Thursday, June 21, 2012

This week is rushing by

I can not believe today is Thursday.


How can a week go by so fast?

I am having a hard time realizing that tomorrow is the last day of class. :(

I like it here (though I miss my family).

I'm learning a lot and I don't want it to end.

Today we worked on "v" prongs and another kind of channel setting.

The "v" prong was probably one of my least successful pieces so far. It actually wasn't too horrible until I kept 'polishing' one prong until there was practically nothing left.

Everyone has techniques they enjoy more than others. For some reason I did not enjoy the "V" prong experience. I didn't finish cleaning up the ring blank at all.....blech.

The channel set was fine, but I didn't take my time and the result is sloppy. . . although I am still working on it. It was time to go and this is as far as I got:

 I'll show another shot after I finish it. The individual seats are all cut and the stones are in, but they are not set yet. I'll tighten them up tomorrow and then refine the setting and then it will be done. These are all castings and will be left rough as they are just for practice.

Some of the comments and emails I've received have asked for more information about the class/school. The school is New Approach School, run by Blaine Lewis. The school is located in TN and offers 8 and 12 week certificate programs for bench jewelers. Blaine also offers some week long intensives throughout the year. Being experienced with bezel, tube, flush and some other settings, and having some experience with bead setting, I'm taking the advanced stone setting class. Flush, bead, channel, pave, prong. The classes are taught with a LOT of detail and theory and in CLOSE up fashion with 3 jumbo tv screens and everything projected through a microscope at Blaine's bench.

I believe we have a full class and I think there are 15 of us. Maybe 5 gals and 10 guys. Most of the class are bench jewelers working in jewelry stores. One such jeweler is Erin.
Erin works in a store in Pittsburgh and has an incredible amount of experience and knowledge. It is so interesting listening to some of the conversations, so different from my experience with jewelry and 'bench work' as in the bench in my home studio.

The students n our class range in age from low 20s to low 70s  and come from as far away as St Thomas.  Why? Because Blaine is the MAN! lol

Blaine is really great about giving tons of information. He holds nothing back. (my head hurts with all the information he's cramming in there). The class is taught mostly by him working through the projects but he also combines some video (you can purchase his videos here) and has some great props he uses. It's a full day every day and he even comes in early and stays late a few days during the week to help people sharpen their own gravers so when they go home they will be able to jump right back in to the work.

I've taken workshops at various places - this is HANDS DOWN, the best class I have EVER taken and I hope to come back and take another class at some point.