Lapidary is the art of finding hidden beauty in nature’s rocks. Cutting, shaping and polishing these rocks magnifies their beauty to gem quality. The initial course is 4-6 weeks, enough time to finish four cabochons that can be used in silver or wire-wrap classes. Other classes offered including making stone handles, polishing opals, making fetish animals, faceting, and the study of minerals and rocks.
Silver Beginner Class (Silver 1) teaches students shop safety; jewelry nomenclature; proper soldering methods; annealing; pickling; and proper use of hand tools and machinery to cut and shape metal (Sterling silver; copper or other base metals). In Silver One, students are provided a kit of materials that allow them to make a pendent and a ring or bracelet they will be proud to wear and show. Advanced Silver (Silver 2) students learn more complicated methods of making jewelry or art objects. Such as: advanced metal shaping chasing and repousse’; bolos; riveting; bracelets and rings with inlay, ear rings; hinges and polishing. Other silver classes include: Woven wire or jump ring bracelets and necklaces.
PMC (click on PMC to see a demo) Precious metal clay (PMC) is pure silver suspended into a clay-like substance. In PMC 1, students learn to mold, texture and form the clay to make interesting and innovative jewelry and small objects. Once formed PMC is placed in a kiln where the clay burns off leaving 99% pure silver. PMC 2 teaches students to work with copper and bronze PMC.
Lost Wax This is a modern version of Native American sand casting. A wax mold in the desired design is placed in a container filled with a Plaster of Paris mixture. The wax is then melted out in a kiln to create a cavity (hence, the term “lost wax”). This negative copy is then filled with molten silver or gold. Pendants, earrings and many other items can be made in this six-week class. Other metals can be similarly cast using this method.
Stained Glass Students learn to use the copper foil method of building a stained glass project to be used as a window hanging. They learn about the various glasses used in stained glass as well as the steps necessary to complete a project. After completing the six-week class, members can attend open shops to make additional stained glass pieces including mosaics and bevels.
Dichroic Glass is a specialized glass that can be cut and pieced together then fused in a kiln. In the beginner class, students learn to make pendants and bracelets.
Study of Rocks & Minerals This is actually two classes with limited class size and largely interactive. The first is a Minerals class of three hours. The following class is Rocks and Rock identification. These classes provide an opportunity learn about Geology of our state, country and the world. See the extensive collection and learn through hands on touching and feeling of all the various types of rocks. Many of our samples are of Museum quality. No homework, just an enjoyable learning experience.
Gourds The students have the opportunity to take a ordinary gourd from the garden and learn how to clean and prepare the gourd for usage then applying the techniques used to create a piece of art and incorporating projects from Lapidary, Silver, Glass, or Art Classes.
Wire Wrap is a short class where the student is provided the material to incorporate projects from Lapidary or Dichroic Glass into a decorative piece to be worn as a necklace or pin. The wire is usually Gold Filled or Sterling Silver wire.
Beading students visit Commercial Shops to purchase Beads and then learn the techniques to build bracelets and necklaces.