Student Testimonials – Chris and Gail

As you may know, Kimberly teaches Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Jewelry Fabrication courses the Creative Arts Group in Sierra Madre, CA. Her classes are one night a week for 10 week sessions all throughout the year. For more information on joining a class, please visit the Creative Arts Group website here.

Kimberly teaching how to balance the flame on the torch.

Gail, a two year long student of Kimberly’s gave a very nice review of the class, and showcased one of her projects:

Our last project was a pendant and stone setting. It was challenging because we did prong setting for the first time with multiple stones of different sizes. We had to use different soldering options like; large piece to small, sweat soldering and attaching bails. This project pushed us with increased difficulty and improved our skills to another level.

Kimberly is a very knowledgeable teacher and her class is fun. It’s very social with amicable students. I can recommend this class the those who would like to try learning a new hobby and have fun doing it.

Gail Geiger, 2019

Chris, a student of 7 years, had chosen her favorite piece to showcase and gave a good idea of the techniques learned in class.

I call this piece “Mein Schatz” (My Sweetheart)I chose Sterling silver to create these sweet Giraffes as a pin. My favorite tool is the jewelers saw. I was able to make the body details by cutting through the metal with a 4/0 blade. I wanted a 3-D look, so I soldered a backing on for stability. The heads were lifted up by placing an extra piece of silver under them. I was able to practice my soldering skills with this piece, although soldering has always been difficult for me in the past, I am happy with this project. My inspiration is my daughter and her daughter (my grand-daughter) and the love between them. I hope I was able to stir a little love in peoples heart by creating this piece. 

Chris Sauer, 2019

Mein Schatz by Chris Sauer

Student Testimonial – Christine Panushka

As you may know, Kimberly teaches Jewelry Fabrication at the Creative Arts Group in Sierra Madre. One of her long time students has generously given a testimonial of Kimberly’s class:

I love making things. Creating jewelry is an extension of my art and experimental animation practice. My work explores stillness within movement, the significance of small gestures and non-verbal ideas related to the body, life cycles, emotional and spiritual states of being. My films have screened at numerous international film festivals and museums. In addition, I am a Full Professor in the John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts, School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California.

Titled “Midnight,” this piece is sterling silver, with a beautiful sodalite cabochon. I used two cuttlebone castings to make the figure and the bail. I think of the cat-like creature as an ancestor, riding high in the sky above us, watching.

Kimberly is an exceptional and patient teacher. I have been taking her classes for many years and will continue to do so as long as I can. I love our class, making and learning about silver fabrication.

Christine Panushka, 2020

natural silver pendant with sodalite cabuchon
Student piece: “Midnight”, Sterling silver and sodalite cabochon pendant



I wanted to share this letter of gratitude with all of you that I wrote to a very special woman in 2008. This woman, Lucille, had been in the jewelry business for many years. Later in life, when she became too old to do jewelry, she very generously donated a tub of tools to me and gave me the jewelry commissioning account at the Pacific Asia Museum to do their award jewelry every year. She was very sweet woman, and I thought you as a reader might enjoy hearing more about my career in the jewelry business.

September 11, 2008

Dear Lucille Lee Roberts,

I thought I’d write you a note to let you know how jewelry and the art of metalworking have been such a significant part of my life.

My interest started in 1974 when my friend and I started making hair ornaments with feathers and sterling silver. I continued my creative outlet at PCC and received honors for Superior Achievement in Jewelry and an AA degree with an emphasis in Jewelry Making. I sold my pieces at art shows from Santa Barbara to San Diego and had a consistent following of clients who continually encouraged my artistic capabilities. In 1981, I graduated from California State University at Long Beach with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Jewelry and Metalsmithing. From 1982 to 1984, I attended the Gemological Institute of America at Santa Monica (Graduate Gemologist Resident Program, Jewelry Arts and Gem Identification and Diamond Grading) where I absorbed the knowledge to attain the degree of Graduate Gemologist.

In 1985, I began working for a very special woman named Joyce Mitchell. She and her husband Sam, had a jewelry store named “MePohaly Jewelers” (meaning “We Push” in Polish) located in Covina. Joyce and I still work together on many projects even though her retail store closed in 1990.

In 2005, I decided to find a job that gave me a steady paycheck. Boxx Jewelers in Monrovia was just the place. We have a very established customer base since the business has been there for 86 years! Throughout the whole time I have kept my own business, which includes working for several other artists, doing casting, fabrication, piecework, setting, custom jewelry, and repairs.

At the end of this month, I will be teaching a beginning jewelry class at the Creative Arts Group in Sierra Madre, where I can share my knowledge of jewelry making and hopefully inspire others to find the joy and the excitement of the creative process.

Thank you for your generous donation of your precious tools to the Creative Arts Group.

With sincerity,
Kimberly Munson Nicholson
P.S. I use your bone handled burnisher every day…

Using Lucille’s tools to teach jewelry at the Creative Arts Group