Levels of Bench Jeweler

Having some definition of the desirable skills to master at each level will assist all mentors in guiding their mentees to useful outcomes. When JA designed the Certified Bench Jeweler program, extremely important work was done to define the various levels of jeweler skill. Today, the JA no longer offers that program. But using the JA Professional Certification tests as guides, we have identified the following expectations for each professional jeweler level. These are just guidelines. You will have your own, important ideas about how to guide your mentees. After all, the nature of one-on-one mentoring is that the mentor also brings tremendous personal experience and opinions to the process.

But we believe general guidelines are an important way to help you to develop a personal program. After all, sometimes the hardest part of mentoring is just getting started!

By using the "expectations" below, you will have things to discuss every time you talk with your mentee. You may suggest a project out of an Alan Revere book, or a video you put on Youtube, or a project outline you once received when you were a student, or a few pages from Oppi Untracht's book . . . and we look forward to creating ways for mentors to share with and support one another, so the best resources for each skill level can be shared and known!

Bench Jeweler Technician Expectations

The Bench Jeweler Technician should be able to demonstrate all the following bench skills:

  1. Repair by reassembling and resoldering a number of basic types of chains and all types of clasps. Chain types include cable, rope, serpentine, byzantine, figaro, box, anchor, bead/ball, and the like.
  2. Assemble a pre-made bail and bezel and sete an oval cabochon stone.
  3. Prepare an oval head and fit to shank. Size ring and set oval stone.
  4. Repair the damaged tongue of a box clasp and install a new wire.
  5. File, finish, and size a ring casting.
  6. Solder and assemble earrings, including setting stones, and finish.
  7. Repair a ring: re-tip three prongs to match an existing prong.
  8. Assemble bracelet links so they are flexible. Then set three or more stones and finish.
  9. Know which type of solder to use for most repair situations, and why.
  10. Conduct basic casting operations; assembling a wax tree, investing, melt-and-pour using open or closed system.
  11. Understand chemical reactions and proper management of all chemicals used in daily jewelry production and repair.
  12. Ability to manage the growing process on a 3D grower for producing wax models for jewelry production.

Bench Jeweler Expectations

  1. Prepare a ring mounting, size, and annel-set round stones.
  2. Size a prefinished ring and set three stones of varying sizes.
  3. Assemble a platinum head to a 14-karat gold shank, set one stone, and install and size an adjustable shank.
  4. Re-solder posts to hollow earrings and refinish.
  5. Size rings and set fancy-shape center stones and tapered baguettes. Solder rings together.
  6. Clean up and size a casting of a man’s oval ring. Flush-set two round stones on either side of a center oval stone.
  7. Cut and weld a platinum wedding band with seamless solder.
  8. Understanding how to protect inlaid stones when sizing.
  9. Understand and practice basic alloy production and testing to ensure proper karatage when producing gold and sterling silver.
  10. Demonstrate understanding of oxidation processes in jewelry production.

Senior Bench Jeweler Expectations

  1. Create a hexagon stone setting. Saw the hexagon, lay out stones, pavé set 7 stones, bright cut, finish, and mill-grain.
  2. Channel-set straight baguettes in a ring.
  3. Carve a wax model according to a design specification that includes set stones and a specific finished size.
  4. Make a pin from heads, install a pin stem and joint, install a safety catch, and set three or more stones.
  5. Make a platinum wire pendant with a movable bail, and set a pear-shaped or fancy-shaped stone.
  6. Understand and perform all aspects of pave, including how to burr seats to same depth regardless of crown heights, manage bead relationships to stones, and match beads in height, width, and shape.
  7. Understand and manage chemicals used in less common jewelry production and design techniques.
  8. Understand and manage reactive metals when casting, soldering, and repairing.

 

BAJ Mentoring Program Expectations

The BEaJEWELER™ Mentorship Program is intended to produce well-rounded jewelers. We propose that mentors consider the following levels of skill as they guide their mentees through the program, alerting students to the types of projects they should be taking on and practicing, helping them with resources and suggestions for projects, and following up to find out how their efforts are progressing. Mentoring without a set of goals can quickly fizzle out. Mentorship with goals in mind will ensure that both mentors and mentees see measureable growth as a result of their discussions.

The mentor and mentee should, together, determine what level the mentee is currently at. Then, they should structure their ongoing conversations around moving up in the levels. We broadly describe these levels as:

  • Bench Jeweler Technician: A jewelry generalist that can perform jewelry repair. Typically achieved after about one year of experience.
  • Bench Jeweler. A well-rounded bench jeweler generalist that can perform nearly all jewelry repairs. Typically achieved with two or more years of experience.
  • Senior Bench Jeweler: A jeweler that can perform all bench jewelry tasks, with some additional areas of specialization and expertise.
  • Master Bench Jeweler: The highest level of jeweler, with mastery at all skill levels. Capable of taking on an apprentice and guiding them through the first three levels of skill.

For jewelers who take on apprentices (as opposed to mentees), you will be encouraged to tip their day-to-day training toward achieving these levels. Jewelers who pursue a mentorship role will guide their mentees to the resources needed to achieve these levels, and discuss with them not only their progress and questions, but also the resources available to fill in skill gaps and support their ongoing bench skill learning.

Having some definition of the desirable skills to master at each level will assist all mentors in guiding their mentees to useful outcomes. The Jewelers of America Bench Professional Certification program is no longer active, and the BAJ Mentorship Program is not a revival of that program. But good work was done, and it shouldn't be lost!. In designing the certification  program, extremely important work was done to define the various levels of jeweler skill. Today, there are no longer certification assessments to take to prove one’s skill at each level. But using the JA Professional Certification tests as guides, we have identified the following expectations for each professional jeweler level. These are just guidelines. The nature of one-on-one mentoring is that the mentor also brings tremendous personal experience and opinions to the process. But we believe these general guidelines can help you to develop a personal program that is roughly similar to the programs other mentors will also, independently, develop.

Mentorship Program

Be a Part of the BAJMentorship Program

The purpose of the BEaJEWELER™ Mentorship Program is to introduce prospective and apprentice-level jewelers to a career in jewelry-making, through partnership with professional jewelers interested in passing on their skills to future generations.

The Program

Purpose

The primary purpose of the BEaJEWELER™ Mentoring Program is to introduce prospective and apprentice-level jewelers to a career in jewelry-making. The jewelry industry has a centuries-old tradition of cultivating new artisans through apprenticeship, and we believe this model is the strongest still for developing the jewelers of the future. Continue

Expectations

The BEaJEWELER™ Mentorship Program is intended to produce well-rounded jewelers. We observe the levels of jeweler spelled out in the Jewelers of America Bench Professional Certification originally designed by Mark Mann. These levels are described as: Continue

The Levels

The nature of one-on-one mentoring is that the mentor brings tremendous personal experience and opinions to the process. But we believe these general guidelines will help our mentors to develop a personal program with similar scope to the programs other mentors will also, independently, develop. Continue

Joel McFadden

"Mentoring a jeweler is the best way I can think of to make a meaningful contribution to the future of the industry."

Owner and Designer at Joel McFadden Designs

Support

The BEaJEWELER™ team works tirelessly online and on the phones to find new participants. We also provide you with lots of tools and suggestions to do your own recruiting!

Our online assessment helps mentors and mentees make better matches based on shared goals. A great mentoring relationship starts with putting the best people together!

Our mentorship guide provides clear objectives for the relationship. This is really important, because it ensures that mentors and mentees have clear objectives in mind.

The BAJ team will follow up with mentors and mentees, helping you keep your mentoring relationships flourishing and ensuring that you all feel the success of your efforts.

Become a Mentor

Using our simple online form, set up your mentor profile. Questions? Just ask! Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 877-239-8820 and one of us will help you within one hour (or on the next business day if you're doing this over night or on the weekend).

Apply Here

You will notice that this is the same form used by schools and training programs. Skip the sections that don't apply to you! Make sure you select "individual" and "mentor" when asked to select categories.

Read on . . .

BAJ Mentoring Program Purpose

The primary purpose of the BEaJEWELER™ Mentoring Program is to introduce prospective and apprentice-level jewelers to a career in jewelry-making. The jewelry industry has a centuries-old tradition of cultivating new artisans through apprenticeship, and we believe this model is the strongest still for developing the jewelers of the future. But things have changed. Jewelry careers today are rarely passed from parent-to-child or guide-to-apprentice. Our society doesn’t foster the same notions of passing careers on, and young people are less inclined to pursue the careers of their parents. That has resulted in a break-down of the apprenticeship/mentor model, which has contributed to a shortfall of new entrants into jewelry careers.

The BEaJEWELER™ Mentoring Program is designed to re-introduce this objectives-oriented, one-on-one, approach to supporting and promoting new jewelers. Education (formal and informal) in the jewelry-making arts is an important part of learning the mechanics and material science required for success as a jeweler. But after the education comes practice — years of practice — and doing that practice with the guidance of an experienced jeweler will both shorten the learning curve and increase the value of the practice. For mentors, investing actively in the future of a student can bring tremendous professional and personal fulfillment, and reignite the fires of passion that they, too, experienced early in their careers.

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An Initiative of the MJSA Education Foundation

The BEaJEWELER™ initiative is sponsored by MJSA, the trade association dedicated to professional excellence in jewelry making and design.
This initiative was originally developed in partnership with the New Approach School for Jewelers in Arrington, Tennessee

© 2015-2019. All Rights Reserved. MJSA.

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