An insider look into how our small group tutoring works in the real world - with our real students! Each on their own creative mission, mastering different materials and techniques in a group setting. Your personalized experience includes live demos; a designated cloud space for your specific texts, photos, and sketches; and unique samples and lessons prepared for you in advance of your session. You can text and recieve closeup photos as you work for a truly interactive experience.
The short answer is... almost anything! You are really only limited by your time, your tools, and your home workspace. Currently, new tutoring students are limited to wax model making, stone setting, and metal finishing. Metal fabrication techniques require a more complicated setup and greater safety considerations, and will only be offered to students who already have a soldering station and previous metal working experience.
No! If you're not sure exactly what you want to make, we can get you going with a basic introduction in soft wax or carving wax. Or, you can begin by taking one of our classes, where the group follows a specific series of pre-determined projects to learn the foundation techniques of working in wax. Once your creativity is sparked, you can pursue creating your own designs and exploring more advanced techniques in tutoring.
Wax models are transformed into metal through a process known as Lost Wax Casting. We do not teach the casting portion of the process, but we do offer our students casting services in sterling, gold, platinum, and base metals. We also provide finishing, stone setting, and mold making to reproduce multiples of your designs. Alternatively, you can learn to finish your own castings and set your own stones in tutoring with the purchase of additional tools and materials.
Well, that depends on what your goals are. We have seen new students create the beginnings of an entire collection after just one soft wax session! Wedding bands, precision designs, or designs with stones will normally require a minimum of 3 sessions, and could take 5 or more if you want to complete the polishing and stone setting yourself. Many of our students-turned-designers have been with us for years; weekly, monthly, or just when their ideas start to outpace their skills. A good rule of thumb is that it will take at least 3 sessions to get the foundation to continue to create successful wax models on your own; and 6 sessions if you wish to learn to complete the finishing process yourself.
Our students come with a huge variety of ultimate goals. Some are happy to create a single piece (like a wedding ring) or a series of designs for family and friends. Some begin their own grass roots marketing and start with an Etsy store or Instagram. Others create entire collections that they sell through established retail galleries or their own websites. After 23 years of teaching, we know that the sky is the limit when you match your imagination with some actual skills. What are you waiting for?
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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