Introduction to Jewelry Manufacturing

This 16 week course is specifically designed to teach the skills to get and keep a job as a professional Bench Jeweler. Providing a solid foundation to build a career on.

This is the class that all other skills are built on.

Introduction to Jewelry Manufacturing is divided into three overlapping sections:

  • Section 1; Fabrication

  • Section 2; Casting, Setting, Gold

  • Section 3; Wax carving

Fabrication and Precious Metal Metallurgy

The class starts out in fabrication with students making all their own stock, designing and fabricating projects. The file the torch and the jewelers saw frame are probably the most important tools to master. It takes time and practice to master them. All types of fine jewelry is touched by at least one (usually all three) of those tools. Fabrication uses the traditional three tools the most. How to read a phase diagram, as well as other science related understanding of platinum, gold, silver, their alloys and solders are covered in this section.

Stone Setting and Repair

The class shifts gears with several flasks of wax for lost wax casting. The castings are then cast into bronze, cleaned up and repairs and stone setting is learned with the pieces cast by the student. Other programs provide already cast and "perfect" castings for stone setting. Valuable learning is obtained from performing the complete process.

Students start setting round man-made ruby and cubic zirconia followed by natural amethyst, citrine, peridot, and topaz. The natural stones can be more difficult and prepare for "real world" problem solving. Many shapes and setting types are learned to better prepare the student for the many different conditions they will encounter at the bench.

Gold

Copper, Silver, and Gold all follow the same rules of manufacture and most learning can be done with the cheaper silver or copper. The metals are different elements, have different physical properties and react to the manufacturing rules differently. Student projects are all silver or copper alloys up to this project.

The Gold projects starts with 24k pure gold, Students alloy the pure gold into 14k yellow, hard, medium, and easy solder as well as 14k yellow stock. Students use the stock and solder to fabricate a pendent purchased from a professional industry stone dealer. All stones are provided to the student except this one, for a very good reason.

Navigating the Trade as a Professional.

Getting into the Jewelry Trade can be difficult. It is a lot like the rules of getting a job in the old Mob movies. If you want a job in the Mob you have to know someone in the Mob who will stand for you. As a student Portland Jewelry Academy "stands for you".  The first purchase within the industry is important for establishing credibility. Portland Jewelry Academy has several stone dealers who have been vetted by the school and are helpful with guiding the student as they learn how to navigate within the industry.

Wax Carving and Final Project

Wax carving is the last section of Introduction to Jewelry Manufacturing. Students carve a variety of wax project including the final project rounding out the new jewelers skills for employment.

Learning Objectives:

The objective of Introduction to Jewelry Manufacturing is to develop the skills necessary to get and keep an entry level job as a professional bench Jeweler. The skills to continue developing as a professional jeweler are critical to develop into a master bench jeweler.

True, formal apprenticeships are no longer part of the jewelry industry in the United States and require the student and school to prepare new jewelers to “self apprentice”. The curriculum of Introduction to Jewelry Manufacturing prepares graduates for continued self learning.

Introduction to Jewelry Manufacturing Projects

Project

Description, competencies

Core Abilities

Rendering

Drawing technique to test ideas and communicate designs

Communication, Teamwork, Problem solving, Planning and Organizing, Learning

Pierced earrings

Transfer technique, mirror images, sawing, soldering, annealing, making wire, making posts, earring clutch design and function.

Problem solving, initiative, planning and organizing, self management, learning, technology

Chain

Making jump rings and soldering heat control

Problem solving, initiative, planning and organizing, self management, learning, technology

Sister hook clasp

Making tubing, rivets, clasp design and function, movable parts

Problem solving, initiative, planning and organizing, self management, learning, technology

Hinged pendent

Planning large project, advanced tube making, anatomy and fabrication of hinges, advanced soldering

Problem solving, initiative, planning and organizing, self management, learning, technology

Comfort fit band

Anatomy of a ring, how to plan and fabricate a ring

Problem solving, Planning and organizing, self management, learning

Faceted ring

Precision lay out and filing

Problem solving, initiative, planning and organizing, self management, learning, technology

Pearl cup earrings

Fabricating pearl cups, anatomy of pearl setting

Initiative, learning, technology

Lost wax casting

Injecting wax into rubber molds, understanding of production casting procedures.

Communication, teamwork, problem solving, initiative, planning and organizing, self management, learning, technology

Tiffany head and set

Assembling basic head and shank, setting round stone in prongs

Problem solving, initiative, planning and organizing, self management, learning, technology

Sizing a ring

Sizing rings up and down to any size

Problem solving, initiative, planning and organizing, self management, learning, technology

Tipping

Adding metal to to already set stone that is worn. Understand what stones can take heat of soldering and what can not.

Problem solving, initiative, planning and organizing, self management, learning

Flush setting

Setting a round stone flush to metal surface

Problem solving, initiative, planning and organizing, self management, learning, technology

Princes setting

Setting a stone with corners

Problem solving, initiative, planning and organizing, self management, learning

Oval setting

Setting an oval stone in prongs

Problem solving, initiative, planning and organizing, self management, learning

Bezel setting

Setting round and oval stones in a heavy bezel. Tool making of round and rectangle punch

Problem solving, initiative, planning and organizing, self management, learning, technology

Channel setting

Setting several stones in a row in a channel

Problem solving, initiative, planning and organizing, self management, learning

Gold pendent

Alloying gold to karat. Basket setting fabrication, learning about suppliers and ethics of doing business in the jewelry industry

Communication, teamwork, problem solving, initiative, planning and organizing, self management, learning, technology

Comfort fit band (wax)

Introduce wax carving for lost wax casting

Problem solving, initiative, planning and organizing, self management, learning, technology

Tapered dome band

Carving a band with different top and bottom

Problem solving, initiative, planning and organizing, self management, learning

Rope top band

Adding detail, carving rails

Problem solving, initiative, planning and organizing, self management, learning

Square top band

Precision carving sharp edges in wax

Problem solving, initiative, planning and organizing, self management, learning

Bezel top ring

Carving a simple stone setting for a cabochon stone

Problem solving, initiative, planning and organizing, self management, learning

Final project

Carving a wax of your own design with a faceted stone that is in a setting other than flush. Carving settings for faceted stones.

Communication, teamwork, problem solving, initiative, planning and organizing, self management, learning, technology

Training for the jewelry trade

This course is for people who are seeking training in the jewelry trade. It provides training in a wide range of jewelry skills. The discipline of the craft and the science of the materials are emphasized to allow adaptation to changes in the industry and market and maintain a high level of quality.
The student will design and manufacture individual pieces of jewelry using a wide range of materials, techniques and procedures relevant to work in the industry.
Practical skills and operating techniques are emphasized as well as diagnostic procedures and the technical analysis and correction of faults typically found in the trade.
The student will be able to enter the jewelry field employed as an entry level jeweler and be able to apply the work experience to adapt and grow skill.

Students will learn:

Tool safety and use, making raw stock, fabricating with stock, lost wax casting, stone setting, repair, wax carving for custom, CAD for custom, alloying gold, predictable behavior of alloys, purity standards, filling out job envelope and identifying needs for job.

Goals/Core Abilities

Standards

Competencies

Communication

Read, interpret, and follow information on: job packets, charts, lists, drawings and other reference document.

  • Produce sketches and renderings, by hand and CAD

  • Check and clarify task-related information

  • Recognize and use common jewelry terminology

Teamwork

Work as part of a team

  • Contribute to a group effort in order to plan and carry out work

  • Communicate and cooperate with others

Problem solving

Interpret design and fabrication requirements and translate into practical outcomes

  • Undertake numerical operations, geometry and calculations.

  • Use appropriate measuring techniques

  • Inspect quality of own work

  • Use diagnostic skills to identify and determine causes of problems

Initiative

Apply learned knowledge to new tasks

  • Identify actual and foreseeable workplace hazards during course of work.

  • Economize material use and minimize waste.

  • Transfer skills from previous projects to new

Planning and Organizing

Organize and analyze information relevant to work.

  • Set up jobs by selecting appropriate tools, equipment and materials.

  • Organize personal bench space for efficient storage and use of tools.

Self Management

Take responsibility for own work outcomes.

  • Carry out work safely according to manufacturer's instruction and manual.

  • Apply correct techniques, procedures, tools and equipment to project.

Learning

Use resources available to find and apply information.

  • Check and clarify task related information with instructor or shop foreman.

  • Assess and modify work practices.

  • Use manuals, online help and other reference materials such as catalogs.

Technology

Select and use appropriate tools, equipment, materials, and machines.

  • Use high tolerance/precision tools and equipment.

  • Use gem setting techniques, tools, processes and procedures.

  • Select and use appropriate measuring and testing devices.

  • Use Computer Aided Design (CAD) to design.

  • Understand down stream process of CAD files.