January 15, 2009
San Francisco’s Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts has again pioneered jewelry education by offering the nation’s first “Green Jewelry “class. The Academy developed the one-day class, to meet the changing needs of the jewelry industry, as customers demand more ethically sourced materials. Held on August 23, 2008, the class was a sellout and so, the Academy has scheduled another session for March 7, 2009.
“Green” issues in the jewelry world are complex and also difficult to ignore. People need information, beginning with those who work in jewelry. The recent class was composed of students who represent the spectrum from working jewelers, to hobbyists, industry managers, storeowners, and developing artists. All need to know where to get materials responsibly, how to work without danger to the environment, and how to answer questions from consumers.
Two instructors taught the class. Jennifer Horning is an environmental lawyer and activist promoting ethically sourced materials, and one of the original co-founders of Ethical Metalsmiths, a non-profit organization committed to increasing awareness and demand for responsibly sourced materials as an investment in the future. Christine Dhein, assistant director of the Revere Academy shared teaching responsibilities. Christine has written several articles about green studio practices and is founder of the eNewsletter, “Green Jewelry News.” The instructors were prepared with information, facts, charts, resources and an endless list of suggestions to improve the environment in which jewelry is made. While neither claimed to have all the answers, the instructors offered a wealth of information and real-life experience to convey essential information. They educated, raised awareness and enabled each participant to walk away with an individual plan to get greener. According to one participant, the class “brought insight and energy to the topic,” while giving students concrete information.
The sold out class was a huge success; students were eager to learn, as this type of information has been difficult to find. Gary Rowe, a jewelry businessman from Arkansas got what he wanted out of the class. “Everyone in our industry needs to make sure our processes and procedures are ethical and safe. I had actively sought scientific information, specific to the jewelry industry without success. The class at Revere provided me with what I needed, plus numerous resources in a succinct, one-day format.”
Due to the positive response from both students and industry, Revere will offer Green Jewelry again in the Spring of 2009. In just six hours, participants learn where metals and gemstones come from, about green suppliers and what they can do to promote healthy mining practices. This class offers jewelers the information they need to respond to customers’ questions about the sourcing and sustainability of materials. The class also covers gold testing, ingot making, safe and eco-friendly studio practices, future green business certification, and more. The cost of the class is only $129 with $50 of the fee going to Ethical Metalsmiths (ethicalmetalsmiths.org). Green Jewelry will be held March 7, 2009, from 9 am to 4 pm. To register, visit revereacademy.com
The Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts is a professional jewelry school that offers diplomas and certificates as authorized by the State of California. Classes are offered at all levels. The school is located in downtown San Francisco's historic Phelan Building. Schedules, information and a video tour are available online and from the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts, 760 Market Street, Suite 900, San Francisco, Ca 94102. Tel: 415-391-4179 Web Site: www.revereacademy.com E-mail: email@example.com Fax: 415-391-7570
Press Release from Christine Dhein
Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts
Photo: Christine Dhein (left) and Jennifer Horning, instructors for the Revere Academy's Green Jewelry class.