Looking for a reason to sign up for DFAC’s Fundamentals of Jewelry Fabrication class? How about four? One, Pendant 2) Ring 3) Earrings 4) Bangles Party. Over the course of six weeks, students taking this course make them all. It was ring day when I visited, and the women of Stacy Perry’s class were buckled down and fired up. Each of the six students was fashioning a silver band. They got to choose pattern plates to imprint the metal before shaping it if they wished. Oh yes. They wished. Everyone choosing a different look is part of the fun energy in the room. That and the torches.
Stacy has been teaching jewelry classes at DFAC for 14 years. Her interest in jewelry blossomed at a young age. “It was my career from the time I was in my late teens,” she says. Stacy also has a degree in business and became a gemologist, both of which suit her well.
Last week, the group made two-piece pendants, one carved with shapes atop the other: starfish, bird on a branch, turtle. Most of the class opted to oxidize their pendant to give them a patina-finish but one student left her piece shiny and it really spoke to me.
Class is in motion with some gentle hammering and soldering going on. Even though it’s outside of the curriculum, student Mary Ann Ziegler says she is hoping to make two more matching rings (one for each of two girlfriends, one of whom is terminally ill). This way, all three can be bonded by the band.
To those who may be intimidated by the math and chemistry involved in jewelry making (I’m not scared, you’re scared), Stacy says laughing, “Take my class. I’ll dumb it down.” Then she explains there are also charts to help with the math and I’m wiping sweat from my brow while admiring the pieces everyone has made.
Story & Photography by Leslie Joy Ickowitz