Jewelry Making

Leon Yang, Sports Writing Editor

by Leon Yang

Early rays of sunlight illuminate the room. There is light chattering and the sound of pages turning as students peruse various publications, searching for inspiration. Students concentrate on their individual projects, each unique in design.

Jewelry/Metals may seem like just any ordinary art class. However, the class provides a unique outlet through which students pursue their individual projects.

Sophomore Isabel Cole said that she believes the jewelry making class is different from other art classes because of this liberty.

“Unlike other art classes, where you might have a specific assignment, you can just really interpret it as you want to,” Cole said.

This freedom of interpretation is captured in the assignments given to students, according to Cole. They are able to express themselves without any restrictions on their art.

Students can be as creative as they want with their pieces.  Above are some miniature umbrella pendants in process.
Students can be as creative as they want with their pieces. Above are some miniature umbrella pendants in process.

According to Cole, students had to pick two spices from a bag for their current assignment.

“I got cinnamon and turmeric. And then we have to make a jewelry piece that has been inspired by the spice,” Cole said.

According to Cole, students first create sketches from their inspirations. Once they become content with certain sketches, they can gather materials and begin the process of actually constructing their pieces. The process of construction can include sawing or soldering, which is a process of connecting two pieces of metal with a metal alloy under the intense heat of a torch.

Elizabeth Brennan has taught Jewelry/Metals for eight years and currently teaches two different sections of the course. She stresses the importance of students developing their own ideas.

“The assignments usually are around some sort of question that I want the students to grapple with,” Brennan said. “And hopefully, if I plan assignments that are open-ended enough, and if I have 15 kids in the class, I have 15 really unique solutions.”

According to Brennan, it is important for students to bring their personal knowledge to class in order to create unique products.

“You come to the class with your experience, and another student comes with a different experience and hopefully because of that, it’ll be reflected in the work,” Brennan said.

There are also many ways for the students to gain inspiration for the class. According to Cole, a student can go on a walk or visit an art exhibit.

Junior Lily Harris is currently working on a miniature bike with wheels that spin, and said she is glad she gets to take different approaches to the assigned projects.

“I just love that creativity that’s involved with jewelry, and Ms. Brennan gives you projects that let you express the full capacity,” Harris said.

According to Brennan, her students should also not worry too much about the end product.

“They have to be willing to take risks,” Brennan said, “They have to be curious.”

Leon Yang can be contacted at [email protected]