There are so many options for kids’ classes and mini-camps to ride out the rest of summer, but for my daughter, one activity stood out: jewelry making. She’s always loved beading and braiding friendship bracelets, and the idea of working with real stones and materials really appealed to her.
I brought her to Rutheny Jewelry, a cozy shop and teaching studio in Croton-on-Hudson owned by Jennifer Rutheny, a professional jeweler and teacher for more than 20 years. In addition to designing and crafting custom jewelry, Jen occasionally offers lessons for children 7 and up. My daughter spent three hours one afternoon beading and crimping a necklace with real stones, cutting copper wire coils to make a bracelet, and designing earrings for me. Not that I don’t love the stuff she was making before with macaroni and plastic beads, but just take a look at her actual creations that afternoon!
Jen is a natural teacher — gentle, patient and encouraging. After showing the students how to tackle each project, she provided ideas but also gave them room to get creative. They learned plenty of vocabulary, from the names of stones and metals to what the tools they were using are called. At the beginning of the lesson, the kids were really excited — a little too excited, I feared, to be handling tiny stones and pointy instruments! — but by the end, they were as mellow and relaxed as Jen, completely focused on what they were doing.
Rutheny Jewelry is offering children’s classes on Aug. 17 at 9-12pm, Aug. 23 at 2-5pm, and Aug. 24 at 1-4pm ($75 per class); as well as two sessions of mini-camp, Aug. 19-22 at 9-12pm, or Aug. 26-29 at 1-4pm ($300 per session). Classes are limited to six students each; reservations must be made in advance at 914-271-0980 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Teen and adult classes are available as well. I highly recommend these classes; the pieces that are crafted by the kids would also make awesome gifts.
Rutheny Jewelry, 80 Brook Street, Croton-on-Hudson; 914-271-0980