314 Jewelry Classes with Carol Zarate in Palo Alto

I went to Missoula, Montana for a 5-months Photography School in the summer of 2009.  During that time, I went to visit a small town called Philipsburg a few times.  The town looks like a movie set because the buildings are nothing like where I came from (Taiwan or San Francisco Bay Area).

2009年我去蒙大拿州上了五個月的攝影課程. 期間我去了一個小城市叫費爾斯伯格幾次, 這個小城市的市景簡直像是拍電影的場景, 好像時間停滯似的.

I didn’t know Montana has mining and the Montana sapphire comes in every color of the rainbow, yellow, pink, white, gold, green, parti-color (multi-colored) and blue in every shade!

我事先並不知道蒙大拿州有礦場, 也不知道Sapphire (中文翻藍寶石)其實不是只有藍色, 還有黃色, 粉紅色, 白色, 綠色, 金色, 綜合色.

My classmates and I went for our first gem gravel hunt – we bought a bag of Montana sapphire gravel, and the store provides all the tools.  I was hooked, and it was so much fun. After the staff from the store teach us what to look for, we began a fun afternoon of a treasure hunting.

我和同學一起去掏寶石, 我們各買了一袋礦砂石, 店家提供所有需要的工具和設備, 等店員告訴我們怎麼篩選之後, 我們就開始尋寶, 超好玩的.

We found different sizes and colors of gemstones.  The staff will help us to determine whether those gemstones are worth to spend extra money to get them heat treating and faceting (quality and size of the stones).

每個人都會找到大小數量不一的原石, 經由鑒定師鑑定後, 會告訴我們那幾顆是值得我們另外花錢做切割和加熱, 變成漂亮的裸石.

I selected a few largest and good enough quality gemstones to get heat treating and faceting, and planning one day I will make some jewelry pieces out of them.  Now, 10 years later, I finally found a chance to do that.

我選了幾顆比較大的原石再做進一步的加工, 計劃未來有機會要用它為自己做幾件首飾. 這一等就是十年, 我終於找到一個機會了.

In January this year, I saw a flyer outside of a Peet’s coffee in Palo Alto for a Jewelry Studio offering individual classes. I was so happy.  So I checked out the website – 314 Jewelry with Carol Zarate, and it still took me another 3 months before I contacted Carol and step my foot into her studio.

今年一月我在PaloAlto的一家Peet’s咖啡店外面看到一張珠寶工作室課程的傳單, 我看到的時候超開心的, 我先上網看官網, 結果還是又拖了三個月才真的和工作室主人卡羅小姐聯絡.

I finally bring myself, and my gemstones to Carol’s studio. After some discussions, I began my first class with Carol.  Boy, I have so much fun.  It’s very therapeutic.  It help me stay focus, calm, and at the same time, I have fun.  It’s the same feeling when I am doing gardening, baking, painting or photography.

我終於帶著我的藍寶石和我自己來到卡羅的工作室. 經過一番討論後, 我開始了第一堂課.  天啊, 我超開心的, 非常療癒, 就像我在弄菜園, 烘培, 畫畫, 或攝影的時候, 讓我很專心, 很平靜, 又很好玩.

The studio also displays a lot of finished pieces. 現場也有展示很多已經完成的作品.

So my first project with Carol is a Raindrop Pendant with a sapphire mounted.  I used the photo above as a guide, and I choose to use copper instead of silver this time.

我的第一個作品是想做一個像照片上那樣的雨滴型墜子, 鑲嵌一個藍寶石. 照片是我的參考, 這次我選用銅片, 而不是銀片.

The first two hours of the class was just getting that thin long piece ready to shape a raindrop form – first using a piercing saw to cut a long narrow piece from a big copper piece, and then using different grade or size of file tools to smooth the piece on 4 sides (front and back plus two edges), then to form the raindrop shape.

第一堂課的二小時就純粹用在從一大塊銅板上切割一細條銅片, 然後用不同的打磨工具把那一細條銅片從粗磨到細和光滑, 然後就可以彎成雨滴狀.

中間漏掉一些照片 – 把一細條銅片彎曲成水滴狀, 焊接, 穿洞 (鏈子可以過), 鑲鑽的爪子座台, 光是做到這裡, 就花了六小時. . . . . 要不是我享受那個做的過程和學習, 我會強力建議大家買現成的首飾就好了, 若你有收到別人親手做的東西, 不論是手工皂, 蠟燭, 皮革包, 首飾, 都要感恩, 因為不光是花錢花時間, 那個心, 才是無價!!!!!

. . . . I will keep updating my project progress here.

My first handmade jewelry was back in 2017 in SF. They have three projects for you to choose from – a ring, a pair of earrings, and a pendant.  I made a silver ring.  Since it was a one-time class (I think it was a Groupon), many steps are already been taking care of to save time.

我的第一個手工首飾是在2017年, 我去舊金山上了一堂課, 他有三件首飾讓我們選 – 戒指, 耳環, 和項鍊墜子. 我選擇銀戒子. 因為只有一堂課, 學校把很多步驟都做好了, 節省時間.


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