Dear amy! Here are the two main links for what you have in mind.
Europe has a strong guild tradition especially the Holland and
Germany. These guilds used to organise the manufacturing branches
since the middle ages. They are very organised and controlled.
generally all handcraft is learned by an apprenticeship, accompanied
by technical school. It takes 3 years. Trainig is very good
depending on Your “Master”. Additional one or two years to become an
entrepreneur or “master” of the craft. Of course you mght find the
"nice guy" who will take you in and train you without the school,
saying he is doing you a favour. But here in Europe that is mostly a
ripp off. As an apprentice you would get some pocket money,
regularly employed as a helping hand you will hardly get more but
never get a degree. The other approach is the design academy
approach. There is a very good academy in Amsterdam, the advantage
here is it is bilingual, dutch and english. Both are listed below.
Imho get some 3d rapid prototyping or prototyping training either
before or after you learn the craft. 3D prototyping is getting more
and more important in this field. But the USA is way ahead so
training will be easyer to find there than in Europe. Note that
although in holland almost everyone speaks english Vaksschool will
be held in dutch only.
Opleidingen means education/schooling
Goudsmit is goldsmith
Juwelier is more of a trader of Jewels
Leer means apprenticeship
Leerling is the apprentice
Vakschool means technical school
Gerriet Rietveld Academie Info:
inde= x=general&subject=inleiding Click Study, then product
design, then Jewellery
Main Page: http://www.gerritrietveldacademie.nl/
Next: Vaakschool Postjesweg 1 1057 DT Amsterdam Tel. +31 20 618 12
25 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com (Director)
Dutch gold and silver federation (in dutch)
http://www.federatiegoudzilver.nl Full of infos and Links
Hope this will help, Good luck and contact me off list for more, Poidi
Trauttmansdorff @F.M_Trauttmansdorff P.S. Amsterdam is a great city!