It's been 10 years since I moved to Oceanside, CA to go to the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, CA. I can't believe it's been that long. This is significant to me because I feel that GIA was the start of my professional career. I had been working in metal since Aug. 1996, but it was more of a hobby before I went to GIA.
While I was there I took, in this order, the graduate jeweler (GJ) course, wax carving, graduate gemologist (GG), jewelry design, and a short advanced stone setting class.
GJ class, spring 2000:
In the GJ class and wax carving class everyone makes the same thing. So I didn't make any of my own designs during the GJ class. I was able to do some of my own waxes during the wax carving class because I finished many of the assigned pieces quickly.
Here's one of my own designs I carved in 2000 during my wax carving class:
I didn't cast it till a couple years later, but the wax was finished in 2000.
We did our own designs in the jewelry design class. Below are some watercolor renderings I did in that class in spring 2001: