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Relocating for metalsmithing studies

Hello all,

I’ve taken three beginning metalsmithing/jewelry classes and I’m

So addicted in fact, that I’m planning to relocate to continue my
studies… My problem is that I have a full time job, so most of my
free time is in the evenings and on the weekends. This is a blessing
and a curse. It limits my free time, but supports my metalsmithing
activities and puts me in the enviable position of being able to
pursue my studies for the pure love of the art form. I’m also
fortunate to be a telecommuter and so my job is mobile.

With that background, I would very much appreciate any advice on
venues that will allow me to continue my studies. I’m currently
located on the West Coast so it probably makes sense to look into
options in one of the western states first. However, for the right
school, I’m not adverse to putting my belongings into storage,
packing my tools and heading back east. My current lease is up in
four months, so I have a few months to think about the next move.

One last limitation, I would like to avoid New York City proper.
Though I love it, I would prefer to put my money toward metal and
tools. It’s still the most expensive city in the country and I’d
like to keep my rent fairly modest so I can continue to build up my
metalsmithing studio.

Thank you in advance!

Look into the Revere Academy for the West coast. I graduated in '94
and it changed my life.



I don’t know where on the West Coast you currently live. Here in San
Diego County, we are lucky to have both SDSU and GIA.

There are also Jewelry programs within the Community College System.

Are you looking for an academic program, or a seat of the pants
type? Time constraints may enter into the decision as well.

California offers a wealth of smithing opportunities from Revere
Academy, in San Francisco to SDSU in San Diego, with State-wide
Community College programs.

Seek and ye shall find,
Terrie, for Jay

Look into the Revere Academy for the West coast. I graduated in
'94 and it changed my life. 

I graduated GIA in 90 for goldsmithing and 91 for gemology. I
mentioned the others in case YOU were interested in those in Florida
and therefore, a place to stay. I actually sent my resume to them in
case they need an instructor.

Look into the Revere Academy for the West coast. I graduated in
'94 and it changed my life 

That’s the same advice that I gave Melissa in a private post. I also
commented to her that I’d give my first born to be able to study
with him at his school.


New approach school - in Virginia beach!

I’m studying there right now Melissa. Its absolutely fantastic, we
have learned so much in the first six weeks (its a three month
program). Not to mention its the most fun I have had in years! Blaine
Lewis is a genius -and a hilarious guy to boot, if you do a search
through the entire forum you won’t find a bad word said about the New
Approach School. In the last few weeks you also get specialist wax
carving with Kate Wolf (who I just can’t wait to meet!) and you also
get a week of hand engraving which looks just unbelievable!!

Good Luck! and enjoy!
PS feel free to drop me an email for more details

Hi Terrie,

I apologize for the sketchy I was worried about being
too long-winded but I see I really need to provide more background.

My very supportive husband and I currently live in Portland, Oregon.
He is a consultant and he recently accepted an assignment in
Pennsylvania. We aren’t sure exactly how long this assignment will
last, so I’m going to take this opportunity to pursue my lifelong
dream of studying metalsmithing. I’m still stuck with moving our
household belongings (or storing them), so I’m trying to focus
primarily on the Western states.

I’ve worked for the same Denver based technology company as a senior
data base designer for the last ten years. My job is completely
mobile, since I telecommute, but I work fairly normal 9 to 5 hours.
My hope is to expose myself to as much great instruction as I can,
while still maintaining my full time job.

I don’t necessarily need certification or a degree because I am
working in metal for the sheer pleasure of it. But I really need to
hone my skills. I have plenty of ideas, but do not have the ability
to execute them gracefully and cleanly. I’m afraid the more I learn
the higher my standards become…

Several people have highly recommended the Revere Academy in San
Francisco. It looks like this fine school offers courses in a 3 or 4
day seminar form at so I believe I could probably travel to San
Francisco for several courses. I am also considering moving there
for a year or so.

What I’m looking for is personal recommendations from people who
have had truly wonderful experiences in their own effort to study
metalsmithing. It is icing on the cake if these recommendations lead
me to opportunities to study during the evening and on the weekend.

Thank you again to the people who have taken the time to respond.
Each and every response is being place in a folder for research.


That's the same advice that I gave Melissa in a private post. I
also commented to her that I'd give my first born to be able to
study with him at his school. 

I’ll second that! From everything I’ve read on the subject over the
last two years, it seems as though the Revere Academy is THE place
to study. Real hands-on teaching of the practical skills necessary to
make it in this business. If I had the opportunity, I’d be there in
a flash.


I hadn’t planned to get into this thread, but anyway…

If you do end up on the East Coast I’ve (personally) heard enough
good things about the American School of Jewellery to get me to front
up the $1K non-refundable registration fee for a course in June. So
if you have to wait 4 months for your lease to be up then I might be
able to give you a personal yea or nay on that school at the end of

If this is any help to you great, if not the Revere Academy is a
GREAT place to go…

Cheers, Thomas Janstrom.
Little Gems.

Melissa ;

just as another option. Blaine Lewis has some great teaching videos.
Do not discount what can be learned from them. I have watched a
couple and every time I viewed them I picked up more It
gives you the opportunity to study when you want and where you want.
While it is not a hands on teaching situation it is most certainly a
viable option wherever you end up and a great supplement for a hands
on teaching or workshop situation. Check them out as a permanent
addition to your technical reference library. Best of luck in your
search and in management of your addiction. I have been hooked for 35
years and it still has me.

Frank Goss


Thank you for your reply. Sorry I am so California brain washed, I
totally overlooked Oregon and Washington, duh!

I totally understand what you say, and I have personally, on and off
taken classes from many sources, adult education, community colleges,
and rock and mineral clubs. Some 5 years ago, I found the Crafts
Center at UCSD, and have not looked elsewhere.

I was lucky enough to find Jay Whaley there, and with my many
instructional exposures, I know I am in the midst of the best. Jay’s
19 year duration TA, has been ill and the last two semesters I have
filled in. That has taken away my bench time, but I now realize I
have so much of Jay’s training in me, that I hear what he hears and
see what he sees. I actually hear myself saying “too much gas” “not
enough heat,” several times during the class, and to myself while I
am working.

So do examine what is offered in the above schools, watch for
Workshops given in the same places on weekends, as well as Studios in
the area. Take some of those offered at Revere, and if you can
absolutely do get to new Approach School, I know Blaine Lewis, and
have seen his work. I too one day hope to get there as well.

With your positive attitude, I know you will find what you seek. As
long as you can plug your computer in and punch your clock, it
doesn’t matter where you are. Be a vagabond for a while and love it.


H Lucy,

Thank you so much for responding. You are the second person to speak
very highly of Blaine Lewis, but the first to mention that he has a
great sense of humor (in my book there is no higher compliment). I
will certainly takea close look.

(Heads up all you novices that live on the east coast! I know you
are out there reading this thread with interest.)