Being a goldsmith may not be the most obvious career choice for an Illustration major, but alumna Brianne Schulze (CCAD 2012) decided to follow that path and now holds a position as an apprentice at Diamond Cellar in Columbus, OH.
At the Diamond Cellar, Schulze is learning from the ground up, starting with the basics and focusing on precision and technique.
"I’ve been able to get a feel for different metals and how they act," Schulze said. "I will soon be learning more of the bench work such as repairs, ring sizing, stone setting, and wax carving."
"There is always something new to learn, and about a million and one ways to accomplish a certain task,” Schulze said. “This is one of the many things I find to be both exciting and challenging, and I've always been a sucker for a challenge."
Schulze was completing her class requirements for an Illustration major when her interest was piqued by something she had no prior experience in, jewelry. During her junior year, she took a beginning jewelry/small-scale metals class, and from there her career path took on its new direction.
"Prior to this class, I knew absolutely nothing about soldering, annealing, riveting, or just about working with metal in general," Schulze said. "It was also my first sculpture class, and it opened an entire new outlet for me."
Ring designed by Schulze
Her class with professor Kelly Malec-Kosak taught her not only the techniques needed to work with jewelry and metal, but also how to approach problems with a “fearless mindset.”
Schulze pushed herself to do as much as she could with the time that she had at CCAD. She was the chair of CCAD’s annual Art of Illustration Show and was also the lead work study assistant in the Illustration department's office.
Professor Stewart McKissick chose Schulze for that position not only for her talents, but also for her maturity, self-discipline, communication, and leadership.
"By taking full advantage of the many opportunities that the college offers for creative individuals to explore, Brianne was able to grow beyond the usual notions of what people might initially think of as an Illustration major," McKissick said.
"I really just wanted to take advantage of as many learning opportunities as I possibly could while at CCAD," Schulze said. "The closer I got to my senior year, the more classes I wanted to take because I knew I wouldn’t have an opportunity like this again."
Schulze's career path does not end here; she hopes to one day become a designer for Diamond Cellar.