Kingston Lapidary and Mineral Club

When I was in public school my grade 8 class was the first one to allow girls to take Shop.  Before that girls were limited to Home Economics, where I did a terrible job of making a handkerchief top.  I loved Shop. I don’t remember all the projects but what I do remember is making my first piece of jewellery.  I got to cut, shape and polish a small piece of sodalite that looked like lapis lazuli.  And then I got to set it in a brass pendant to make my own necklace.  It was a life changing moment.

Fast forward many years.  I had experimented with a lot of jewellery making, mostly beading and a bit of polymer clay.  Nothing that truly moved me.  I was temporarily back in Kingston and noticed a tiny little ad in the back of the local paper advertising a silversmithing course.  The Kingston Lapidary and Mineral Club was founded in 1962 and not only were they still going strong but they were now offering classes in lapidary – cutting, shaping and polishing rocks – and how to use those gorgeous rocks in jewellery.

To make a long story somewhat shorter, I took the silversmithing class.  My very talented (and patient) instructors were Arne, Bob and Eileen.  I learned an amazing amount there, including making my first band ring and my first bracelet that had about 30 solder joins (for those who don’t know, that’s a lot!).

I also later returned to be a teacher at the club.  I taught one of the first wax carving for casting and cuttlebone casting classes.  When I left the incredibly talented people who were in my class took over and became instructors themselves.  I’m pleased (and a little jealous, lol) to see that they offer a wide array of classes now.  Silversmithing, wire work, casting, repousse, resin, and more!  They have a fantastic shop with amazing equipment and after you take a class you can rent shop time for a ridiculously low price per hour.

So if you live in or near Kingston and you’re interested in jewellery making (or geology) check out the club.  They’ve just announced a whole list of new classes on their facebook page, so it’s a good time to do so.

Here’s the facebook page with the course announcements:

https://www.facebook.com/KingstonLapidaryMineralClub

And here’s their website:  http://www.mineralclub.ca/index.cfm?page=home

 

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