousands of dollars to go to school before they will
believe your dedicated enough for them. The other way is that you’ve
already established a name and a following for your work, and why
would you want to work for someone else then. I’ve been working at
this for many years, and that is what I have deducted from all my
time and work.


Damiel, goo, etc.,

I don’t know what it’s like in other states, but there is a way, in
California, to get Rehab to pay for an apprenticeship: working
through the “approved tutor” system. This requires that the "master"
fill out some forms and go through an interview process, and it’s
most likely to be approved if s/he has teaching experience. Also, you
have to convince them that you can’t get the same training through a
local approved program.

The pay isn’t great–my tutor, who has a Ph. D., received only
$18/hr, and this was in the very expensive Bay Area–but it makes up
for some of the money the tutor loses while training and supervising
an apprentice. It might work really well for someone like Daniel, who
already has some basic skills, and could spend a couple of hours
soldering jump rings for every hour learning to set stones.

Lisa Orlando

now in beautiful, sunny Berkeley, where the birds are happily chirping
away in the aftermath of a light rain

Lisa Orlando

Damiel, goo, etc.,

not sure if this was a mistype, but I laughed, thanks, I can use all
those I can get right now.

As for the Voc Rehab paying for an apprenticeship it has been tried.
Not just by my but others around the area.

Apparently in the St. Louis area, the aggravation just isnt worth it
I guess. Couldnt really say. I have tried, and my consoler said that
she also found out from others its been tried in the past, nothing.

I am going to Gem City even though the many emails I received from
all the forums I posted in are not that wonderful. But then again, I
dont have much of a choice with my condition. And like Ive said
before, I would love to go to another school if I could, but its
next to impossible to find any jewelry schools accept federal aid,
they want the people with the big bucks, which removes anyone in my
shoes. Besides Voc rehab has a smaller budget thanks to cut backs,
and the only way I could go is with the help of federal financial
aid. My consoler is the one who ask me to find out as much as I
could, she even suggested trying some of the forums I told her I was
in. I wanted to know, but then again, didnt, as I dont really have a
choice. You know what I mean? It kind of boosted the old paranoia
levels lol But, its nice to know ahead of time I guess…


Well, it looks like Gem City is out. I called to today to ask about
housing, and to see why they haven’t answered my emails in the past

I was given the housing persons husband, I think he is the Dean. He
was very loud and yelling at me. Even though I was told that if I had
any questions or concerns at all, just to ask and they would answer
them best they could. (I guess what I got was their best)

A question I ask about was on the one thing in all the emails that
most bothered me, and had never received an answer. Because of that
one question, about the instructor, I was told by this man, I think
the dean, that I am not allowed to question, criticize or in anyway
try to question the school. He also said he has no intention of
arguing with a student about school policies or actions. I had to
remind him I’m not a student. He said he didn’t feel he had to
explain anything to me either. He could do what he pleased.

And I am not accepted at the school now.

That question about the instructor came up in many of the emails I
received from many different forums. And I even started out saying
"I don’t know if its true, but I had heard that if you don’t stay on
the good side of the instructor, you will not get taught"

For those of you who emailed me here, don’t worry, no names or
indication of anything will ever be out. I don’t want anyone
thinking its not good to tell others about what they thought of a
school. This is a free country after all.

Not a graceful question, not a happy one, but they said to ask ANY
question or Concern at all. And this was the one I found most
important as I am not paying them to win brownie points, I am paying
them to teach me. If I get out of line, ok, but just cause someone
doesn’t like the way I dress or look, no.

I do understand that if I was working for them, I would never ask
such a question. If they were paying for my schooling, I would never
ask this. If I was apprenticeship, I would never ask. But when I am
paying them! YES I WILL ASK IT.

I feel that’s like you hire a contractor to build you a house, and
your not allowed to question anything they say, do, or charge you
for. They are providing a service, and I am to pay. If they wont
allow a couple un flattering questions, what kind of teaching
institution is it.

Would a jeweler in business treat a paying customer like this? I
would not think so, and this school is a business, and I was a

Or am I the one with the problem? Do I really need an attitude
adjustment as the dean told me? Was it wrong for me to question a
school that I was wanting to attend? If I was wrong, I will publicly
apologize, as I have done and said wrong things before. But things
normally get talked out. But to be insulted and told I have not
rights to question their school? He also said he has no intention of
arguing with a student about school policies or actions. I had to
remind him Im not a student. He said then he didn’t feel he had to
explain anything at all to me. He could do what he pleased.

2 weeks ago I was told I was accepted, all I needed was voc rehab
and financial aid finalized. Today I am told I ask a question they
didn’t like so Im out. Lucky for me I live in Missouri, were its
legal to tape phone conversations, and because of my condition, and
medication, my memory isn’t the greatest, so I tape important things.
I taped this as I thought I would be getting on housing
in the area. But now I am glad I did it as I am sure they will deny
being so rude and so mightier than thou like. At least if they want
to sue me for slander they wont be able to do it. Slander is if you
tell a lie, I have the tape. Also, I have nothing, so what can they
take, my blood?? But I guess they feel they can do what they want,
they will try. ( am I bitter today, a little. Wouldn’t know why?)

I don’t know why they tell people to ask questions if they only will
allow approved questions. That is not what I would think a school
should be like. And I cant see myself going to a school that I now
know will probably be harassing me the whole way and I have no right
to question anything. I shouldn’t have to go on probation or anything
else because I did nothing but ask a question. Heck I even offered to
try to help if they wanted it, he said he considered that I was
trying to control the school by saying this.

They truly are behind in the times in more ways than one. I know I
am going to avoid this school like the plague. I just don’t
understand why they told me to ask about anything at all, when that
obviously isn’t their policy, as this person of authority at Gem City
told me today. Not like I was rude about it, just said I have heard
this and wondered about it.

I guess I really should thank my Voc Rehab consoler as she is the
one who told me to research the school fully to make sure I wanted to
go. If she wouldn’t have told me to do this, I would not have found
out what I did. And nothing in the emails would have stopped me from
going, only the way they responded to a question.

This is my personal experience, and I don’t know if this is how they
treat everyone there. But just thought since I started this thread,
I should at least tell everyone how it ends.

Personally, I would think many times before going, but that is only
my opinion and based on my experience. You should make up your own

I was told about 25 yrs ago that Gem City closed there Kanas school
and moved it all to (I think) to there Wisconsin watch school. So
maybe someone picked up the name to ride the shirt tail (old teacher
who didn’t want to move maybe) I would look very close at this,

Don in Idaho It happened right after my son went there.

Dear Daniel,

I am so sorry that man was rude to you.

I suggest you apply to Texas Institute of Jewelery Technology, in
Paris, Texas.

When I was there, they were teaching folks with voc rehab and

I was also routinely on the wrong side of a couple of instructors,
and they taught me anyway. :wink:

I still don’t agree with the director, but you will learn a lot at
that particular school- it’s one of the best, in spite of its (and
mine) shortcomings.

I wish you luck,

Hi Daniel (I guess my spell check wasn’t working last time…),

You are very lucky that you’re not going to this school. It sounds
like a nightmare. However, am I correct that it isn’t in the same
state as your residence? And that Rehab will pay for you to go to
school out of state? If this is so, would they pay for you to go
farther away?

Housing in San Francisco is extremely expensive, so I wouldn’t
imagine that Revere would work for you, but I wonder if people who
have attended Blaine Lewis’s school could comment on whether it’s in
an affordable area.

However, I would also suggest that you read a post I wrote last
summer about why jewelry training might not be the best choice for a
Rehab client:

Good luck,
Lisa Orlando

Hello Daniel,

A very fortunate situation for you. You’ve avoided investing valuable
time, let alone be disappointed in your classes. You are the customer
here. If you are not valued, you should not be there!!

A very short story. When I was entering grad school, I was assigned a
major professor to be my advisor and work with me. I called him and
asked to make an appointment to set up my course of study. His
response was essentially that I could take anything I wanted as it
didn’t matter. (Steam began to curl from my ears.) There was no need
to meet. My next call was to the Dean and I told him that I wanted a
different major prof, and was candid about why. Frankly, it DOES
matter and I felt my time was valuable. I got an excellent,
enthusiastic major prof and finished the degree on time!

Daniel, be grateful you found out in time. Another, better
opportunity will arise.

Judy in Kansas


Quoting Susannah,

I suggest you apply to Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology, in
Paris, Texas. When I was there, they were teaching folks with voc
rehab and disabilities. I was also routinely on the wrong side of a
couple of instructors, and they taught me anyway. ;) I still don't
agree with the director, but you will learn a lot at that
particular school- it's one of the best, in spite of its (and mine)

I am disability retired as well. The school goes to great efforts to
help. I went through Texas Rehab. Other students have gone from out
of state rehab programs. I know I tried their patience as well.

In the TIJT job listing for 9 - 25 - 01 to 5 - 21 - 02, I counted 163
Job Offers. This includes Gemologists as well as primarily bench
Jewelers. There was another job listing for the watchmaking

If I have been overly zealous in praising this school. I apologize.
163 job offers, for graduates, in one year speaks volumes.

Search " Jewelry Boot Camp " for my impressions while I was
attending I privately referred to the Director as " Das Commissar "

Susannah, when did you attend? I went 5 semesters from 2000 to 2003

Daniel, Or anyone else who wishes to talk.
eMail me privately if you wish. Texeclectic@vidnetnet.net


I had checked into Texas Institute of Jewelery Technology, in Paris,
Texas. I have heard many good things about them. The strange thing is
that even though they are a college, they no longer accept Federal
Financial aid? I was surprised. And With the budgets being slashed in
Missouri, Voc Rehab doesnt have the budget to flip the bill alone.

Thanks for the encouragement and help to you and everyone here. Youve
helped me out a lot. Im old enough and have been through enough to
know that life is full of ups and downs, this is just a small down in
life. I will keep trying to find a way to get to where I want to be.

Thanks Again


Daniel, I’m sorry you had such an horrendous experience with this
school. You were wise to check it out. It’s apparent it isn’t a good
fit for you. Any academy should be professional, whether it’s an
inquiry about their services, charges, expectations from a potential
student, or their expectations of a student. Sometimes things just
don’t click, as in there is a difference of opinion between people,
in which case, it will not work for you, no matter how hard you try.
Keep searching for a school that will acomodate your needs and that
you feel comfortable with, and you will have a lot of fun and learn.

As with a friend of mine who is mentally and physically handicapped,
while we were out eating at a restaurant one day, was being made fun
of by a group of teenagers. Their remarks were obviously hurtful to
him, so I walked over to them and explained that although he might
have some problems, he had an excellent sense of humor, is very kind
and gracious, and they had hurt his feelings. I then asked them to
come over to meet my friend so they could see for themselves what a
wonderful person he is. It began with a few coming over, and then the
whole group, as the first few began interacting with my friend.
Before they left, my friend had won them over with his friendliness,
telling them little jokes, and he knew little-known facts about some
of their relatives. He told them he wasn’t dumb, he just wasn’t as
smart as they were, but that didn’t keep him from learning how to
make new friends.

Don’t be unduly discouraged with this one bad experience. Keep
looking until you find a school you are comfortable with. You
mentioned you are doing your training under Voc. Rehab. If you have a
disability, you certainly have already experienced ignorance with
people about how to deal with someone with a disability. Many people
are scared, or just unsure of how to conduct themselves when faced
with a disabled person. Some try to ignore the person that is
disabled, because they don’t want to embarrass the disabled person or
themselves, and wind up acting like asses.

There is a difference between ignorance and stupidity: Ignorance is
the lack of understanding or the lack of exposure; stupidity is the
inability to learn due to an overinflated ego or the unwillingness to
learn. Keep searching for a school that will be comfortable for you,
and they are comfortable dealing with someone like yourself who is
going in a new direction.

Katherine Palochak

Hello everybody,

Susannah, when did you attend? I went 5 semesters from 2000 to

I attended from 1998 to 1999, receiving a casting certificate and a
bench technician certificate. both decorate my laundry room. my word
for the director was never so elegant.

Daniel, you might want to try little community colleges, too. Some
have very good metal programs, although more “arty” than a technical
college. I know the Southwest School of Art and Craft has a good
program. Sorry I didn’t mention this before, it’s that whole
lack-of-sleep thing. A possible benefit from going through an arts
program rather than a technical one, is that you may find yourself
more adaptable to alternative ways of metalworking, whereas in a
technical program it’s easy to become entrenched in a particular
method. This isn’t something I know for sure - have only gone the
technical route, so i may be talking through my hat here. Perhaps
jewelers who have hired art graduates and technical graduates could
shed some light on this particular issue.

just my humble, humble opinion.