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Teaching Students Pearl Carving

I’ve been teaching pearl carving around the country at some major schools since April and have found that some of my students are better at it than I am. I think this is a bonus, because it is improving my own techniques. I think of them as “teaching students.”

But I would appreciate some insight as a new teacher starting out.

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Betsy, photos please!

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I’ve never taught jewelry design techniques (heck, I can barely do them myself!) but I have tutored Math (and other school subjects). I have found that I get the most joy from those students who teach me things.


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How/where may we see your schedule? I would love to take that class.

Can you kindly explain by what you mean by “Pearl carving” ie pearls as such, or the mother of pearl shell? there what ? some 6 to 8 in in dia. Some task if thats what youve in mind.
I may have some useful info for you.

Hopefully I’m posting this right. I teach in West Palm Beach, Florida this coming Friday and Saturday and in Milwaukee June 10-11 at the Bead & Button show. Previously I taught at Metalwerx and Wm. Holland, Studio JSD, Ann Arbor Art Center, and Denver… I post my classes on my web site at I’m also hoping to teach in Tucson in February. Ted – I’m carving actual crappy freshwater pearls that are 100 percent nacre. They are 11-14 mm.

Did an article on this for Lapidary Journal and worked up the process with the help of my local dentist in Alpena, MI.
Richard – I hope the image of my students’ work shows up.
P.S. I love teaching.

Hi Me1,
Thanks for your reply.
Its always good to ask the question “What if?” as it leads to interesting places and opens doors to new products.
In the picture theres a hound? baying to the moon? at night?
allegorical , and very good.
Re MOP shell, it was in 1970 i had perfected the deep ,clear on 999 Ag enamel techniques I had researched and was looking for alternative media onto which to mount my pieces. I bought from a far eastern dealer in shells( London UK) some 30 of the MOP shells and cut all sorts of shapes from that to make mainly pendants. The most intertesting cut was the shaped shell hinge area.
Cutting this sometimes 1/2in thick then polishing the shell pieces to show off its beauty was quite a task. I finished using industrial bi metal band saws and power band sanders to work it.
lots of unpleasant dust too. Had of course a proper vacumn system.,
Then polishing !! actually harder than metal!
Have just one piece left for old times sake, tho lots of shell material left.
apologies, not a photo person.

Cameron – where do you live?

Ted – dog barking at a full moonstone. I’m an ex journalist, and sometimes my jewelry is “narrative.”