Your adventure starts here
Your adventure starts here
Even if you don't have a jeweler's bench set up at home, there are lots of things we can teach you. Just clear a space on your desk or dining room table. We've adapted a live online version of our most popular studio experiences for virtual learning. Six months in, many of our Zoom students are finding they are even more productive learning at home, especially those who make time for "homework" in between classes or tutoring session.
We are currently offering these workshops online through Zoom:
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The easiest way to get started creating jewelry is through a process known as soft wax model making. You just shape soft wax sheets and wires with your hands and a few simple tools. Then we'll cast your wax model into bronze, silver, gold, or even platinum.
For detailed, intricate, or symmetrical designs, sign up for a class where you learn to work with various forms of carving wax. While it's more difficult technically than soft wax modeling, we will help you master the tools and techniques that can bring your ideas to life.
In the studio, students learn the basic concepts of working in metal in our metal fabrication classes. Beginner projects focus on techniques rather than design, and will be practiced in brass, copper, and nickel silver. Advanced projects can be completed in sterling or gold.
Learning metal fabrication techniques in a home environment requires a more elaborate setup, a substantial investment in tools and materials, and greater safety considerations. Please email Peter if you would like to find out more.
Do you want to create your own wedding rings? We offer several options for you to personally make a most meaningful symbol of your relationship. You can take our rings class and learn to make simple bands. Or for engagement rings or more complex designs, you can contact us about specialized tutoring.
Although we teach skills from beginning to expert levels, sometimes ideas exceed abilities. We can step in and complete any aspect of your jewelry vision that you're not quite ready to learn. From complex stone setting to line development, to molds for mass production, contact us for a consultation.
At Precious Metal Arts, we have a 23 year history of helping individuals realize their artistic goals, whether they want to make a single piece or design an entire line of jewelry. Our Main Street Santa Monica studio has welcomed students and professionals of all skill levels seeking to learn every imaginable aspect of jewelry design and creation. In response to the current health crisis, we have paused in-person teaching and are working to adapt our special teaching style to physically distanced workshops and tutoring.
Our in-studio teaching is currently paused due to the safety concerns of Covid 19. We do not anticipate returning to studio classes until fall of 2021.
We are currently offering a Zoom version of our small group tutoring, as well as online classes in Soft Wax Modeling and Precision Wax Carving. You can even learn stone setting, sketching and design, and casting gemstones in place.
If you are a current tutoring student and/or have a tools and a workspace set up at home, you are good to go. If you are new to this process, we would ask that you fill out our student profile form to help us advise you as to how to pursue your particular jewelry making goals.
Wax is the easiest entry point to jewelry making, with soft wax being simple enough for kids to join in. Modeling your designs in wax means you get to practice your ideas in 3D before deciding which ones to commit to precious metal.
Soft Wax Modeling uses a malleable wax available in sheets, wires, and blocks and is particularly suited to learning at home.
Precision Wax Carving uses a "hard" wax available ring tubes and blocks. It is best suited to wedding bands, intricate or delicate designs, precisely sculpted dimensional pieces, and designs for faceted stones.
Metalsmithing allows you to see your designs take form before your eyes as you manipulate the actual metal.
You can "jump in" to tutoring even if you haven't made jewelry before. But many of our students have found it helpful to start with one of our sample kits and the basic technique projects offered in our foundation classes. The live online version of these workshops has everyone learning the same techniques with a specific project, as a group. Materials are included with the required tool purchase.
Tutoring sessions offer students at all levels a chance to pursue their unique individual skills and designs, in a group setting. Each person works independently, with instructor guidance and supervision. Tutoring students are expected to have their own tools and materials ready for each session.
We have already seen our first Zoom wedding rings created at home, online, and then finished in our studio. From a simple wedding band to your dream design, we will consult with you about your ideas and walk you step by step through the process.
We have also launched our new Wedding Band Designer website. This is a great resource if you are in a time crunch or just want to purchase a totally customized version of finished classic ring. It's also a great visual aid to explore band profiles, widths, and textures if you want to make your own ring.
For now, we are not able to welcome students into our limited studio space and meet the current safety guidelines regarding Covid 19. We look forward to a day in the near future when we can go back to the wonderful chaos of six full benches at Precious Metal Arts!
In the mean time, we are anxious to communicate by email or phone, as you prefer. Our Main Street Santa Monica studio is currently open limited hours to provide consultations, for custom orders, repairs, and tool and material purchases.
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Thank you for all the wonderful years on Main Street!
We hate to leave, but COVID has put us in an unsustainable position.
For the foreseeable future, Peter will be teaching online only,
so we've made the difficult decision to relocate and close our Santa Monica studio.
Learning is paused as we make transition to our new space, but we are looking forward to seeing you in our classes online soon!
Peter and Mary