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Rating video tapes

Good Day, There are many jewelry repair, setting and manufacturing
books and video’s on the data base. They are not rated. They are an
investment as well as a teaching aid, is there any way for them to be

Thank you

Ruth: You might check with your local library for reviews and ratings
on video tapes. I’m sure they can point you in the right direction.

Regarding the rating of videos, until a few years ago, there was a
Jewelers’ Book Club, as part of JCK magazine. I, along with a number
of other experienced jewelry industry people served as judges. We
used to review books and also videos, and the reviews were published
in the magazine. They were not given any sort of rating but the
content and value was included in the reviews. At that time I
reviewed many videos on jewelry making, setting, engraving, etc. Most
were deficient in production quality, if not in content as well,
which motivated me to create a series of 8 videos on fabrication,
called Revere on Goldsmithing.

One of the few videos that met my standard was Tim McCreight’s
companion to his book, The Complete Metalsmith. I would recommend
this short video as an excellent beginner’s overview of the basic
tools and procedures.

Rio Grande, who produced my videos, has a very large library of
videos that are available. These are carefully and thoughtfully
produced, covering a range of topics.

Unfortunately, the Book Club no longer exists and I do not know of
any other similar ones. Reviews appear in some magazines sometimes,
but they are mostly just summaries of the contents, not evaluations
of the books’/videos’ merit. I think that such a group is still
needed and hope that some other group picks up the ball. Alan

Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts 760 Market Street Suite 900 San
Francisco, CA 94102 tel: 415-391-4179 fax: 415-391-7570 web: email:

I bought Alan Revere’s complete set of video tapes from Rio Grande
and think they are absolutely the best instructional tapes I have
seen, good close ups, clear instructions. Although I have been
working in silver and lapidary a couple of years I found that even
the first basic tape on piercing gave me some great tips and improved
my technique tremendously. I heartily recommend them. Also Tim
McCreight’s tape on Basic metalsmithing and on cold connections are
both excellent.

Sally in Houston

Alan Revere is, of course, being exceptionally humble and modest. His
video tapes are among, if not the best ever… along with Tim’s.
Extremely well done. Great close-ups and explanations of the “whys and
wherefores”. You can pick up more jewelry technique in a few hours
with Alan’s videos than a semester in art school. In my humble

All the best,

Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)

Rating videos seem logical but perhaps a second look may be in order.
Almar Videos has been producing videos , primarily aimed at lapidary
and jewelry making since 1985. In the early years we used the
available equipment and were well received but as time moved on
available equipment was greatly improved. We have 35 videos
encompassing diverse subjects in the jewelry making field.The early
ones; we use numbers to identify them.The higher the number the more
recent a video is. We also stock videos by other firms if we think
they have merit. You can find wire wrapping and other popular videos
in our stock. All this is not meant to be a commercial but it is
directed at the quality question. Because we sell retail and
wholesale dealers judge our releases. Our first issues do not rank
with our current ones but the message in each is superior video. We
make our sales primarily via re-orders as our site seems to be too small to get the search
engines working; fortunately, some surfers do find us. All this adds
up to my point of content versus quality. The wide range of subjects
often touch on fields not seen elsewhere as well as include the
popular ones like faceting, casting and even stone carving. Our
tutors include past presidents of national groups, professionals in
the field and one third generation jewelry maker who has his
workshop in a traveling trailer. As to the quality of our current
releases, the Numiismatic Literary Guild sent us an award for
making the BEST video and competition was extensive. Subject of that
prize winner may interest those who own a mill as it illustrates
etched dies running on a mill and creating stretched U.S. coins. No,
they are not illegal and have been made since 1893. Because of our age
(we are now in our eighties) we are now limiting new productions
although quality tapes from other firms will always be considered. By
the way, video No.3 is currently a large order from a major dealer
so they do appreciate early productions. We are linked to Orchid and
really appreciate it and its members. Sincerely, Lee Martin

   Alan Revere is, of course, being exceptionally humble and
modest. His video tapes are among, if not the best ever... along
with Tim's. 

Absolutely!!! Allan’s tapes and Tim’s are the ONLY ones that I’ve
been willing to spend my money on! I’ve tried some others, but, none
were close in quality, so I felt that my money was misspent.

Would a complete amateur find Alan Revere’s tapes useful, or are they
pretty much for the experienced jeweller? I do plan to take a couple
classes eventually, but it always helps have another expert view
point on how to so something. And I know there have GOT to be faster,
better, more efficient ways of doing things than the way I do them.


Rita Mikusch
Lotus Land (AKA Vancouver, BC)
(Yes, it is raining again!)

Rita - Alan Revere’s videos would be a big help to anyone - amateur
or other. Alan has a way of explaining things very clearly. I would
encourage you to invest in the tapes. Also, if you every get the
opportunity to study with him, you must. He’s just about the best
teacher I’ve ever experienced. Gini

Hello Rita,

I’ve been reading books and bought several tapes.I spoke with bunches
of craftsmen and shared my knowledge with theirs,but the last point
in this very long chain of is …YOU.You are the one
who needs to turn all this in to handwork! Other people
can tell you whatever they want and meaning the best for you,but you
have to get familiar with that procedure. The only way to find out a
better and faster way of approaching a problem is: DIG IN TO IT AND
KEEP ON GOING! The best video tape on the whole world is the tape of
your own experience and this tape is the best and unique tape which
could be made for you. Let me put it this way.All the video tapes give
you basic and you are the one to chose which one turns
you into an expert just by doing it over and over again. I have now
doubts about the high grade of of video tapes of welknown
and respected craftsmen (read proffesionals)and I too would recommend
to buy their tapes,but again you’re the last one in the long learning
proces. Be patient and open your mind for all the info you can get and
filter out the ones which don’t fit in your dayly work. As one told me
<Even bad is good,…it shows you the way NOT to do it!>
kind of handling. Regards Pedro

I would like to echo what Palanso wrote below:

    Be patient and open your mind for all the info you can get and
filter out the ones which don't fit in your dayly work. 

I have been a “professional” student for over thirty five years. What
occurs over and over again is that I will ignore excellent
Why? Because I am not ready for it. One or two years
later, the Ohhhh! light turns on. That is why I like text books and
videos and go over the same chapters time and time again. It looks
like we cannot hurry the creative process. It’s for the same reason
why I am not embarrassed about the work I made ten years ago, that was
as good as it was going to get.

So like Palonso says, be patient, enjoy the ride, the outcome will
arrive soon enough.

Perhaps this is an appropriate time to thank you all for your advice
on my enamelling questions. No longer do I have bubbles in my work. My
problem was that I was treating small pieces (2 cm in diameter) like
big pieces (20 cm in diameter and larger). Now I on a quest to find a
local piano store for wire.

David in Victoria

Hi David,

 Now I on a quest to find a  local piano store for wire.

Try the hardware store. Our local Ace Hrdwr sells 3 ft lengths of
’piano wire’ in different diameters. If the hardware store doesn’t have
it, try a model shop. Piano wire is used by lots of model makers for a
wide variety of applications.


Would a complete amateur find Alan Revere's tapes useful, or are
they pretty much for the experienced jeweller? 

Rita, I think you would find Alan’s tapes to be excellent.
Stephane in sunny San Francisco