Class Descriptions

William Holland School of Lapidary Arts

Opals - Carlos "Carl" Talbott

[05/19, 06/16, 07/28, 08/04, 09/29, 10/06]

A basic course in identifying, cutting, and polishing opals, this class is a structured approach for beginners using a ten-piece kit containing selected common and precious opals. The fee covers the cost of the kit plus all necessary supplies. After completion of the kit, students will be able to cut all types of opals with ample help and guidance. Students may bring their own opals or purchase from an extensive in-house inventory. Friday afternoons are reserved for evaluation and constructive criticism of opals cut during class using a methodology developed by Dr. Paul Downing.

Lab Fee:US$70Estimated Materials Cost:$40+Prerequisites:none[Back to Top]

Opals - Cheryl Kasper

[09/01]

In this class, you will learn about various types of opals, how to cut and polish opal, how to “read” a stone before and during cutting, various equipment and supplies used to cut, opal valuation, and why opal is such a unique and mysterious gemstone. Focus will be on Black Opal, Lightning Ridge mining and geography (why these opals can be tricky and how to approach them), and opal fossils. Various priced opals, books, and supplies are available for purchase. Previous class in opals is encouraged but not required. Students are invited to bring their own opal as well.

Lab Fee:US$30Prerequisites:none

Examples of work done in this class

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Opals - Joe De Pietro

[05/26, 06/02]

This class covers cutting Australian opal, Boulder opal, Mexican opal, Ethiopian opal and Spencer opal. Joe teaches making doublets and triplets in addition to freeform and calibrated opals. His class uses the Genie, Pixie, Ameritool universal flat lap, band saw, trim saw, buffers and anything else that is new to the market. He also covers using Opal Cure, a method he invented to seal cracks in opal and all stones including agates using a simple technique. He also discusses appraisal methods and everyone appraises one of their stones using an Australian appraisal system on a computer that generates a printed appraisal sheet. There will be a class lab fee for consumable materials used in class. It will also include materials for one tripod shape using reconstituted borders and opal chips in epoxy. Opal rough for the week averages $100+, depending on the grade of opal desired. Opal and ring findings for inlay will be available for purchase.

Lab Fee:US$35Estimated Materials Cost:$50+Prerequisites:none

Examples of work done in this class

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Opals - Sarah Lee Boyce

[04/14, 04/21, 04/28, 05/05, 06/23, 06/30, 07/07, 07/21, 08/11, 08/18, 08/25, 09/08, 09/15, 09/22, 10/27]

Sarah Lee has been cutting opals since the early 1990’s. She teaches a structured 14-step method for cutting and polishing various types of opal. The 14-step method was created by Sarah Lee for Opal cutting because the opal rough can be very unforgiving and the “play of color” needs to be released very slowly, as Sarah Lee says, “It is not an agate.” The finished opals are cabochons but the actual cutting method is different, thus the 14-steps. For the first two days of class, opals are cut from a kit provided by Sarah Lee. Students may bring their own opal rough or the instructor will have many types of opals, books, and various supplies available for purchase. The lab fee includes the opal kit, which contains 8 opals, a doublet, and triplet. After completion of the 10-piece kit, students will be able to cut all types of opals with her help and guidance. Friday afternoons are reserved for evaluation and critiquing of the opals cut during class. Instructor will contact each student prior to class.

Lab Fee:US$70Estimated Materials Cost:$40+Prerequisites:none

Examples of work done in this class

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Opals Adv. - Sarah Lee Boyce

[05/12, 07/14]

In response to requests from former students, Sarah Lee is offering a master class in opals in which students will work with their own stash of opals in independent study under Sarah Lee’s guidance. In this class, students will construct an opal mosaic using opal chips; pendants; and Opal Inlays, (by using opal material that may otherwise be thrown away). Students, who would like to try their hand at opal carving, should bring their Dremel or Foredom for use in this class. Instructor will contact each student prior to class.

Lab Fee:US$70Estimated Materials Cost:$40+Prerequisites:2 Opals classes

Examples of work done in this class

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Opals Adv. - Sarah Lee Boyce

Carving

[10/20]

The carving class will concentrate on the free-form, flow carving of opals. This will include methods for polishing uneven sculptured surfaces. Students may bring a flex shaft tool such as a Dremel or Foredom. Additional tools will be available for use in carving, plus a variety of other equipment and materials to (finish) their pieces. Instructor will contact each student prior to class.

Lab Fee:US$70Estimated Materials Cost:$40+Prerequisites:Opals Adv.

Examples of work done in this class

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