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Apprenticing and more

Hello All,

I’m new to the Orchid forum, and just recently graduated from RIT
with a degree in Metalsmithing/Jewelry Design. In terms of my skills,
I am more inclined towards metalsmithing, i.e. hammerforming, chasing
and repousse, but do have fairly decent skill in soldering
considering my experience (give or take 5 years). Now, for jewelry
skills, I have learned the beginning steps to stone setting (tube,
surface, channel), as well as hollow fabrication, but have not had
serious experience with this to feel comfortable going in a new
direction with this.

I come to you all now with some questions:

  1. Does anyone have any advice or suggestions as to where to look (I
    am in the Washington, DC, area) for apprenticeships?

Based on what I’ve read from an Orchid member recently about his
experience with an apprenticeship that didn’t teach him what he
needed, should I expect certain things from someone willing to take
me on as such?

I am so new to this approach that I am not sure where to begin. I am
always interested in continuing further studies, but right now, I
need to make a little money so that I can start paying back school
loans. I have found work in a jewelry gallery, which keeps me in
touch with the field, but would like to learn about goldsmithing
before I jump into it on my own.

On another note, I would love to be a part of a mystery box fair
suggested by Hans. Being independently motivated right now has been
an adjustment, so to have a project of sorts would be a lot of fun.

Thank you, with much respect,

Another thought about apprenticing. There is no organized
apprentiship program in America anymore. When you say, “I want to be
an apprentice.”, you are in effect declaring that you don’t know
what you are doing. This is not to say, don’t do it. If you are
looking for an entry level position, though, you might do better to
say that you have “X” amount of experience, and leave it at that.
What’s in a word…