Colleen Matthews JM '12

Colleen MatthewsI have always loved making objects.The pursuit of that passion drove me in many directions. I studied sculpture at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts where I worked in metal, wood and ceramics.

After completing that program, I spent many years working in a variety of trades relating to those mediums. I worked as a cabinet maker, gardener, teacher and jeweler.

I decided I wanted to focus on jewelry making but I felt I didn't have the technical skills to make the pieces that I wanted to make. I had heard about NBSS from friends and had always been interested in the school. When I began researching trade programs for jewelry, it became clear that NBSS offered exactly what I was looking for. I went for a visit and knew it was where I needed to be.

Colleen's work

Even with my experience in jewelry making, NBSS is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. The amount of precision and the quality of work the program demands was like nothing I had ever encountered. With time and patience, little by little, I saw my abilities transform. I had completed projects that I never thought I could make.

These skills are very important when you leave school and are working with expensive precious metals and gems and you want to execute pieces properly so you don't waste time and material. At NBSS you will learn from seasoned talented jewelers who will guide you to that goal.

Since graduating from NBSS, I have worked with two jewelers handling repairs and custom pieces and I am working on starting my own line of jewelry and related business. Since leaving the school, I have worked on a large variety of challenging repairs and custom jobs in which my NBSS training really shows. The skills I gained at NBSS are exactly what I enrolled to learn. I don't feel hindered in my work and the skills I gained will help me navigate through the challenging pieces I have yet to begin.

I decided I wanted to focus on jewelry making but I felt I didn't have the technical skills to make the pieces that I wanted to make. I had heard about NBSS from friends and had always been interested in the school. When I began researching trade programs for jewelry, it became clear that NBSS offered exactly what I was looking for. I went for a visit and knew it was where I needed to be.