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The Introduction to Jewelry Making class at NextFab’s North Fourth location teaches the fundamentals of jewelry making and supports the Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society. Sign up for a class and see why the Jewelry shop at North Fourth is such a gem!

Melissa Guglielmo teaching the Introduction to Jewelry class at NextFab
Resident expert Melissa Guglielmo teaching the Introduction to Jewelry class at NextFab North Fourth

Class Fundamentals

Working at a small scale presents a unique set of challenges. In the introductory class, students learn about material choices as they relate to function, weight, scale, and durability. They learn to use hand tools including jeweler’s saws, files, stamps, and hammers to a great degree of precision. Drill presses, tumblers and flexshaft rotary tools are covered to aid in the fabrication and necessary clean up.

A Project With a Cause

Melissa Guglielmo teaches the class, “The class project is a pet name tag or key chain and I demo this as members step through learning the fundamental skills. After making up a few imaginary pets like Fluff the dog and Theo the turtle I decided I should reach out to a local pet shelter to see if I could potentially pass these tags on to a pet in need.”

Pet tags from the jewelry class NextFab
Pet tags from the jewelry class including a tag for Mink the cat made by member Alia Rahman

The Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society or “PAWS” is a non-profit no-kill shelter that aims at providing affordable care and services to find homes for thousands of animals every https://reviahome.com year. Guglielmo reached out to PAWS’ development manager Sara Schoenleber to coordinate providing tags, made in class, to PAWS rescue animals. “Since the class project uses letter stamps to personalize the tags, we decided that making tags for their list of Urgent Adopt animals would be a great solution. I am able to pull up the website at the start of class and select a furry friend in need to make a tag for. Students are invited to select an animal to make a tag for as well if they don’t have a personal project in mind already. These tags are then included in the adoption starter kit that PAWS provides to their new adopters.”

Finishing a copper pet tag
Finishing a copper pet tag

Introduction to the diverse world of jewelry:

“Humans have created wearable jewels for over 100,000 years out of a wide range of materials starting from bone and shells and developing to include metal and precious stones. When metal working began the possibilities expanded – metal can be drawn into wire, flattened into sheet, cast into dimensional forms and at the end of the day can be melt down and recycled! Today, we adorn ourselves using a lot of the same techniques and materials – what jewelry do you wear everyday? what does it signify to you – a loved one? a social status? From wedding bands to medals of honor, metal can be manipulated to create endless jewelry designs.” – Melissa Guglielmo