Jeweler Steven Brownlee, founder of educational jewelry studio Jewelry Creations Workshop in North Miami, Fla., is using his skills and resources to bring jewelry design and creation to at-risk kids.
The Miami Herald reports that Brownlee recently launched Young Metal Artist, a program designed specifically for underserved children in South Florida. The endeavor has forged partnerships with local service organizations including Pridelines, Miami Bridge, and Lotus House Shelter.
The program hosts jewelry-making workshops for kids who are often short on opportunity (and chances to explore their creativity) in locations including libraries and schools.
In a recent Young Metal Artist class at the North Miami Beach Public Library, an instructor taught a group of kids to make shapes such as rings and hearts out of metal, and also bracelets and pendants, the outlet reports.
“We empower our students to express themselves creatively through the jewelry they create while finding within themselves a creativity and a skill that can be hard to find while in the midst of deep and challenging struggles,” Brownlee told the newspaper, which further reported that Brownlee hopes to “expand the free classes to include more of his own instructors and materials and to increase the number of project service dates.”
D’Mychal Norwood, a recreation specialist for Miami Bridge Youth and Family Services, said in a prepared statement from the organization, “Young Metal Artist has given our youth a chance to express themselves creatively and therapeutically. Miami Bridge services at-risk youths from various backgrounds. These youths are deprived of healthy outlets to their daily tasks and struggles. Wire jewelry-making came to them as a new concept that created a healthy venture into self-expression. Each youth who participated is able to create a fashionable piece of jewelry, which was cherished by each of them.”
Jewelry Creations Workshop owner Steven Brownlee teaching a jewelry workshop for kids through Young Metal Artist (photo courtesy of Jewelry Creations Workshop)