Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Notes for "The Cutting of the Gem"

These are the notes for "The Cutting of the Gem."

Cray Adalsteinn -- He has fair skin, gray eyes, and short brown hair with a scruff of mustache and beard. His heritage is Irish, Norse, and American. Cray lives in Raleigh, North Carolina where he runs Diamonds in the Rough, a store that sells supplies for stone, glass, and metal crafts along with some finished products. There used to be several separate stores in the field but the market wasn't enough to support any of them reliably. His idea to unify those created a single larger store with a much wider base of both creators and buyers. Cray also makes and sells his own works of art in the same range of materials, often combining two or more media into a single item. He loves encouraging people to try new things, or do a hobby for fun even if they aren't particularly "good" at it. Cray is not good at academics, although he did manage to get a degree in Metalsmithing & Jewelry. He barely scraped through the minor in Art & Entrepreneurship.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Studio Artist, Expert (+4) Visual-Spatial Intelligence, Good (+2) Encouraging People, Good (+2) Dexterity, Good (+2) Enthusiastic, Good (+2) Shopkeeper
Poor (-2) Book Learning

Career: Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers
Job Description: Design, fabricate, adjust, repair, or appraise jewelry, gold, silver, other precious metals, or gems. Includes diamond polishers and gem cutters, and persons who perform precision casting and modeling of molds, casting metal in molds, or setting precious and semi-precious stones for jewelry and related products.
• Metal and Jewelry Arts
• Watchmaking and Jewelrymaking

Metalsmithing & Jewelry
at the Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine

MECA’s Metalsmithing and Jewelry Program rivals all others. You will be challenged, supported, and driven by artist-educators who are as passionate about teaching as they are about their own studio practice.

From your very first metals and jewelry class, you will begin to develop a grounding in traditional craftsmanship and visual sensitivity, and a work ethic you never imagined.

Your studio—your own bench—will be your home. Master the technical skills of soldering, fabrication, forming, raising, finishing, stone setting, and fine goldsmithing in non-ferrous metals. Learn the art of enameling and casting, and the language of the multiple. Translate traditional skills into unexpected materials like wood, marble, plastics, and resin. Continue the tradition of holloware. Get unparalleled professional training. Take your technical skills to an entirely new level by grappling with theory and entering the dialogue on craft as both noun and verb.

Unparalleled access to facilities, equipment, and space. Facilities are equipped for jewelry making and traditional holloware. Each major will have their own bench and full access to studio equipment that includes casting, enameling, forming, and raising facilities, a small-scale lathe, stone cutting equipment, and a new MECA Fab Lab.

Preparation (1st & 2nd Year)
Metalsmithing & Jewelry I (MJ 101) and (1) MJ 200-Level Studio Elective
Junior Year (3rd Year)
Metalsmithing & Jewelry Majors Studio (MJ 301-MJ 302), Introduction to the Discipline (MJ 351), Junior Seminar (SEM 352-3-4), and (2) Approved Studio Electives
Senior Year (4th Year)
Metalsmithing & Jewelry Majors Studio (MJ 401-MJ 402), Senior Synthesis (SEM 451-SEM 452), and (2) Approved Studio Electives


MJ 213 Special Topics: The Table
In this one semester course, students will explore the various formats, techniques and materials that are necessary to gain an understanding of utilitarian objects and hollowware for the table. Students will learn the fundamental processes related to hollowware including raising, forming, forging, die-forming and seaming. A more sophisticated understanding and application of previously learned techniques will also be covered and developed such as advanced soldering, surface embellishment and mechanisms. Assignments will emphasize an exploration of technique, material, form, and formal and conceptual intent. Elective: 3 credits/semester; 6 hours/week.
Prerequisites : MJ 101

MJ 233 Expressive Nature of Stone
The essential material of stone is being used in contemporary jewelry as an expressive medium: a means to convey ideas. In this course we will learn to manipulate stone that is both semi-precious and non-precious. Using conventional techniques to develop unconventional forms, we will develop work that exploits the material of stone. Techniques such as carving, cutting, faceting and polishing will be covered. Elective: 3 credits/semester; 6 hours/week.
Prerequisites : MJ 101

MJ 314 Independent Projects in Metals & Jewelry
This course is designed to create structured parameters in which students working in any discipline can investigate their ideas through the language of metalsmithing and jewelry. Student/instructor discussions will establish subjects for independent study at the beginning of the semester that will continue throughout the semester. Emphasis will be placed on process and content. Specific skills and materials will be determined by the nature of the independent investigation. Because this is not a technically driven course students will be expected to rely on skills that they already have learned. Students will investigate their subject through formal assignments developed by the instructor and student. Group and individual critiques of student work will be the principle mode of instruction. Slide lectures, discussions, reading material, and demonstrations are integral aspects for introducing concepts and relating theory to practice. Elective: 3 credits/semester; 6 hours/week.
Prerequisites : MJ 101.

Cameos & Other Stonecarving Studio
Glasswork Studio Sampler: Stained Glass, Lampwork, and Fusion
Mixed Metal Studio

The Commission Club is a campus activity in which art students volunteer to make things for the cost of materials, to get practice working to client specifications. It often interacts with Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow, a business club, to give those students practice in hiring people and setting specificatons.

Art & Entrepreneurship Minor
at the Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine

The Art and Entrepreneurship Minor at MECA gives students the opportunity to pursue an entrepreneurial focus across studio disciplines. Through project-based, experiential courses, client projects, internships, workshops and community partnerships, students develop a range of skills to launch and successfully grow their entrepreneurial endeavors. This interdisciplinary minor is designed to help students transform any discipline or concept into a real-world venture.
Students are required to take The Art of Business (NS 250) and other Art and Entrepreneurship courses to complete the minor. The minor is 15 credits total.

2nd Year Lab: Super Size Fab Lab Sampler
This class will focus on using new technologies to design and fabricate a series of interconnected studio projects. These projects will be based on the student's own interests and their desire to create things of real value to the exterior community. Students will see their projects evolve from prototypes to finished pieces. We will discuss how to design and implement projects that will have real value to external stakeholders. Collaboration, entrepreneurship and design process will be central to the ways in which students work. Through research and presentations students will define the context that their projects will be placed into. Specific topics may include package and container design, model and mock up making and the translation of ideas into multiple modes of making. Students will utilize a range of tools and technologies including: Adobe Illustrator, basic 3D modeling software, 3D printing, Laser cutting/engraving, and CNC machining. Elective: 3 credits/semester; 6 hours/week. Prerequisite: Foundation courses completed.
Prerequisites : Foundation courses completed

Accounting and Finance for Entrepreneurs (T-American)
Creating a Business Plan and Budget (T-American)
Running a Small Business (T-American)

* * *

“The cutting of the gem has to be finished before you can see whether it shines.”
Leonard Cohen

Diamonds in the Rough has an entrance flanked by display windows.

The inside has all kinds of shelves for finished items and raw materials.

This display offers carved and polished stones. Crystals line the wall here. These rough stones wait for someone to cut them. This section holds lapidary tools and other craft equipment. Lapidary books offer new ideas.

Mosaic pieces are sold from bulk jars. Glass panes are organized on special shelves, alongside a rack of project books for stained glass. Stained glass rods have another special rack. These small pieces of dichroic glass are cheaper than the big panes. Glassworking tools and supplies fill this section.

The back has big racks of scrap metal. Some is salvage, but most of this comes from factories that sell off their trimmings after they make things. New sheet metal has its own rack. These titanium squares are industrial scrap. Anodized niobium rings come in many colors, ideal for jewelry. Metalworking tools need a sturdier rack. These are some of the books on metalworking.

The quiet corner has a curved bench, a table, and a couple of chairs. It can be used for sorting or relaxation.

In which Shiv is a Finn after all and winds up with a modest armload of books, much to Tolli's hidden delight:

Rocks, Gems, and Minerals

Introduction to Glass Fusing

Dictionary of Glass: Materials and Techniques

The Art of Sculpture Welding

Step by Step Knifemaking

See Shiv's titanium horse.

Gesture drawing is done at speed to capture the pose, rather than the details, of a model -- especially moving ones such as dancers or animals. Learn how to practice gesture drawing. This is a good basis if you want to draw animals, such as sketching them at the zoo. Read a lesson on how to draw a horse.

When drawing horses, focus on the proportions. You can use the frame technique or circles to find important parts such as the leg joints. See some gesture sketches of horses. This is a lot of how Shiv doodles at Tolli and Simon's place.

In terms of theory, sculpting horses works the same as drawing just in three dimensions -- you have to know how your model moves, how its anatomy fits together so as to create the poses. In terms of practice, sculpting uses very different physical techniques and media. Shiv can transpose easily from drawing to sculpture because his superpower allows him to feel and manipulate rigid materials, and his visual-spatial intelligence helps him understand what he's perceiving and extrapolate how to use that information in new ways. Learn more about making a clay horse and see some horse sculptures.

Cut and color of gems influence their value. They can be cut to order. Read about grinding gemstones and carving cabochons. Laser cutting may work better in some contexts. Quartz is a good beginner stone for gemcutting. Soft materials such as clay can be faceted by cutting with a knife.

Gemstones can be cut into interesting shapes. These faceted quartz balls make an excellent beginner exercise.

Gem hardness goes from soft to hard.

And one more book!
Gemstone Tumbling, Cutting, Drilling & Cabochon Making: A Simple Guide to Finishing Rough Stones
Tags: crafts, cyberfunded creativity, family skills, fantasy, fishbowl, poetry, reading, weblit, writing
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