California Institute Marks 20 Years

May 1999

Precious Metals & Bench:News

California Institute Marks 20 Years

School counts leading bench workers among its alumni

The California Institute of Jewelry Training, Sacramento, commemorates two milestones this year – the school will celebrate its 20th anniversary and will present a diploma to its 800th graduate.

The school, founded by Dee Rouse Huth, offers six-month bench jewelry courses. Among its alumni are leading jewelers who own their own stores, trade shops and manufacturing facilities, including many in foreign nations.

Rouse Huth started her jewelry career in sales and was a business partner with Ben Nighthorse Campbell, a jewelry manufacturer who now is a U.S. senator. She later sold findings and supplies and, through an outreach program of American River College, offered classes for hobbyists, taught by her bench jeweler. This gave her the urge to enter jewelry manufacturing. But she had trouble finding trained jewelers, which provided the impetus for the school.

Rouse Huth developed the curriculum with the support of Sacramento-area jewelers. Today, instructors include Iris Wilson, assistant director, a gemologist who was a long-time employee of Gleim the Jeweler in Palo Alto, CA; Todd Sullivan, director of education and formerly production manager at Bagley & Hotchkiss, Santa Rosa, CA; plus several retired jewelers. Classes are taught in English, Spanish and German.

The school is approved as a Private Post Secondary Training Institute by the state of California, as a veteran training program by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and by the U.S. Department of Immigration and Naturalization Services to train M-1 class vocational students from abroad.

Rouse Huth hopes soon to move the school into another building that will include a gallery featuring the work of past and current students. Meanwhile, she's organizing an anniversary celebration for Oct. 2. Former students are urged to contact her at (916) 487-1122 or

– by Jack Heeger

Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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