Singing the Praises of High School Jewelry Arts Teachers

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Singing the Praise of Art Teachers

Recently, I was corresponding with a fellow metalsmith and heard the tale of how a high school jewelry arts teacher changed that individual’s life. This is a phenomenal coincidence to me as I owe an unending debt of gratitude to my high school art teach, Ms Helen Howell.

As an undiagnosed dyslexic, I suffered throughout my grade school and high school years. My grades and assessment scores in high school left little doubt that I was not college material. Yet, my first ever official art teacher saw something in my aptitude for color theory, my patience with challenging processes, my willingness to try again and again and again, that made her put that torch in my hand and I was hooked. But more than that she connected with me after I graduated and when she saw I was floundering she helped me get accepted to a state university, metals program.    

Once accepted to university, based on the strength of my early portfolio, there came the challenges of paying for it and navigating the academic world, but she got me to the doorstep of my future and happily gave me a shove. And I bless her for that. Decades of jewelry making (and two masters degrees) later, I had my own classes of high school students to consider as I introduced them to metals and jewelry making.

Things had seriously changed since I had attended high school. Classrooms designed for 20 students had become overstuffed with up to 37 students. Budget cuts and misguided administrations gutted supplies, tools, and curriculum. But even with all of that not so positive change there were still young people excited by what they could do with a torch, some tools and some hard work. I can only hope for those of us in the field now, who were started on this path by a great high school jewelry arts teacher, that we have passed on the passion we found to help close this never ending circle.

Here is an educational project by a dozen jewelry artists/teachers that is also a fundraising effort for the Society of North American Goldsmiths Click on the image to find a link to buy the e-book. And look for my project in Chapter 9.

Daisy dies
Set of 3 sizes

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Tear Drop Die
Set of 3 sizes

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Heart Die
Set of 3 sizes

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Support Jewelry Education! Click on this image to purchase these DVDs on jewelry making techniques. While you're there visit my Gallery, purchase some sets of silhouette die or read some of my articles. Thanks! Nanz

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Smart Fabrication From Start to Finish

Big News!!!

I have been very busy working with the company Craftsy. I have video taped a series of lessons for them.  I covered non-traditional stone setting, rivets, and ideation in the lessons.

here is a link to get a sneak peak and 50% off of the class!

The great crew at Craftsy have done a fabulous job and it is really wonderful with multiple views of all the techniques.

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