An awards and recognition ceremony was recently held for students attending Paris Junior College’s (PJC) Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology (TIJT).
Each semester the TIJT Student Association holds a design contest consisting of several categories. Winning students included Erica Smith in Rendering, Sarah Helluin in Wax Carving, Caroline Brady in CAD Rendering, Tyler Neves in both Metal Arts and Steam Punk, Angelica Guevara in Lapidary, Jon-David Wiley in Restoration, and Jory Wall in Finished Pieces and as overall winner.
Students also heard from second generation watchmaker Clay Minton. Minton who began learning the trade from his father at age 12, has been in the watch repair and restoration business for 33 years and has authored several articles for jewelry and watch trade magazines. He has won the President’s Award from the Texas Watchmakers Association and was named an Industry Star in 2001 by Jewelers of America.
Minton repairs and restores Zodiac watches to museum grade for the Zodiac Watch Company museum. Married, with two married daughters and five grandchildren, he sits on PJC’s TIJT Industry Advisory Board. Minton praised the start TIJT offers to students, and then discussed what was needed to stand out in the field.
“The best people in this profession know what they want,” said Minton. “They want to be the best they can be. They set goals - daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals. They write them down and set time lines to accomplish them. They want it more and have the desire to continue to get better and better. They look for ways to be more profitable, continue learning, and do little things better than their competition.
“The best people in this profession have focus and determination to get things done correctly. They overcome their fears, get out of their comfort zone and address their weaknesses... I hope you will continue to strive to be extraordinary.”
Next on the program was the awarding of the Stuller Awards for Excellence given by Stuller, Inc., of Lafayette, La. The company provides credits to aid graduates in obtaining needed supplies. Stuller supplies tools, findings, and materials needed in the industry. The $500 Platinum Award went to Jory Irvin Wall of Glasgow, Mont.; the $300 Gold Award went to Sarah Helluin of Mandeville, La.; the $200 Silver Award was presented to Jon-David Wiley of Hartselle, Ala.; and Casey Farrell of Homer, Alaska was awarded the $100 Bronze Award.
Receiving certificates in Jewelry Technology were: Samantha Lanphier of Pearland, Tex., Jonathan Du Bois of Lafayette, La., David Glen Limbaugh of Pattonville, Tex., John Bentley Anderson of Yazoo, Miss. and Helluin.
Bench Technician certificates went to Lanphier, N. Katharine Steadham of Dallas, Tex., Tala Sariah Fleenor of Dallas, Hanna Rose Piñion of McAllen, Tex., Farrell, Michael Zackary Kirby of Lewisburg, Tenn., Wall, Katelyn Burgess of Clarksville, Tex. and Alexandro Reyes of Fort Worth, Tex.
Receiving certificates in Computer Aided Jewelry Design were Helluin and Neves.
Casting certificates went to Brady, Du Bois, Helluin, Kirby, Lanphier, Steadham, Wall and Deborah J. Smith of Paris, Tex.
Wiley received a certificate in Horology Technology.
For more information about Paris Junior College and its Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology please visit www.parisjc.edu.