Special Studies: Jewelry Making

Jewelry, one the oldest forms of art. It has been upheld for centuries, and it is a very interesting craft. For special studies I had the opportunity take jewelry making which was taught by Mr. McPherson. The class consisted of six people Mike, Kevin, Wang Zi, Ivan, Roland, and myself.

The first day we were tasked with making wire rings. For practice we used copper wire and sterling silver for the real attempt. The first ring we made had a swirl design. We took two tries to do it, one to get the hang of it, the second one to perfect the style. My first one was atrocious, and the second one wasn’t half bad for a beginner. We then moved on to a ring style that had a “valuable jewel” in it. The first ring turned out…well, interesting, let’s put it at that, having a blue bead, and the bar holding it being curved at opposite ends, and naturally the second ring was an improvement. Moving on to the third task, Mr. McPherson had planned a similar design to the previous ring, except that the bead was wrapped in wire from the bottom up. Now this may not sound challenging, but it was. While wrapping the bead the wrapper needs to wrap from the bottom to the top. Unfortunately, both of my rings of that style were not masterpieces. Then Mr. McPherson gave us silver to make any ring using one or more of the styles that we had learned.

Moving on to the second day, we jumped right into earrings. We made a device that would help us make the earwires (an understatement), and learned how to bend jump rings. The first style had various beads gradually increasing in size. When we returned from lunch we started to learn how to make necklaces. Boy I was so excited because I brought in a crystal that I had been wanting to turn into a necklace for a while; mainly because it looked pretty, but it looked unique too. We were given crystals, and made a practice one, which we dismantled, and attempted the real thing. Since mine was hexagonal and a bit wider at the bottom, Mr. McPherson helped start it. That was a tad nerve racking because we only had one try, but it turned out nicely

And then on the third day, we moved on to 3D design projects. Mr. McPherson said “Make a replica of your shoe using masking tape and cardboard.” So we toiled and toiled the entire day to make a replica of our shoes, and that is pretty much all there is to it, except a few conversations about an oversized shoe, a submarine, and a shoe turning into a fish.

The jewelry-making group at their stations
The jewelry-making group at their stations

The fourth day we finished up the shoe replicas, and moved on to wallets phone cases, and other shoe-incorporated trinkets.

On the fifth and final day, we were given a task. A task that required a specific set of not-so-special skills, that would rend the skies themselves in either glorious victory or shameful defeat. Our task was to make a cardboard plane that could safely carry an egg while flying a good distance. We worked, and the designs that came out were sound; our plane came out looking like a spaceship from FireFly or Star Trek, while the others came out looking like more conventional paper airplanes. We then moved on to testing and ours worked many times, as did the other groups’. When it finally came around 1:30pm, we walked down to the bleachers outside the track and put our planes to the test. First up was Mike and Kevin whose plane went the farthest, next was Ivan and Wang Zi whose plane flew flawlessly, after waiting for the wind to die down. Finally was my group’s plane: the plane that had the shortest air time. Even the egg popped out, but at least it didn’t break.

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