Who am I?...
I am a jeweler, who has spent 3 years working with metals, taking a
variety of local classes. I had mostly done fabrication with a little
bit of casting and bezel set stones. I've sold jewelry at art shows
and through word-of-mouth. I'm slowly changing careers at mid-life.
What was I looking for?...
I wanted to be better than average. I wanted a full understanding,
or at least the start of a full understanding, of goldsmithing.
How did I decide on Revere Academy?...
References, references. I wanted a reputable school that had an
intensive program. Some place where I could go and live for a couple
of months and completely absorb myself in metals. Location is
definitely what put Revere over the top for me. Two months in San
Francisco sounded like heaven to me.
Where am I now?...
I'm in my last week of the 8 week Jewelry Technician Intensive
program at Revere Academy.
Jean's Quick Review
Overall Satisfaction Highly satisfied
Teachers Top notch
Facilities Could be better, but good (explained below)
Value for $ - Excellent
Cost High for my budget, but fair
Would I do it again? In a second
Jean's Not-So-Quick Review
Overall Satisfaction - After the research I had done, I knew what I
was getting into. I thought I would learn a lot about goldsmithing -
I got that and a lot more. I learned about the industry, the art,
where to find things (books, publications, organizations, etc.),
potential career directions within the industry, met masters, met a
great many new creative friends, had as much studio time as I could
desire, saw many studios of jewelers within the Phelan Building, I
know I'm just scratching the surface.
Teachers - The teachers were excellent each an extreme talent. Each
brought different and perspectives into the classroom,
and yet they all teach consistent theories. I loved learning from
this group of people they were so willing to help down to the
smallest detail. And they were good people to be around. I highly
respect what Alan has created in this Academy, and how he cares for
it. I respect his ability to teach and his mastery of goldsmithing.
I told him I'm here to suck as much out of him as
possible. I hope he knows that I meant it with the HIGHEST respect
possible. And again, I know I only scratched the surface
Content - The classes were chock full of and hands on
work. Some were 'must learns' and 'must repeat and repeat' items.
Others were good to be exposed to. The curriculum was definitely
The staff was great. If something broke, it was replaced. Things
appeared and disappeared like an elf in the night came through and
made things happen. It is a well run place.
Couple of Cons...
Facilities - Since there were approximately 25 students and the two
classrooms can accommodate approximately 15 people each, we split
into two groups. One started earlier, the other later. Moving all
your gear between the classrooms was sometimes frustrating. The staff
did all possible to make this simple for everyone, providing lockers
and having extra tools available if you forgot something in the other
Cameras could use a bit of sprucing up. Sometimes it got frustrating
if things got off camera. Some teachers were better than others at
ensuring things were in focus.
Who *I* think the intensive best fits, IMHO
Someone who is very serious about goldsmithing this can be from a
career or hobby perspective, but its best if you are very serious. It
is tiring, difficult, exhilarating and exciting all at once. Some
prior experience is probably helpful, but there were people in my
class who had little experience and appeared to get along well.
Who *I* think it may not fit, IMHO
Someone who thinks they will graduate this intensive and be
completely trained. Do your homework about the business and the
craft; this is a forever commitment to self-training, and
self-perseverance. It may also not fit someone who can't stay on
task. There is a lot to learn in this intensive it is impossible, and
undesirable to pull the class away from the task at hand to talk
about a semi-related topic. It takes trust in the teachers and the
Put about 15 people (with a wide age range and experience range) in
a classroom with a variety of different teachers for 8 weeks for >
than 10 hours a day and there will, inevitably, be tensions and
personality conflicts. If you can't play well with others and small
conflicts spoil things for you, than an intensive is probably not
What I would have preferred
Private lessons, of course. It was important to remember I didn't
pay for that, which tempered the impatience I sometimes felt when I
thought the class was going too slowly, or the frustration I felt if
I felt it was going too fast. The curricula is set up well enough
that people can move further ahead and some can stay behind. The
teachers and staff are helpful in every way to keep everyone
together. The camaraderie I have with my fellow students is
something I wouldn't trade for anything.
If you are considering the intensive feel free to contact me off
list of you have more questions @Jean_Matray.