How do the jewelry classes work?

Work in silver or gold


How do I choose the class that’s right for me?

All once a week Classes and Customized Intensives are taught through one-on-one instruction geared to your skill level and interests, whether you are a complete beginner or advanced metalsmith. Since our instructors work with you individually, you never have to worry about keeping up with a class that is moving too quickly or too slowly for your comfort. Your instructor will discuss your goals and experience level with you at the start of your first class and help you choose your projects. You can choose from our core curriculum of projects designed to teach essential skills or design your own. Classes are three hours long and many days have more than one class time available. Regardless of which class time you sign up for, the process is the same. Just sign up for the class time that best fits your schedule. Your instructors have years of team teaching experience and will guide you every step of the way.

What’s team teaching?

For every 4-5 students there is one teacher. That means in your scheduled class, there may be multiple teachers. If your teacher is busy helping another student, you can always ask another free teacher for help. This results in even more help available to you, when you need it.

Learn at your own pace


One teacher for every 4-5 students


Why isn’t there a set curriculum?

The primary reason we don’t have a set class curriculum is you. It was clear to the founders of JAI in 1974 (as it is to us today) that a set curriculum only benefits the teacher. Having all students do exactly the same thing, at the same time, regardless of their comprehension level is not good for students. It leaves beginner students lost and more advanced students bored. Every student learns at their own pace, so that is how we teach you. We have one teacher for every 4-5 students so each student gets individualized attention and can work on the jewelry projects that spark their interest. We strive to provide the very best learning experience for each student and that means letting you create at your own pace.

What’s the difference between Weekly Classes and Customized Intensives?

Whether you sign up for the Weekly Classes or the Customized intensives, you will receive the same education, for the same cost. The only difference is your scheduling. Weekly classes are for people who like having a regular schedule and attending class every week. You can still schedule two makeup classes in case of illness (or any reason) but your general assumption is that you will attend class during that class time regularly for the 8 week semester.

Customized Intensives are for students who travel often, are visiting NYC, or have unpredictable schedules for any variety of reasons. Intensive students might attend multiple classes for a few weeks and then not come in for a month, or any variation that suits their schedule. Students can use their class packages during any of our scheduled weekly classes. All you have to do is drop us an email and let us know you are coming. Customized class packages expire after one year, so you have one year to take your classes.

Your classes can begin anytime


What do I need to bring to class?


Anything you might need we have available for purchase at the studio

If you have any tools or jewelry making materials already, please bring them. There is no reason to buy anything you don’t need. We have complete tool kits available for complete beginners. We carry all the necessary tools, materials, gemstones, silver, solder, etc here in the studio. The larger equipment, mandrels, hammers, drawplates, kilns, tripods, third arms, anvils, rolling mills, etc are in the studio free for student use. We have found the best way to make sure you have everything you need is to just have it on hand. However, you are not obligated in any way to buy from us. We are just two blocks from the jewelry district so you can shop to your heart’s content for stones, materials, and tools if you wish. You can take a look at our Beginner Kit tool list HERE.

What are the One Day Workshops like?

The One Day Workshops are an opportunity to focus on a particular skill or project. The goal is for you to leave with handmade jewelry and a valuable skill you can keep using. The class starts at 11am (we aren’t big on early around here) runs to 2pm, we take an hour lunch break and then back to jewelry making from 3pm until 6pm. Many of our weekly students starting taking a workshop first to get the feel of the studio and see if it was a good fit. We offer lots of topics throughout the year, primarily on Saturdays. We are always interested in developing new techniques and new school projects so our list of workshops is always expanding. Brand new Workshops, offered for the first
time this year include Celtic Torq Bracelets, All about Opals, Jewelry 101: Textures, and Argentium Silver 101: Chains. Student favorites, like Lens Setting, Bezel Setting for Faceted stones, the Prong Experience, Soldering Demystified, Snake Rings, Forged Cuffs and Bangles, Wax Carving 101, Pearl Knotting, Molten Rings and more are offered on a rotating basis on Saturdays throughout the year. Most of our workshops are fine for total beginners but always feel free to ask us what might be best for you.

Focus on a specific skill for one day

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Students can focus on their own progress with individualized attention

Eve Balboni3

What is a regular Weekly class like?

During any regular Weekly Class there will be complete beginners and advanced students. Some students will be working in silver, brass or copper and some students with a bit more experience will be working in 22k gold. Students will be in all stages of a piece, from just starting to cut their metal to setting their stones and doing a final polish. The morning classes are at 11am- 2pm and the afternoon classes run from 3pm-6pm. We also have a Wednesday Evening class from 7pm-10pm and an Alternate Saturday class that runs for a full day, 11-2pm and 3-6pm every other Saturday. When you come in for the day, stop at our front desk and we will give you your seat. One of the teachers “on duty” will check in with you, see where you are and get you started. As the class continues, our teachers roam the studio, keeping an eye on everyone and providing help when needed. In this way, you progress at your own pace and get the help you need, when you are ready for it. If you are waiting for your teacher to finish with another student, all you have to do is listen in to keep learning at all times.

Every piece of jewelry on this page was made by students just like youJeanette K Caines