North Island College program will provide aspiring jewellery designers with the tools to make their craft into more than just a hobby.

North Island College introduces metal jewellery design program

Ready for jewellery making to become more than just a hobby?

Ready for jewellery making to become more than just a hobby?

NIC’s new Metal Jewellery Design program, starting September 2012 in Campbell River, will provide aspiring jewellery designers with the tools to do just that. The 28-week certificate program includes courses on jewellery history and design, Northwest Coast Aboriginal jewellery art, molding and casting, and gemmology, in addition to a course on business skills and commercial opportunities in jewellery design.

The program focuses on metal techniques and hands-on time in the studio.  Designed to stress the importance of individual creativity and artistic endeavor, the courses will provide students with the opportunity to conceptualize and create their own designs, with guidance from a variety of instructors, all of whom are skilled jewellery makers themselves.  Students will have the opportunity to work in copper, brass, silver and gold.

Jan Hellerud, a jewellery-maker for the past 26 years and lead instructor in the new program, has been teaching the beginning Silversmithing Workshop at NIC for many years. Her students, many of whom return year-after-year, began asking for more.  As a result, Jan talked with other artists about the idea of establishing a full-time Certificate program in jewellery making at NIC.

This fall, the dream of bringing together an accomplished group of jewellery-makers to offer a metal jewellery design program is finally coming to fruition. In Hellerud’s words, “This region is known for its quantity and quality of world-class jewellery designers. This program will take advantage of that wealth of knowledge, allowing students to learn from a variety of experts in all aspects of jewellery techniques.”

Not only are the instructors accomplished in the art of jewellery making, they also have extensive experience in designing and selling their jewellery at festivals, fairs, art galleries, and even from their own studios or galleries. As a result, students will also learn the business side of jewellery making and proven strategies for promoting themselves and their work.

Free information sessions will be offered on May 26 and June 14 at NIC’s Campbell River campus. Participants will be able to meet the instructors, learn about the courses, see jewellery making equipment and tools in use, and discover more about the field of jewellery making and design.

For more information about the program and to register for the upcoming information sessions, contact Julia Peters at or 250-923-9724, or visit and click on Continuing Education.