My Classes

Instead of writing a blog for each day of this week I am going to do things a little differently.  I started classes on Monday and would like to share with you what I am taking.  I will give you a little description about each class and what I will be learning.  With that, I want to talk to you about what the teachers are like and what I am most excited about from each class.  Sound good?

MONDAY: Stone Setting 1 (once a week)

The first day of class we learned how to prepare our own gravers.  Our first project we will practice how to use a graver on a sheet of copper.  Then we will learn how to make patterns and surface finishes with gravers.  Next, we will learn how to flush set a brilliant cut CZ.  Then we will learn different kinds of settings for the round CZ.  For the second project we will create a small pair of earrings with CZ and ready made elements of silver using the techniques we learned thus far.  Midterm.  Then we will be introduced to the principles of prong/crown setting.  With those techniques we will create a pendant with a ready made prong setting.  Then we will learn a rub over technique for setting stones.  For project four we will create a ring with faceted stones using the rub over technique. Final exam. 

He also is throwing in random teachings on pave setting, dome setting, channel setting, basket setting, and grain setting.

My teacher is from Munich, Germany and fell into jewelry because of his love for creating with his hands.  He seems very passionate about goldsmithing and sharing his knowledge with us students.  I am excited to learn as much as I can from him!  I am most excited to learn how to use gravers for design details as well as setting stone using a graver.  

TUESDAY: Jewelry Design 2 

This course is meant for students who already have an understanding of manual jewelry design.   It will provide me with additional technical and practical skills, required to express my personal creative style.  In this class I will learn how to create a piece of jewelry starting from sketches, by using a specific 3D modeling program, such rhino to render materials, textures, and light/shadow effects.  The first project we will be creating a coaster for our favorite drink.  WE will design it and the 3D model it to be laser cut.  It can also serve as a pendant.  Then we will learn how to render rings and then a pair of earrings to be 3D printed.  Then we will design a bracelet.  Next we will create a piece to be 3D printed in castable resin, so we can have it cast into metal.  Finally, we will design and create a necklace by the final exam.

For this class I have two professors, Daria and Antonino.  Daria is the creative, she will help us with our designing and creativeness on paper.  Antonino is a professional computer scientist specializing in 3D printing and CAD/Rhino software.  By the time I complete the course I will receive a certificate.

This class will be the most challenging for me but it is also the most exciting.  This is the way technology is going and to have a basic understanding of how it works will definitely help me in the future.  i am excited to see what I will learn as well as what I am going to create!

TUESDAY: Italian Language Class, Elementary Level

Ciao! Mi chiama Emma.  Sono Americana di Grand Rapids in Michigan.  Ho venti tre anni.  Abito in via de Bardi.  Sono una studentessa di arte e design.  Parlo inglese e un po' di italiano. 

Come si dice "23" in italiano? venti tre!

Non ho capito (I don't understand)

Ho una domanda (I have a question)

Anch'io (me too)

I learned all of these plus more in the first day of class. The professor was so much fun and enthusiastic.  We aren't allowed to speak in English at all.  If we do he freaks out and mocks the way we talk and then waits for use to figure out how to communicate our problem with him in Italian.  It is definitely hard to understand him when he talks fast but it forces me to listen carefully so I can understand what is going to happen next.  He randomly picks you out of the group to speak something in Italian to the class, so I always have to be on my toes.

My number one goal for this trip was to learn as much Italian as I can and to use it every opportunity that I can in public.  I love my professor and am so excited to go back to class to learn more.


This class will give me a complete training in the essentials of gemology for the practicing jeweler.  I will learn diamond certification, pearl grading and the identification of colored stones.  We will learn a general analysis procedure to be applied to all gemstones group according to color. We will observe numerous real specimens and simulants, practicing the use of gemological instruments.  We will also examine current prices, and certificate types and learn the different factors that determine the quality and value of a gemstone.

Lori is such a sweet professor and is very focus on creating a comfortable casual and fun environment for us to learn together.  She is very focused on teaching us things that we want to learn, so if there is not something in the syllabus that we want to learn more about she will research and prepare it for the next lesson.  He is American but met her husband here in Florence when she attended the Florence GIA Institute.  So now she lives here and considers herself always a student because she always want to push herself to learn more. AMEN. Me too.

I am excited to take what I learn in this class and apply it to what I already know as a metalsmith.  I know this class will benefit me in the future with my metalsmithing career.

THURSDAY: Italian Language Class, Elementary Level 

Already talked about this class. PLUS, it isn't Thursday yet and I don't know what tomorrow holds.

I pray for another good day in Florence tomorrow . Also, that I might feel better tomorrow. (I am under the weather with a nasty cold)