Over my years at Dartmouth, I’ve made a point of visiting each of the student workshops in spite of having begun as a complete novice at wood, metal and clay. Now that I’ve reached senior year, my parting advice to the ’21s is this: take advantage of at least one of the student workshops during your time at Dartmouth. The student workshops provide Dartmouth students access to equipment, materials and available instructors that are more difficult to find once leaving campus. Use it as an opportunity to relax and immerse yourself in a project, meet up with that friend you keep saying you’ll get lunch with, or reunite with your trippees.
Let’s start with the Donald Claflin Jewlery Studio. Here are a couple of the basics to get you started:
Before you go, make sure you meet these prerequisites
- Be a Dartmouth Student
- There are no other prerequisites. Just show up.
When to Come
The jewelry studio is open Monday through Saturday from 1-5 pm, Wednesdays and Thursdays 1-9 pm.
Finding the Student Workshops
The Jewelry studio is located in the basement of the Hop. The easiest way to find the studio is to take the set of stairs located directly across from the Hinman mail center.
If you want to show off your knowledge of Hop navigation or avoid crowds, there’s a secret entrance that will lead you directly to the studio. Between the Hop main entrance and the Hanover Inn entrance is a white door in a brick wall. It opens to a stairway leading directly to Paddock Library and the student workshops.
Working in the Studio
The employees in black aprons are there to walk you through techniques and provide suggestions on how to create whatever design you decide on. Additionally, the jewelry studio often has snacks or drinks and there is always tea or coffee available, so help yourself!
Your First Project
You can make anything! You can repair a broken necklace, recreate an artifact for your classics course, polish a stone you found on your study abroad, or make some simple key rings, pendants or cuff links featuring Greek letters. If you don’t have an idea, the employees will walk you through a list of ideas that include sample projects which take into account your available time, cost and aesthetic preferences.
If you are very indecisive, a quick and satisfying project for beginners is a band ring. This will teach you the basics of torch-wielding, soldering, filing and polishing. There are a lot of options on what to do with a band ring, such as stamping words onto it, adding a stone on top, or filing a pattern, so you can explore many possibilities for personalization.
The time commitment is whatever you want it to be. The studio will store your work-in-progress and you can continue to work on it for as long as you need to. If you really want to have a project finished by that day, let whoever is working with you know; they’ll be able to find a project you can complete within the given time.
Classes/Plan a group event
If you’d prefer a more structured environment, the studio offers classes for Dartmouth students on Thursdays 4:30-5:30 pm. These workshops are free and cover a variety of techniques, including stone polishing, cuffs and bangles, and making handmade metal beads.
You can also schedule a private class for a group. The jewelry studio is a great bonding activity for clubs, varsity sports, Greek houses and any other group on campus. If you have a group larger than five, email the jewelry studio director and you can arrange a time to reserve the studio for your group specifically.
Term fee for use of equipment is $12, or $32 for the year. After that, materials fees are based on what you use. It is possible to create a project that costs nothing from scrap metal available within the shop.
If you have other questions…
Email email@example.com or swing by the studio for 5 minutes! You can make absolutely anything in the jewelry studio, the possibilities really are endless, but there is no pressure at all to know what you’re doing.