Rivista Italiana di Gemmologia #2: Available NOW in English - September 2017; See Gemological Articles below for full details!
Welcome to the GemologyOnline.com Forum
A non-profit Forum for the exchange of gemological ideas
It is currently Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:29 am

All times are UTC - 4 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Looking for feedback on "Faceting Academy"
PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:45 am 
Offline
New to the Forum or The Quiet Type

Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:09 am
Posts: 10
Location: Chicago, IL
I was wondering if anyone has attended the faceting academy that John Bailey runs. I tried using the search function and only found mention on some of their videos. If I missed this being discussed before could you just post a link and I'll head there?

I am getting ready to purchase a machine and was looking at the available ways of learning how to facet. Do most people just recommend purchasing some good books and a little bit of rough and just giving it a go? Or did you attend some type of training that you feel was quite valuable?

Thanks!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Looking for feedback on "Faceting Academy"
PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:41 pm 
Offline
Valued Contributor

Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:46 pm
Posts: 118
Location: Tulsa Ok. area
Find out if there's a rock and mineral club in your area, they could have a shop and teach faceting.

_________________
Steve Richards
TRMS


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Looking for feedback on "Faceting Academy"
PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:20 am 
Offline
Active Member

Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:04 am
Posts: 96
Location: Idaho
Hey, Dave! Congrats on the machine purchase!

How you learn depends on your aptitude for learning, location, and finances.

I learned on a used faceting machine with one instruction book and occasional visits (once per year at the regional gem show 60 miles away) with a mentor. But then I was a snot-faced junior high kid, living way out in the woods being raised by wolves... OK, no wolves, but the rest is true.

Two great books: http://www.facetingbook.com/books.html

That is the slow and cheap way, and many folks (like my own father) get discouraged and quit. I was to stubborn and/or stupid for that. Tom's books are very helpful whether you want to go this way or not.

As Steve mentioned, some gem clubs (Columbia-Willamette in Portland, OR comes to mind) perhaps even still a few community colleges, offer classes in faceting, usually for a reasonable fee.

There are a few (very few) schools/camps/retreats around that offer fee-based classes. Also, you may be able to find an individual from a club who takes on students (skill levels vary wildly...)

And then there is John Bailey's Academy... I haven't heard anything - good or bad - about it, no reviews show up on line. Expensive, but so are the professional goldsmithing and CAD/CAM design classes I have taken so I can do my day job. Expert instruction is not cheap. Got the money? Want expert instruction?...

I just found this article and school list...

https://medium.com/justin-k-prim/a-comprehensive-study-of-gem-faceting-classes-around-the-world-4f0caf6902a3

Good luck, and be sure to post your successes!

_________________
Lapidarist by Love
Goldsmith by Necessity

Facetron
GemCad/GemRay
Matrix 8/Rhino 5
REVO A
EnvisionTEC Micro
Indutherm MC-15


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Looking for feedback on "Faceting Academy"
PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:57 am 
Offline
New to the Forum or The Quiet Type

Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:09 am
Posts: 10
Location: Chicago, IL
Thanks for all the info. I looked around the Chicago area but all the rock clubs don't do anything with faceting and I found no members with any info. I did attend a "intro to faceting" class about 200 miles away and had a great time (Midwest Faceters Guild).

I don't mind paying for professional instruction, but I thought it was odd that there was no feedback from any previous students of the Faceting Academy (other than what is posted on their website). It seems like a great idea, but the whole website is setup in a "infomercial" type layout.

I was also thinking about waiting until next year and attending a class at William Holland while Tom Mitchell was teaching. I also found that Jim Perkins does private lessons a few hours from me.

I already have those books on order so I might just dive in myself.

If anyone else has more recommendations on specific schools and/or instructors I would appreciate the info.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Looking for feedback on "Faceting Academy"
PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:16 pm 
Offline
New to the Forum or The Quiet Type

Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:28 pm
Posts: 7
I had always loved stones and lapidary and when I retired from an Aircraft Maintenance Career, I Bought a used Facetron and some clear Citrine and Amethyst from EBay. I watched all the YouTube Faceting videos and studied Tom Herbst' books , Jeff Graham's "Faceting the Right Way", and began my journey. You will need a small trim saw, a basic set of laps for cutting and polishing a magnifying visor or glass, 2 part epoxy , super glue and a hand held torch, 70+%alcohol & acetone. Either,Cerium oxide powder and a Darkside lap from Gearloose or utralap discs, and likely some 50k diamond powder if you go with a batt lap for final polishing. I went with steel laps for grinding and pre polish initially , that have diamond bonded to them in 300,600,1200,3000 and a 14000 lightning lap for pre polish that I rarely use. I find the worn 3000 lap now gives me a good pre polish and allows me to go straight to my Batt lap from Gearloose with 50k diamond for hard stones or my Darkside and cerium for Quartz. That was my initial setup and after I completed all the lessons and diagrams in those books, I find numerous Faceting diagram sites on the Internet to keep me Faceting for a lifetime. I would love to get the GemRay software and take some design classes in the future. My experience and capability has grown remarkably in the last year and I am now cutting very complex designs with confidence. I am nowhere near what I would consider a "competition grade" cutter. But my customers have blown the socks off some high grade jewellers with stones that I have faceted. Don't be afraid to jump in. The books are a must have, in my opinion and will get you Faceting in no time.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Looking for feedback on "Faceting Academy"
PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:05 pm 
Offline
Gold Member

Joined: Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:00 am
Posts: 1137
Location: Wylie Texas but in Alaska for a while
When I first got my machine I knew nothing at all. I bought the online video from the faceting academy and was very happy with the video. Since I am took the class, I get news letters from them which contain good information, and usually a nice facet diagram for a gemstone.

I would be very confident that his in person classes would be very good.

I have a few other recommendations for you:

1) look in the book store on the left of the page, there is a set of books that have come out that have been highly recommended. Look for Amateur Gemstone Faceing
Volume 1. As a minimum get vol 1. You can also get Vol 2, which has good information in it. If you search this forum for that title, you will see the thread of people who reviewed the book when it first came out. It has some very positive comments from people with a lot of experience.


2) Look for a Rock Club in youyr area, and see ifd they have people who facet. I live in the Dallas area, and there are 2 rock clubs. One has several c]facet machines and has classes. (but it is on the other side of town). There is a second one that was 5 minuts from work, and I would go there on the noghts that the workshop was open. There were 2 other faceters in the group. and they helped me get started.

3) do not start with a marble. I did, and it was cheap, but a pain to polish. VERY FRUSTRATING. Get some Garnet or Yag, or even CZ. IT may cost you a few dollars, but the experience will be a lot better.

4) DO NOT start with a SRB, it is to complex for a first stone. The faceting book has a nice initial design in it. I would start with it. You will have a nice looking stone, with a lot less frustration.



GOOD LUCK and please let us know how you get along.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Looking for feedback on "Faceting Academy"
PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:53 pm 
Offline
Valued Contributor
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2015 4:08 pm
Posts: 201
Location: Bangkok
I would like to hear feedback but there is another camp that's much more affordable and if you time it right you can do the basic and advanced class in 2 weeks for about $1600 which includes room and board. Northern Georgia. William Holland I think.

_________________
AJP, DG, working on GG + AG...
Faceting + Gemology Teacher at AIGS Bangkok
Gemology + Travel Writing + Photos -> http://www.justinkprim.com
The views expressed here are the author's opinions and do not necessarily reflect those of his employer.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Looking for feedback on "Faceting Academy"
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 10:28 am 
Offline
Gold Member
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 8:14 pm
Posts: 1377
Location: Royal Oak, Michigan US
Hi ChicagoDave!
We met recently at the Midwest Faceters Guild seminar in Michigan. Glad to hear the time spent ignited a passion in you!!

To take your desire to the next level, a few questions....
- do you plan to perform gem cutting as an occasional hobby?
- or, make it into a revenue generating operation?

- do you have open time to pursue serious training?
- and if so, are you available to travel for training?

- the William Holland School has the capacity to teach you basic faceting, but there will still be much you will need to learn to be effective, AND have fun doing it. You will need to travel to northern Georgia, when they have faceting on the schedule. Can google William Holland School. I believe they only operate from April to November.

- Faceting Academy is in Oregon - again, will need to travel. As noted earlier, it is operated by John Bailey, who is a very accomplished faceter, and has a passion for sharing his knowledge with others. His training isn't inexpensive, but then it seems anything worthwhile in the world of faceting is not. Currently, in North America, he is the preeminent faceting trainer. With John's training though, it isn't just about faceting, as you will learn about many other areas of the gem trade.

Such as: buying gem rough and doing it well, sorting for color, orientation, clarity, shape, best usage. Then, learn about good business practices in the gem world, working with out-of-country rough suppliers, best practices for gem photography, how to create gem designs, and when to use them as not all designs work well with each individual gem type.

John's schedule has been set up where he does the training (I believe) twice per year. But you will need to contact him directly to get further details. Can google John Bailey & Faceting Academy to find him.

- There are also options for training outside the US, if this interests you. There are 3 schools in Tanzania (done in English) that I have visited in recent years, as well as a school in Madagascar (performed in French). Prices for training are much less, but then you have the expense of travel.

Best of luck to you!

_________________
Warm regards,
Roger Dery
Royal Oak, Michigan US
http://www.rogerdery.com


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Looking for feedback on "Faceting Academy"
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:22 pm 
Offline
Gemology Online Veteran

Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:10 am
Posts: 526
If you are gonna " make it" as a faceted you will have to dop a stone, learn to use your machine ,
and will makes mistakes along the way...none of which will cost you much until you FEEL you are ready for the next step . Then you'll make them anyway ....going to an expensive class won't change that and if anything may make you think you know more then you do....
Save the money , make you mistakes anyway and then pay for them with the money you saved....
Read....then facet a bit till you have a problem...then come here or any number of free Facebook or other pages . All us faceters love to tell you how brilliant we are....we just all don't charge you for it


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Looking for feedback on "Faceting Academy"
PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 2:19 pm 
Offline
New to the Forum or The Quiet Type

Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 10:09 am
Posts: 10
Location: Chicago, IL
Roger, thank you for the reply. It was a pleasure meeting you and everyone associated with the Midwest Faceters Guild! I wish I lived closer to everyone up there, but it's nice to know you're not THAT far away.

To answer some questions - I would be gem cutting as a hobby with the hope of being able to sell stones eventually to basically just keep the whole thing running. Would it ever go further than that? No idea. I visit many art fairs during the year and have asked a few jewelers about their faceted stones and they all expressed interest in purchasing finished product if I ever get to that point. I get quite a few days off from work and have no problem travelling. I've never left the US, but it would sure be a great experience. (As a side note - I looked at your website and would love to one day attend your "Gemstone Adventure Travel"!)

Thank you for the feedback on the Faceting Academy. I liked the fact that it was a crash course on ALL things faceting - not just the cutting of the stone. I also understand the "just do it and learn from your mistakes" way of learning. It's good to know there are options out there either way.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Looking for feedback on "Faceting Academy"
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 1:09 pm 
Offline
Gold Member
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:10 pm
Posts: 1915
Location: PA
I would question the need to pay for training. The actual cutting of gemstones is not that difficult, and very logical. If you are a mechanically inclined person it shouldn’t be hard to teach your self. I have had no formal training, started cutting by reading what I could find back abou 15 years ago, and working it out. My first stone ended up with a fairly uneven girdle, but after the first stone, I had the process pretty much figured out. There were some frustrations with dopping and polish, but things have changed now, and with Gearloose laps, polishing has become much simpler and less of a dark science than it was.
By far the most difficult part of the activity is finding good rough, taking pictures of the stones and selling them.
I would take the money you thought you would spend on training and travel, buy a good new machine, and keep the rest for buying rough. Unless you intend on cutting lab created material, rough is by far the most expensive part, so much so that the equipment is negligible.
With no training, no lessons, no club visits, no hob-knobs or frolics, I have cut and SOLD thousands of stones for a total now over 1 million dollars.

_________________
Precison Gem
www.precisiongem.com


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Looking for feedback on "Faceting Academy"
PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:22 pm 
Offline
Moderator: Lapidary Diamonds
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:32 pm
Posts: 1530
Location: Florida, United States
Precision Gem wrote:
With no training, no lessons, no club visits, no hob-knobs or frolics, I have cut and SOLD thousands of stones for a total now over 1 million dollars.

And enough to purchase a Maserati or Lamborghini?

_________________
http://adamasfacet.com


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Looking for feedback on "Faceting Academy"
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:39 pm 
Offline
Active Member

Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:46 am
Posts: 89
Location: Tampa, Florida
I learned a lot from John Bailey just from watching his free YouTube videos! I imagine in person and for the amount of money he's charging you would get really expert instruction that would be invaluable. He really seems like a fair person that has something to offer the faceting community in my opinion.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 13 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 4 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
Gemology Style ported to phpBB3 by Christian Bullock