Published or Revised September 15, 2012
The TIJT faculty blends high technology with old-world craftsmanship, enabling jewelry technology graduates to be as comfortable at the work bench as they are behind a display counter.
Certificate programs are available in jewelry technology, casting and computer-aided jewelry design. Students may also earn an associate of applied science degree in jewelry technology.
Small classes provide a faculty/student ratio that ensures the individualized training that makes TIJT graduates in demand in the job market. The program is designed to teach the technical, manipulative and professional skills required in today’s market.
Courses are hands-on and begin with layout and basic fabrication, including sawing, filing, sanding and polishing. Students solder single and multiple jointed pieces, produce square wire with rolling mills and learn metal working characteristics. Polishing skills are developed on concave, flat, convex and round surfaces. Tool and equipment maintenance practices are also stressed.
While TIJT prides itself on state-of-the-art instruction, its jewelry program is also well known for teaching time-honored techniques such as “bright cut,” which is rapidly becoming a lost art. The repair sections of the course focus on retipping, sizing, making hinges, pendant fabrication and chain repair.
Lost wax casting emphasizes casting large and small flasks of molten metal to create the basic rough cast formations of rings, heads, pendants and other jewelry. Various casting techniques and equipment are used. A focus on industry standards is maintained on all projects. Wax carving, mold making and injection molding skills are developed in the creation of models used in the lost wax casting process.
Stone setting focuses on prong setting, bead setting and bright cutting techniques, including the repair of prongs and beads. Students size rings up and down and reprong, retip and rebead them. They also fit and shape all the tools for the job.
There is study and application of the different gem shapes, as well as fabrication of mountings for different stone shapes, textured finishes, metals and their alloys.
Projects in precious metals is the final set of courses in the TIJT jewelry program. All projects created by students in these sections are fabricated from 14K gold or platinum. Twenty-four-hour security is maintained in the lab.
Advanced techniques include the setting of fancy-cut stones such as Marquis, Pear Shape and Oval. Techniques include pave and channel setting.