Victoria Lapidary and Mineral Society

Workshop

Lapidary Workshop and Courses
Lapidary Equipment
Basic Lapidary Course
Advanced Lapidary Course
Opal Lapidary Course
Beginner’s Silversmithing Course

Lapidary Workshop and Courses

Center map

Please Note – in order to take classes then use the workshop you must be a club member ($25) so our liability insurance covers you. You must join first before being put on a course waiting list. See the Membership information on the Club Info page for details.

The workshop is located at the Silver Threads Centre at 286 Hampton Rd, Victoria, BC V8Z 1H1

The Lapidary Shop email is – lapidaryworkshop@vlms.ca .

The workshop is usually open for drop-in use on Tuesdays 12 noon – 3pm,  Thursday evenings 6pm to 9pm and Saturdays 11am to 3pm. Please check the calendar for upcoming hours of access.

Lapidary Equipment

We have:

  • a 14″ oil-cooled Slab saw and two smaller trim saws
  • Five Diamond Pacific Genie Cabochon Machines with six wheels each to take you from initial shaping to final polishing
  • a small flat lap
  • a two wheel belt sander for initial shaping
  • a buffing machine which uses various oxides for alternate final polishing methods
  • a Dremel type tool for drilling holes etc.

Members can bring stones ( up to approximately five inches round, squareish or odd shape that may be accomodated ) to be cut on the slab saw by one who is qualified to use it. Fees for this are five dollars for 3 cuts or donate one slab to the club.

Basic Lapidary Course

Course dates are set when there are up to five people registered for a new course. They will be notified by email. Courses are popular and fill up very quickly. After joining email us at workshop@vlms.ca to be added to a waitlist for future courses.

  • Location – Courses are held in the club workshop at 286 Hampton Rd, Silver Threads – Les Passmore Seniors’ Centre next door to our meetings.
  • Location – Courses are held in the club workshop at 286 Hampton Rd, Silver Threads – Les Passmore Seniors’ Centre next door to our meetings.
  • Schedule – The schedule varies depending on the course and the day of the week that it is being offered.
  • Students – normal course load is 5 students for Basic Lapidary. 
  • Duration – Basic Lapidary is 8 hours in total. Total length of hours per class day is dependant on the instructor.

The course provides basic skill sets, safety and shop equipment usage for lapidary work and is a pre-requisite for all other lapidary courses. Participants will be given knowledge of equipment types, usage, safety requirements, rock selection and preparation, and lapidary skills required to complete cabochons. This is primarily a hands on course and you must have reasonable hand strength and coordination. You will complete a basic oval shaped cabochon, a free form cabochon, and a more complex cabochon such as a heart. Children above the age of 8 are permitted as long as a parent is taking the course with them.

Once you have completed the first part of the course covering safety and the use of the equipment you may attend the open workshops at the above times. It is asked that you do not work on the pieces you are working on in the course but practise on other pieces. Practising and watching more experienced members is very beneficial.

Course materials and tools are provided.

If you have fairly recent Lapidary experience you may be accepted into the shop after showing your skills and taking an orientation session on our equipment and safety procedures without having to take the course.

To see a slideshow on what the course helps you make check out this post.

Advanced Lapidary Course

Building on the skills learned in the Beginner’s Lapidary course, participants will select a group project to work on such as intarsia, a lapidary object d’ art, or other topic using more challenging methods and materials. Typically this course will involve use of a flat lap, standard arbours, and other lapidary tools. Participants should be proficient in the lapidary arts before attempting this course as the course is intended to challenge and build techniques.

There may be a fee for course materials depending on the project selected.

Opal Lapidary Course

The Opal course explores one of the most popular materials. Participants will learn how to grade and select opal, treat common issues, maximize yield and display of colours. You will produce a triplet (material provided), a singlet, and a doublet. You must be proficient in basic lapidary skills for this course and taken beginner’s lapidary.

Course materials are provided for a triplet, for the other cuts you can either provide material or purchase from club members.

Beginner’s Silversmithing Course

Provides the basis of skill sets, safety and shop usage for silversmithing work. Participants will be given knowledge of equipment types, usage, safety requirements, soldering, and basic silversmithing methods. This is primarily a hands on course and you must have reasonable hand strength and coordination. You will complete a basic silver ring and a bezel set pendant for a cabochon.

  • Location – Courses are held in the club workshop at 286 Hampton, Seniors’ Centre next door to our meetings.
  • Schedule – The schedule varies depending on the course and the day of the week that it is being offered.
  • Students – normal course load is 5 students for Basic Lapidary and 4 students for Basic Silversmithing.
  • Duration – Basic Lapidary is 8 hours in total, Basic Silversmithing is 10 hours in total.  Total length of hours per class day is dependant on the instructor

There will be a materials fee covering the cost of silver – Course tools and manual are provided. Beginner’s Lapidary is not required but recommended.

If you are interested in these courses or workshops and want more details please email us at workshop@vlms.ca for Lapidary. If you are interested in Silversmithing please email silversmithing@vlms.ca.