Jewelry making has been a mainstream hobby in San Diego during its growth from a small town into a big city. Glasses found in the local fields, obsidian and quartz, get plenty of attention from locals looking for a little hand work.
A building built in Balboa Park in 1935, during the second California Pacific International Exposition, today, still houses classes taught on stone cutting, gemstone faceting, and silver fabrication. Once used by the U.S. Army for temporary barracks, the building at SPanish Village, off Village Place, gives the San Diego Mineral & Gem Society's unpaid volunteers, who work full time jobs or are retired, room to instruct San DIegans on how to make a pendant, or, a bracelet.
"All of us teach because of our love for art," they say. A student can learn from their experience and skill to turn out an original gem piece set in silver, and work safely.
Students who come in to the workshop during Fall to take a group work class, Bead Stringing, string bead seeds and pearls together to keep in step, and, take home a keepsake. AN informal, and fun, class.
Learning to take up work on the art of style, style that can fill life's days, begins in the stone cutting class. The students in the basic class shape smooth, curved obsidian, and polish its brilliantly shiny surface. After cutting pieces out of slabs using the workshop's diamond saw.
Class ends in June. But, the work done by M&GS instructors and students can keep going. Gem stones give students an opportunity to work on their hand craft in Fall. During Faceting class, beginners at jewelry making shape a round brilliant shape from clear quartz. Cuts, angled at a flat precisely made to refract light to the top and the bottom, get polished.
Up to 6 or 7 students can go back to work at the Village Place workshop. Silver Fabrication classes can turn a field stone into a gem kept in its setting. The weight is int he silver a local student walks into class with. Silver lines made across a piece using hand tools in a kit the student pays for, a small price added to the low class fee, gives a setting piece its jewelry look. A jewelry maker works on the line edges after taking one turn on the workshop's torches and mill.
Creative work starts again at the San Diego Mineral & Gem Society in Fall 2014.
THe line continues next week. . . .
This is the latest local civic story for Citizen Agenda Action Line on Tuesday. To read earlier articles, read
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