A Glimpse into the Business & Art of Jewelry Making
Last month, we were pleased to host Katy Cassel and her two metals classes from the Fine Arts Center (FAC). Twenty art students from Greenville, SC joined llyn in our showroom/gallery to see her finished work and hear her story. She also gave the students a picture of what it’s like to support yourself as an artist.
Next, the students moved “behind the counter” to where the sketching and CAD happens. Our CAD Technician, Kate Worthen, showed them the drafting program she uses to iterate llyn’s sketches, ensuring pieces are technically precise. From there, Kate took the students to see the wax printer, which 3-D prints molds from the CAD renderings.
In The Studio
After seeing the 3-D printer at work, lead goldsmith Erin Stuart brought the students into our workshop and demonstrated the casting process. In addition to seeing 18k gold melted and cast into the mold, the students were introduced to tools and techniques like laser welding, tumbling, buffing, stone drills, cuff fabrication, and using screen printing screens to sift gold patterns to fuse.
In Their Words
After the trip, Katy told us, “The students loved it and learned so much. Some were reluctant to lose the studio work time, but after the trip, they were exhilarated and said it was totally worthwhile and one the best days of the class! One student said, ‘The trip inspired me to come up with more creative ideas!'”
In a post-visit questionnaire, students noted their answers to three questions:
What about your visit excited you most?
- The 3D printer and wax dissolving!
- Seeing the gallery and how things are made
- The similarity to FAC studio and tools
- That Llyn trusted us to pass around all the amazing work
- Drilling stones
The trip inspired me to come up with more creative ideas!
What surprised you?
- How much jewelry was made right there on Main Street
- That the work looked so perfect and beyond hand-made
What was your favorite process or piece?
- CAD to wax printing
- The Bee Honeycomb Pendant
- Flush back-setting stones
- Silkscreen printing the gold filings dust on silver