Benjamin Franklin once said, “There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.” The Jewelry Club at Salt Lake Community College is set up to teach you a little bit about all three, and more.
Students who register for the weekly club can expect to go beyond just simply making jewelry, they can expect hands-on experience through rock-hunting excursions and jewelry shows, and even gain some knowledge about the jewelry business.
Jewelry Club advisor James Lund encourages students to join the club to learn a new skill they might not otherwise be exposed to. Plus, being able to truly understand what makes some fine jewelry better than others can be an impressive party trick.
Most of the members of the club come from Art 1040 or 2040, the introduction to jewelry and intermediate jewelry classes, but anyone can join regardless their experience level.
“It’s an open venue, people can come in and we can kind of assist them if they haven’t taken the class so they can get started in learning how to make some of the things,” Lund says. “We learn how to cut rocks, polish them, and put them into the pieces of jewelry. So they’re getting to learn all aspects of creating, putting together and even helping them start and do their own businesses.”
Jewelry Club founder Brian Baity took both jewelry classes, but saw the club as a way to further refine the skills he learned in the classes and allow other students a similar opportunity. Baity told The Globe he started the club because he learned so much in the jewelry classes at SLCC and wanted to take things a step further, but didn’t want to build a lab in his home.
“This allows students who are still at the community college to increase their skills while they’re here,” Baity says. “And actually, hopefully, get to a level where they’re comfortable with what they’re creating.”
In Baity’s second year in the club, he took part in a jewelry competition nationally against goldsmiths across the country and won second place overall.
Club member Samira Snounou explains that students shouldn’t feel intimidated to join the Jewelry Club, even if they have no former experience with making jewelry. The club is set up for students to help other students.
“We have some amazing artists, Brian [Baity] is one of those included, and we’re all willing to help you,” Snounou says. “We’re all willing to take time to talk to you about what you should do and how to arrange things.”
Before students can strap up and start soldering rings and pendants, they must first pay $20 per semester while in the club. Students that haven’t taken one of the previous jewelry classes are required to take a safety test.
The Jewelry Club meets every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in the Construction Trades Building at Taylorsville Redwood Campus, room 172.
Photos courtesy of Brian Baity