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Apprenticing in Europe

Hello! I have been lurking on this list for quite a while now
and have learned a great deal, thanks everyone for all of the
great After all this lurking I finally have a
question for the list. Is there anyone on this list in Europe or
perhaps was recently trained in Europe? I am considering possibly
going to Europe to apprentice to become a full fledged jeweler
and am in need of some Presently I make jewelry for
the fun of it, having made a few rings and bracelets as well as
some earings out of brass and silver, but I would like to make
jewelry into a career once I am finished school. I have done a
good deal of looking at both university art programs and the
possibility of apprenticing in North America. But for reasons of
my own, the art schools do not work out very well for me and I
have been unable to locate anyone who takes on apprentices (does
anyone know of a Jeweler in North America who would be interested
in taking on an apprentice?). Therefore I am turning to Europe as
a possibility, short of going it on my own by trial and error. I
have a number of questions so I am going to list them in point

  1. How does the Apprenticeship system work in Europe, is the
    training in cooperation with secondary education institutions,
    are you paid a wage during your apprenticeship or is the work in
    trade for training?

  2. Where are the main Jewelry focal points in Europe, more
    specificly in France, Switzerland and Germany, I am particularly
    interested in France?

  3. How does one get an apprenticeship with a Jeweler in Europe,
    are apprenticeships advertized or do you just go knocking on
    doors with your portfolio in hand?

  4. If apprenticeships are advertized, what time of year do they
    usually come open?

  5. What is the deciding factor from the Mentors perspective when
    choosing an apprentice, is a portfolio expected?

  6. If a portfolio is expected, what should it contain, sample
    jewelry pieces, works in other artistic disiplines?

  7. How much, if any previous training in Jewelry and metals is
    expected when you go to apprentice?

  8. How are Visas and the like arranged while you are
    apprenticing, are you on a student or visitor visa or do you
    actually have to get a working visa?

Any help on the above questions would be greatly appreciated.

cheers Tristan

Tristan J. Meisters The Pas, MB Canada
Web Designer

P.O. Box 4348
The Pas, MB
R9A 1R2
Voice : (204) 623-3736
Fax: (204) 623-6932

You will find that there are jewelers on list who trained in
Europe. While that would be a fabulous experience, there are
things one can do in Amercia. They are;

  • go to the Paris (Texas) Junior College which has an excellent
    jewelry program. I know you already have a BA, that is
    irrelevant to jewelry.

-go to Alan Revere’s Academy, take all the classes and get

-take all the bench tests from JA/GIA and get certified

-go to GIA, take their JMA program (I’ve been told Revere is

-get active in your local metals guild and meet jewelers

-persistance and sticking around help

-get a low skill job in the jewelry industry, learn the trade

-join jewelry professional associations, get to know people

-ask American jewelers if they can use an apprentice

-work for nothing or nearly nothing if you have to.

If you’re willing to go to Europe, I’d think you’d be willing to
do these relatively small things. Moving about the US, joining
up, working for free.

I have gotten a jewelry education in the US that is a mish-mash
of trade school, university, and more trade school, and
specialized art school. Plus two (paying) apprenticeships which
I got by asking.

It can be done, and it’s not even that hard.

Perhaps you would get more out of your European adventure
after more skills improvement here. Why France? I would have
thought Germany.


Elaine Luther
Chicago, IL
Great Lakes