Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Distant Learning for Small Casting Business?


#1

I am seeking any recommendations or advice on distant learning
programs to get me started in a part-time small casting business or
[retirement] hobby.

I live in the Central Florida (Orlando area) and work full-time in
the software industry. I realize that learning this way can only
supplement hands-on with a mentor or instructor but this is an
interest I’ve had for years.

Operating on a “shoe string” budget is not necessarily a long-term
requirement or goal for me. I am particularly interesting in learning
about the entire process and the affordable technology…from CAD/CAM
design software, Milling, Wax Injection, Burnout, Casting, etc. Also,
please email me if you wouldn’t mind answering questions, serving as
a mentor or offering advice via direct (one-on-one) email.

Thank you.


#2
    I am seeking any recommendations or advice on distant learning
programs to get me started in a part-time small casting business
or [retirement] hobby. 

That would be rather like doing learning surgery over the internet.
Can’t really be done. Read some books, but you’ve got to get hands
on lessons. There are a number of trade schools in Florida, look them
up. And join the Florida Society of Goldsmiths, they have workshops.

Elaine
Elaine Luther
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay


#3

Elaine:

        That would be rather like doing learning surgery over the
internet. Can't really be done. 

I learned casting from reading books 20 years ago and have never had
a workshop in jewelry casting. Taught myself pewter casting also
from reading. The difference in learning casting versus surgery is
that casting mistakes are not fatal, usually anyway. I make a
fulltime living at this and perhaps I am unusual, but it is possible.
The real problems in learning casting comes when one has mastered the
procedure of sprueing, investing, casting, etc. and then the
problems of porosity, incomplete fills, and other ailments start to
surface. These problems require a certain amount of “engineering” to
overcome and will plague even experienced casters at times.

I’m sure that hands on lessons would be the best way to learn, but it
is not impossible to learn from books alone. I believe there are some
videos available also that might really help.

Ken Gastineau
Gastineau Studio
Berea, Kentucky


#4

Dear Elaine,

I would have to strongly disagree with your contention that it is
absolutely essential to have first hand instruction to learn
casting. It may be that you are biased inasmuch as you are an
instructor. And, while I do agree that having first hand instruction
is a better way to go in terms of speeding up the learning curve
,this does not mean that one cannot learn from personal experience
and good instruction manuals and books. I have never had a lesson of
any kind , but I am a competent lapidary, caster, fabricator, wax
carver, etc. etc. I HAVE watched skilled people do their jobs and I
have a library of technical manuals and books that few metropolitan
libraries could match. It is a very personal thing…some people
thrive on self teaching and others prefer close guidance. And, it
doesn’t really matter at all. If you have passion for what you are
doing, chances are that you will do it well and learn very fast
because you are motivated.

Ron Mills, Mills Gem Co. Los Osos, Ca.


#5
I learned casting from reading books 20 years ago and have never had
a workshop in jewelry casting. Taught myself pewter casting also

I knew somebody was gonna call me on that one. I still hold that
classes are worth the money. It saves you time and effort and money
lost in making mistakes.

Elaine
Elaine Luther
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay