Curriculum

The program prepares graduates for work in a retail store or trade shop. Graduates of the program are trained to construct jewelry from gold, platinum, and silver, set stones, and finish to a professional standard. They are prepared to undertake the repair of jewelry and to restore pieces to their original appearance. Once in the field, graduates continue to develop expertise and gain experience in the more refined aspects of the trade.

In addition to the Full-Time program, we offer a number of jewelry making courses through our Continuing Education Department. View all CE courses here.

Fundamentals

Using hand tools, students perform all basic metal forming and soldering techniques to make and finish several pieces of jewelry in copper, silver and gold to a professional standard.

  1. Design: layout, tracing and design transfer
  2. Measuring: ruler, millimeter gauge, B+S gauge, calipers
  3. Sawing: blade sizes, proper technique
  4. Piercing: use of drill press
  5. Filing: types of files, proper technique
  6. Shaping: use of pliers, bending, forming, forging, chasing, dapping, draw plates,rolling mill
  7. Torch fundamentals
    • Annealing - silver and gold
    • Solders and soldering
  8. Engraving: types of gravers and their uses; use of grinding machine. Preparation and sharpening of gravers
  9. Finishing
    • Use of emery and other abrasive papers;
    • Abrasives for flexible shaft tool;
    • Compounds and buffs for buffing machines
    • Use of ultrasonic and steamer
  10. Characteristics of Precious Metals
    1. Melting and pouring ingots for rolling sheet metal and drawing wire

Advanced Construction

Using common techniques and design features, students fabricate custom-made jewelry from sheet and wire to a professional standard.

Jewelry Repair

On customer jewelry or projects provided, students use appropriate tools and techniques to perform repair tasks encountered in the jewelry trade.

Stone Setting

Using available manufactured heads or constructing an appropriate setting, students set various shaped gemstones in precious metals to a professional standard.

  1. Stone identification
  2. Properties and handling of stones
  3. Repairs to chipped stones
  4. Characteristics of settings: bezel, prong, flush, channel, bead, and illusion
  5. Re-tipping and re-pronging
  6. Construction methods for heads
  7. Assembling heads and shanks
  8. Optional pave setting

Platinum

Students fabricate jewelry from palatinum.

Casting and Model Making

Using simple designs, students make two wax models suitable for casting and finish to a professional standard.

Fundamentals of Laser Welding

Project List

I Fundamentals
  • Copper pierced pattern with florentine texture
  • Copper pierced round pattern with engraved lines
  • Polishing ring castings
  • Sterling silver link chain with toggle clasp
  • Sterling silver knot ring sized down, sized up half shank
  • Sterling silver double twisted wire ring
  • 14 karat yellow and white gold twisted wire ring w/flat ends
  • Split shank cabochon ring sized down
  • Domed Cabochon earrings
  • Sterling silver dapped, chased, and engraved pin
  • Sterling silver forged bracelets
  • Tool making
  • Melting metal and pouring ingots

II Advanced construction
  • Pattern ring
  • Hollow base pendant
  • Basic hinged bracelet
  • Loop in loop link chain with hand made cylinder clasp
  • Multi-link hinged bracelet with handmade box clasp
  • Hollow bracelet
Optional:
  • Cluster ring
  • Granulation
  • Reticulation
  • Metal inlay

III Jewelry repair
  • Ring sizing, including rings made in class
  • Re-shanking: ¼ and ½ shanks
  • Stone replacement
  • Chain repair
  • Link repair
  • Clasp repair and replacement
  • Safety chains
  • Figure 8
  • Hinge repair
  • Simple and complex soldering procedures
  • Use of hydrogen torch
  • Testing of metals

IV Stone setting
  • Assembling commercial findings in precious metals, and setting gemstones in various sizes and shapes:
  • Heads:
  • round base
  • 6-prong tapered head
  • basket heads, various shapes
  • Bezels in various shapes
  • Tapered bezels
  • Illusion settings
  • Fancy settings
Findings:
  • T posts
  • French wires
  • Omega backs
  • Eurowires
  • Kidney wires
  • Rabbit ear bails
  • Pin backs
Shanks:
  • Half-rounds
  • Split
  • Pinched
  • Bypass
  • Airline
Fabrication:
  • Pierced bottom round base heads
  • Basket heads
  • Bezels and tapered bezels
  • 3 stone ring, using round stones
  • 3 stone ring, using fancy shaped stones
  • Multi-stone earrings
  • Re-tipping and re-pronging

V Palatinum
  • Fabricate a ring and set a stone
  • Fabricate a 4 prong wire basket pendant, and set a stone

VI Casting and model-making
  • Carve a simple ring and cast it
  • Polish casting
  • Make a rubber mold
  • Inject waxes
  • Vacuum cast multiple waxes
  • Polish castings
  • Carve a wax of own design

*Note: Topics may not be covered in the order in which they are listed in this outline.

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Questions? Contact Rob O'Dwyer, Director of Admissions, at 617-227-0155 x111 or admissions@nbss.edu.
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