PCC offers a series of jewelry and metal fabrication classes that allow students to express their creative side through various projects, all due in part to Kay Yee, a 32-year veteran of the program.

Ashley Van Dylce, undecided, makes a spiner ring during the Art 36 class, on Monday, April 14, 2014. (Concepcion Gonzalez / Courier)
Ashley Van Dylce, undecided, makes a spiner ring during the Art 36 class, on Monday, April 14, 2014. (Concepcion Gonzalez / Courier)

Yee received her Master in Fine Arts (MFA) in metalsmithing, jewelry and crafts and thought it was important that other people interested in the craft were given the opportunity to learn the techniques. But after her many years of teaching, Yee is expecting to retire in 2015. She hopes someone will continue the program and make it stronger.

The ART 36 A-C classes offer jewelry/metal fabrication and jewelry casting that allows for a wide variety of projects that demonstrate the mastery of skills needed to excel in the craft.

“There is a wide range of students,” Yee said. “There’s an always changing curriculum, but the students who complete their projects love it.”

Karen Westerfield previously held a job as makeup and special effects artist in the film industry, but severe arthritis forced her to find something new to do in her free time. Westerfield said she always had an interest in metalsmithing when she was younger and is class has been the perfect outlet to explore her interest.

“[This class] is filling a huge void for me,” Westerfield said. “I use my knowledge from makeup effects to make things I love and Karen has been so encouraging.”

Westerfield recently won a jewelry craft scholarship for her pieces that were centered around Japanese food and folk art. She created metal pieces to resemble sushi and Japanese cranes.

Roxanna Morelli is in her second semester of the program and in the process of creating a spinner ring, a ring combination that is composed of a stationary ring with a moveable piece layered on top. Morelli is creating a spinner ring that she described as “a modern version of Game of Thrones.”

“I’ve always had a passion for jewelry making,” Morelli said. “I’m taking this class for fun and to further my education as a metalsmith.”

Yee takes her job very seriously because she finds it important that an instructor has to teach the techniques and teach them correctly so students are able to make the most of the program.

“People take these classes for person enrichment,” Yee said. “People want to explore themselves and someone with the knowledge and passion has to teach these techniques.”

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