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Jewelry Instructor, Metalsmith
Mike Campbell - Monday, January 16, 2012 - 3:38pmeducation | goldsmith | jeweler | jewelry repair | metal arts | stonesetter
Greetings to all,
Just joined the ArtMetal community today. I am a metalsmith trained in the commercial jewelry field (meaning I received my unofficial "apprenticeship" from working in the wholesale/retail jewelry industry) with folks who had their own shop and were willing to show me what they knew. I spent 15 years in the profession and then switched to teaching. I teach jewelry and small sculpture at Lewis & Clark High School in Spokane, WA, and have done so for 23 years. While I teach full time, I have my own business as well doing the occasional job for people I know.
Because metal arts and jewelry manufacturing spans such a vast array of skills and knowledge, we all have our areas of greatest strength as well as those where we are "babes in the woods" and we're just muddling around and trying to learn more. My areas of strength are in jewelry repair, jewelry manufacturing, stone setting, and lost-wax casting. The bulk of my media experience from working as a jeweler is in gold, however, I have worked with platinum, and I have a great deal experience working in silver since becoming an instructor for cost reasons. I guess my other strength would be jewelry education based upon my experience as a teacher for all these years. I don't want to give the impression to the community that I'm "all that" when it comes to teaching others how to make jewelry - quite the opposite. I have learned from the school of hard knocks what doesn't work (Think Thomas Edison failing all those times before successfully inventing the electric light bulb. Ha-ha!).
Currently I am exploring repousse and chasing in copper, brass, sterling and nickle sheet both in my own studio and with my students in the studio at school, and we are all enjoying it very much.
I look forward to learning from this community of artists and metalsmiths, as well as contributing where I can.