Training in Chicago?

My fiance and I may be having to move away from Boston for his job
for at least the next six years. I am a recent Mass Art grad having
taken some workshops in jewelry design and fabrication at the North
Bennet Street School and haved loved it and would really like to
continue my training. If we end up in San Francisco there’s the
Revere Academy, but there’s a good chance we might also end up in
Houston or Chicago. I’m aware of a program at the Glassele school at
the Houston MFA, but haven’t turned up any leads in Chicago.

Does anyone out there have any suggestions for how to continue
learning jewelry design in Chicago? If there aren’t any programs per
se, are there any apprenticeships available? Could I leave him for
the eight-week intensive at the Revere Academy and head back to
Chicago with enough knowledge to actually get a job as a bench
jeweler, while pursuing my own creative efforts in my spare time? Are
there programs in the Chicagoland area that are commutable?

Any or all help from the wise sages on this list is
most appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Tracey Jenkins

You didn’t give us enough about your training prior to
this next class. If it’s minimal, then I would say, no it’s
unlikely. You may need more years of self study and work first.

There are no formal apprenticeship programs. If you want one,
you’ll have to create the apprenticeship yourself.

In my humble opinion, there aren’t that many “jobs” as a bench
jeweler; most who I know are self-employed. (Okay, there are some,
but they might only hire family, or they might be in a factory, and
they are few and far between around here.)

If you really want to work in the industry, you might be able get a
job in sales, or as a runner or something.

And finally, everyone finds it difficult to work a full time job and
do their own creative stuff too. (Except those annoying people like
the lawyer who writes his novels on the train and that famous poet
who was also an insurance salesman.) One only has so much energy.

Can you work part time? Another view – some people find it
preferable to work outside of the industry of their art – to do
something completely different, that uses a different kind of

How far away from being ready to “go it alone?” What are your long
term goals?

Okay, one more finally, start your own business now, if you haven’t
already. You must have the resale number to be able to buy at
wholesale suppliers and to be taken seriously. Also, it gets you
started doing your Schedule C now while it’s simple, so you can
learn as your business grows.

Elaine Luther
Chicago area, Illinois, USA
Certified PMC Instructor

Where to take jewelry making/metalsmithing classes in the Chicago

Lill Street Art Center
Evanston Art Center
Hinsdale Center for the Arts
Fine Line Center for the Creative Arts
Portage Park Center for the Arts
Columbia College
Northeastern University
College of DuPage
Loyola University
School of the Art Institute Chicago (MFA Program too)

Are there any others I’ve missed?

You would be able to get to all of these by commuting.

Elaine Luther
Chicago area, Illinois, USA
Certified PMC Instructor