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[apprenticeships] traditional approach

 Please do not talk to me about schools. I have seen enough
diplomas.  A school is a business, they do not eliminate, they get

Klaus, I definitely agree with you about the schools story…
Although my experiance only concerns the Cape Technikon course, where
I’m trying to get a Jewellery Design and Manufature Diploma
part-time, it would appear that they are only interested in making
money like any other business.

For example: this year we have a 4th year student “teaching” the
Partimers who frankly doesn’t have the dedication, interest or
experiance to efficiently direct us, and we always seem to have to
constructively fight to get ANYTHING done.

After almost 2 years of battling through, I’m starting to wonder
where this is really gonna take us… All 10 part time students
(decreasing by the month) have had our confidence knocked really hard
this year and I think it is mostly because of the type of lecturer we
have been given.

I also suppose that because jewellery is a craft (as well as an art
form) which needs loads of practise to get it precisely right, really
is not helping us at Ctech. We only have 3 hours, 3xtimes/week to do
our work and in which time we seem to get more stuff-ups than
successfully completed projects…

Personally, I would love to obtain an apprenticeship with a Master
as I know that this course, although it could be a good start in the
industry, still wouldn’t have touched base with 90% of what needs to
be learnt.

But I also think that it takes a very special person to be able to
be gracious, patient and merciful enough to be able to teach an
apprentice whilst still being able to make his/her own deadlines.
After all, we’re only human ;O) I take my hat off to all those
masters who have successfully managed and schooled the next
generation of metalsmiths for the jewellery industry… :O)

I think that’s enough of my 2 cents for the moment!

chow for now eps


Ethel, you might have been meeting the wrong schools or teachers. I
did MY 9 year apprenticeship with ONE fellow…now I am now teaching
my 12 students (of all ages) the correct way to do stone setting. I
teach them as I was taught ; with great care and diligence, and
careful understanding. but I make it an interesting “fun” time, so
there are no boring lectures. lots of take home work projects…the
reason is that after 4-5 lessons, there might be a drop-off of
understanding. so I always show these folks some work projects a get
to my own bench from my shop… every night is a stimulating
experience. questions galore, light chatter, black-board drawings,
everything to keep them alert. some of these folks actually visit me
at my own shop or read my web-site or ask me about my own past
projects and lives experiences …this is why I am happy to pass
on MY diamond setting teachings to these mature adults, here in
Toronto, Canada…:>) “Gerry, the Cyber-Setter !”” North America, toll free:1-877-850-0003
Member of: SNAG, MJSA, J/A, CJA, FSG Contributing writer to the
following: WWW. JDWTN.COM & “BENCH” magazine


Hi all, To be fair, the Technikon student’s display was not bad at
the 2002 Jewellex Show - there were some good jewellery designs and
concepts to be seen. The quality of the lecturers vary from tech to
tech, and to be sure, there are some very large egos, amongst some
good teacher ones… Cheers Hans