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The Last Workshop


To all my friends and students on Orchid,

In August, I will be teaching a workshop on “Bezels” at Metalwerx,
and I will be teaching two workshops through Revere Academy East at
Wildacres, NC in November. These will be the last workshops that I
will be teaching.

When I first entered this trade as an apprentice to a Master
Goldsmith many years ago, it was very difficult, if not impossible,
to get on all the myriad tips and tricks that bench
jewelers had developed on their own. I worked in shops where
jewelers would hide their work or special tools from each other.
They felt that sharing this would somehow lessen their
own ability to compete in the workplace. You would never see a
technical article in a trade magazine, there were very few places
that offered workshops, and few schools offered anything more than
"basic jewelry" training. A forum like this was unthinkable.

How things have changed…

I am glad to see so much being shared, glad to see so
much support being offered by the “masters” among us, so much
innovation happening, and I’m glad that I was able to be a part of
it. I taught my first workshop, “Bench Tricks,” at Revere Academy so
long ago that I don’t even remember when it was. I never considered
myself a “teacher,” just a goldsmith who was willing to share some
of the secrets I had learned along the way to those who were
following me. I have seen many of my former students take the
knowledge they learned to do things I never dreamed of. I saw my
little bench tricks expanded on and improved by other goldsmiths.
Now it’s time for me to move on.

I will be teaching a workshop at Metalwerx, August 10-14, on Bezels.
I have always loved the simplicity and strength of bezel setting,
and always winced when I saw bezels that were not done correctly.
Students in this workshop will construct, and set, a series of
different types of bezels and use a variety of techniques with an
emphasis on developing an individual style of setting. This will be
a hands-on, one-on-one workshop with as much as I can
pack into 5 days.

Since I taught my first workshop at Revere, I thought it appropriate
that I teach my last workshop with Alan. He has always been a
friend and mentor, and has done so much to guide and teach other
emerging jewelers and goldsmiths. Revere Academy East will be held
at Wildacres, near Asheville, NC from November 1-6. I will be
teaching a 3-day workshop on Gold Surface Application techniques:
mechanical bonding (Damascene), fusion (Kuem boo and granulation),
and electro-chemical (plating). These are the basic techniques that
every metalsmith should have in their tool box. The final 3-day
workshop will be “Screw It: Threaded Mechanisms.” I will introduce
students to the use of taps and dies, screw plates, thread pitch,
and all the mysteries of designing things that can be assembled and
disassembled. We will even set stones using threaded mechanisms.

I don’t know if space is available, but if you are interested in
attending any of these workshops, please contact either Metalwerx or
Revere Academy.

Although I have decided to “retire” from teaching workshops, I am
not retiring from jewelry altogether. It’s “in my blood,” and I will
probably continue to work as long as I can still sit at a bench.
There are a lot of pieces in my sketchbook that I never had time to
make, and new directions that I want to explore. I put a career as a
sculptor and painter on hold while I pursued jewelry and I am
planning to work more in that direction. My son, Andrew, has assumed
the management of the gallery, and has developed into an excellent
craftsman and designer.

To all my former students, I wish to say “Thank You” for allowing me
to share what I could with you. You helped me grow. To those just
beginning to follow this path, I would say “Aim High.” The art that
we create is our way of talking to the MYSTERY that surrounds us.
Don’t mumble…


Douglas Zaruba
33 N. Market St.
Frederick, MD 21701
301 695-1107


Hello Doug,

I, for one, hope your retirement will not mean your disassociaiton
from Orchid. As you so fluently put it.

I am glad to see so much being shared, glad to see so
much support being offered by the “masters” among us, so much
innovation happening, and I’m glad that I was able to be a part of

It will be our loss if you do not continue to contribute! All the
best in your semi- retirement, and I hope to see your postings

Judy in Kansas


Continue from:

For those of you who are truly interested in metalsmithing…
MetalWerx Studio in Waltham, MA is truly a wonderful place to study.
A course which ended today by Doug Zaruba was a highlight in
anyone’s learning. A shame that he is retiring and has only one
more planned teaching assignment. He is truly a great teacher, a
wonderful person who encourages and his fund of knowledge in the area
that he teaches is superb! PLEASE encourage him to teach more!

John Fong
Brookline, MA