A fast paced introduction to the art of jewelry making. This Silversmith class covers the basics including soldering, filing, and sawing, polishing, riveting and cabochon stone setting. The classes are project based and students learn through fabrication while finishing one to two pieces of jewelry over the duration of the course.
As part of the course students can take a tour of the jewelry district visiting tool and equipment suppliers and a lapidary for stone cutting and supply. We also take in a casting house where students will see the lost wax process first hand and watch a master mold maker at work.
Michael Fitzgerald attended the national College of Art and Design in Dublin, Ireland. He studied a wide range of arts and crafts before finding that Jewelry was the medium he had most interest in. After graduating in 1990 with honors, he joined an EU sponsored program of further study in the Centro de Arte and Comunicao in Lisbon, Portugal. There he studied with the renowned jeweler Terese Seabra, this was also his first introduction to co-operative jewelry studios.
Upon returning to his native Ireland in 1991, he proceeded to set up Rubicon studios with several other well known Irish Jewelers. Over the next several years Michael developed his ranges and skills, exhibiting both commercially and in galleries nationally and internationally. In 1992 he was named Irish jewelry designer of the year for his collection of wearable perfume bottles.
In 1996 Michael began to divide his time between Dublin and New York. In 1999 he was granted a special merits artist visa at which point he set up a new studio which he now runs with his wife Hiroyo Fitzgerald.