GIA Debuts Revamped Graduate Jeweler Program
By mixing creative and practical skills, the new course hopes to fill the industry’s bench jeweler gap.
The program, taught at the Carlsbad campus, was on hiatus for 18 months to make revisions and update equipment. In late 2022, GIA enlisted educator, master goldsmith, and jewelry designer Alan Revere to update the program.
The redesigned course will teach a wide range of skills in the hopes of creating a new generation of designers who can also repair and refurbish jewelry, helping to fill the current need for bench jewelers.
“This program is a significant leap forward in jewelry manufacturing education, blending foundational technical knowledge of bench jewelry with a focus on creative expression and how to apply these skills in the industry,” said GIA.
The 28-week program focuses on traditional jewelry fabrication, teaching essential skills including sawing, piercing, measuring, layout, filing, forging, bending, twisting and advanced torch techniques, as well as soldering, annealing, and brazing.
To meet the growing consumer demand for custom jewelry, students will also learn hand fabrication, wax carving, and lost wax casting.
There will be creative projects that let students produce their own designs, as well as technical ones that involve jewelry repair, a skill jewelers look for in an apprentice.
It also offers gemstone setting training and lessons on casting, wax carving, laser welding, metallurgy, and hand engraving, with expanded lessons on fancy-shaped stones and setting with gravers.
GIA’s classrooms have also been stocked with new equipment to allow students to practice and hone these skills.
"Our objective is to instill students with a proficiency in safe practices and jewelry manufacturing techniques that exceed industry standards by setting the bar higher," said GIA Senior Vice President of Education and Chief Academic Officer Duncan Pay.
“Leveraging decades of experience in teaching Jewelry Manufacturing Arts, coupled with the expertise of master goldsmith and award-winning jewelry designer Alan Revere, we've developed a program that hones not only classical technical skills but also integrates cutting-edge tools and equipment within our state-of-the-art classrooms.”
The project-based course teaches techniques that can be applied to fine jewelry manufacturing and retail jewelry repair, letting students build up a portfolio to share with potential employers and clients.
The program dates are Jan. 22 – Aug. 1, 2024; May 13 – Nov. 21, 2024; and Sept. 9, 2024, to April 7, 2025.
For more information about the program, visit the GIA website.
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