New York--The New York Jewelry Design Institute has launched a trilogy of courses meant to encourage jewelry designers to become entrepreneurs.

The courses focus on expertise in digital design and introduce students to local manufacturing opportunities in New York City that “make 3-D files a wearable reality,” the institute said.

In “Understanding Jewelry CAD” students will learn the ins and outs of leading jewelry CAD program 3Design, creating their first computer-aided jewelry designs and then having the option to create a rapid prototype in wax using the 3-D file they have created.

NYJDI also said it will make in-person introductions between students and companies in the city that can print and cast prototypes in gold or silver, as well as set stones, to help produce a finished piece.

“Designing in Shaper” is meant to help enhance 3-D skills, building on those developed in the 3Design program. Shaper and 3Design are combined in this course for comprehensive jewelry modeling, which also will teach innovative freeform artistic sculpting and texturing.

“Although nothing will ever take the place of a beautiful handmade piece of jewelry, designers today are moving more and more into the digital age,” said Jenine Lepera Izzi, creative director of NYJDI. “Learning all the tools that are available is very powerful. There are things you can do by hand that you cannot do in CAD, just as there are things done in CAD that cannot be done by hand. Being able to do both creates phenomenal pieces, and we want to be sure we help aspiring local jewelry designers succeed in the business.”

The third course in the series, “Sculpting with ZBrush,” teaches the basics of jewelry sculpting by creating key jewelry forms. ZBrush allows those looking to take things to the next level to enhance the digital jewelry CAD files with structural details, like digital clay.

“Designing in Shaper” is a six-session class, held every Monday from now through April 24 at a cost of $375. “Sculpting with ZBrush” also is a six-session class, held every Thursday from April 25 through May 30, for $395. Meanwhile, “Understanding Jewelry CAD” is flexible and offered as private lessons throughout the year. It costs $1,695.

For more information about the courses, contact NYJDI at 212-777-5393 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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