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Teaching Lost Wax Casting & Silversmithing


#1

Over the years I have been approached many times by people that
wanted to learn basic silversmithing as well as lost wax casting. I
have always avoided teaching jewelry making due to my fear of law
suites in case someone is hurt.

I am now thinking that I would like to do a little teaching locally
but I would like to do it as a one on one basis and not in a larger
class room setting.

My question is in several parts:

1- do any of you that teach jewelry have the students signed some
kind of a release with them acknowledging that there is the
possibility of being hurt. If so could you share what you have them
sign and is it legally binding?

2- Since I do not want to make this as a full time career move I was
thinking of working with someone on an hourly basis instead of a
course basis. Do any of you work this way and if so what would be a
fair fee per hour to learn basic Silversmithing as well as wax
carving and lost wax casting?

Greg DeMark
If You Like Antique, Vintage or Custom Jewelry
Visit us on the web at:
www.demarkjewelry.com
greg@demarkjewelry.com


#2
do any of you that teach jewelry have the students signed some kind
of a release with them acknowledging that there is the possibility
of being hurt. 

Some of the art centers where I teach have waivers. They say, " you
are getting these benefits – use of tools, etc., IN EXCHANGE, you
are asked to sign this waiver." It also outlines their
responsibilities for safety.

Some lawyer type told me that for a contract to be valid you have to
get something out of it, so if you’re only waiving your rights, it
will not hold up.

Generally waivers are thought to discourage lawsuits, but not
prevent them.

Since I do not want to make this as a full time career move I was
thinking of working with someone on an hourly basis instead of a
course basis. Do any of you work this way and if so what would be
a fair fee per hour to learn basic Silversmithing as well as wax
carving and lost wax casting?

One on one classes will cost more. Group classes, or even two, are
nice. The students learn from each other’s questions.

You will need insurance for this activity.

Usual disclaimer, I’m not a lawyer.

Elaine

Elaine Luther
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay


#3

Elaine,

Thank you for sharing your expertise. Is there any way you might be
able to share the waiver contract that you use?

Greg DeMark
www.demarkjewelry.com


#4

As a school, Metalwerx has liability insurance for $1M if somebody
sues for a hangnail. We also have a liability waiver, created by my
lawyer, for anybody that works with us in the studio, class, private
instruction, etc. If the contact was made for private instruction,
and it is one of our faculty, and even if the instruction is
performed off site, since Metalwerx made the contact, we are still
liable and a waiver is signed off.

We have never been sued (knock on a jewelers bench), since the mere
signing of the waiver is enough for the student to know that we mean
business.

-k

M E T A L W E R X
School for Jewelry and the Metalarts
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451
781 891 3854
www.metalwerx.com


#5

Greg,

I recently enrolled in the lost wax casting class at The Arts Center
in St. Petersburg, FL. theartscenter.org

I never have signed any waiver or been asked to. Of course I signed
up online so might have essentially signed a waiver by accepting some
terms there. I gave up reading those things years ago so might have
signed my life away or soul to the devil for all I know.

The Arts Center has a great jewlers studio with 16 benches and,
close to if not, a full array of equipment. They also serve as an
adjunct campus for Eckerd College for jewelry and other fine arts
classes, hence the fully equipped studios.

You might think about teaching at a similar facility for starters.
That way if any body or equipment gets messed up, it is on someone
else’s insurance policy. I know that sounds bad, but there are also
benefits aside from those. More publicity, more equipment to go
around, more parking, no one pilfering through your stash of stones
or metals. Plus if you decide it’s not your bag to teach, you can
walk after the first term and the school/studio finds someone else so
the students don’t get left out to dry.

But then, I could be totally off base on all of that…

Nel


#6

i have taught at schools that limit the class sizes to 8…because
they are formalized residential programs the students sign a waiver
in the registration materials.

on a personal instructional basis i always have anyone using any
euipment that involves heat or chemicals to sign waivers. i have a
sample one i can send you when i get back to my own Pc, but that
will be a week, as i’m in New Orleans at the moment.I have taught
small courses at my studio and my homeowners policy covered most
events, still i had a waiver signed…I have been told that most won’t
stand up in courts, but i’m not certain i agree.particularly small
claims courts, where damages are 2,500.00 or thereabout- and how much
does a burn really cost to treat…one thing i always keep handy are
moist burn pads. they are a gel and water pad with breathable film on
one side and adhesive tabs around the edges. they are excellent for
small burns. I also lucked into an eyewash station at an office
supply liquidator that is the same product used in hospitals and
labs…it retails at around 400 bucks, but i can get you one from this
place for 25.00- the last time i was there there were two left…one
just replaces the saline solution bottles as needed when used
up…baking soda and citric acid are also standards to keep
around…the sodium bicarbonate, in H2O to neutralize pickle type
chemical contact with skin ( and on jewelry), the citric acid ( also
called sour salt, in grocers and drug stores) in water to instantly
eliminate blisters ( from burns, etc.)by immersion or dousing the
affected area/digit. I’m always amazed at how few craftspeople have
first aid equipment in their studios, not to mention other health
maintaining solutions- like range hoods or draw fans in soldering
areas, or even bench mounted fans to redirect fumes…etc.Never the
less, a form signed by the student that spells out the risks and
hazards they may be exposed to or participate in is standard in any
instruction I have ever given, be it one-on-one, small groups,
classrooms of school age people ( most schools have policies as well,
and before they allow a class to be given they send their own forms
home for gaurdians to sign in addition to what ever materials i want
the students to present to guardians and sign - right along with a
materials costs list, or whatever else they need to know/pay for), or
residential art and craft specific schools. get something signed,
anticipate small disasters,have a plan in mind for getting to
emergency treatment if it is becomes necessary

as far s question two- hourly basis vs. course of studies…it all
depends on the student, what they want to learn from you and what
you want to teach.Because i only accept people that are committing to
learning very specific topics- like one person wants to learn
silversmithing, another just wants to learn stone seting, and
another wants to learn metal clay work- the fee is part of their
commitment to my expenditure of time and energy.I don’t do hourly
unless its something that i beleive they can learn in an hour or
two.I also use what essentially amount to contracts for periods of
time and the non-refundability of the deposit and/or down payment on
the entire course of studies reinforces that commitment - I am
agreeing to put time energy and materials into assisting someone
learn something they are interested in…unfortunately their handing
over money solidifies that they will show up on time, and call if
rescheduling becomes necessary, and be cautious about what they are
working with and generally immerse themselves into the process of
absorbing knowledge and developing their own sense of process that
will eventually result in competant jewelerymaking abities I can
teach one-on-one cuttlefish casting in a couple of hours…To teach
silversmithing- from alloying to stone setting takes a) more time for
some than others, b) a flat rate that is flexible enough to cover as
long as it takes ( without too much repetition of the same info or
demonstration). I generally create an outline with the course i have
in mind and modify it to the group or individuals aspirations


#7
Thank you for sharing your expertise. Is there any way you might
be able to share the waiver contract that you use? 

It’s not mine to share, sadly, it belongs to the art center, and I
don’t even have a copy here. You should really have a lawyer write
your own.

Elaine

Elaine Luther
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay