I don’t believe that a fast route exists, anywhere. What may cause
you some grief is the open admission that your objective is to open
your own business. The people that you need to help you gain more
experience and ramp up your technical ability won’t take you very
seriously if your primary goal is to gain independence as quickly as
By teaching you the finer points of jewellery making and holding
your hand while you slowly develop marketable skills, they are
investing a great deal of time and money in you. They need to know
that they will gain some benefit from your presence in their
establishment. This can’t, and will never be, all about you.
If your primary admission is that you want to fly as soon as they
give you wings, you won’t be invited into the nest. You need to share
only your shorter term goals. Make them lofty. Tell a prospective
employer that you want to be the best damned jeweller that you can
be, and let them know what’s in it for them during the long learning
Set the “way back” machine to when I was looking for work in the
trade. I visited a few jewellers, and one of them told me that he no
longer hired apprentices. When I asked why not, he answered, “As
soon as they gain enough confidence to work independently, they
leave to open their own shop, going into competition with me, and
they still don’t have a clue what they’re doing.” I left out the
What he told me was of tremendous help. I kept my dreams of
independence to myself from that point on.
My job hunting strategy was altered to include an honour-bound
assurance to prospective employers that I was in it with them for
the long run. It worked. I spent 25 years working for/with others
prior to opening my own studio, and at that point every debt to
every mentor was dutifully paid in full.
Committing yourself to that long a slog under the employment of
others probably won’t be necessary, but working your ass off will
be. You can’t learn someone else’s lifetime of work experience in 8
hours a day, 5 days a week in a few short years. You need to wake up
with it and go to bed with it, seven days a week, for many years.
Study, read good quality trade magazines, and practice every
difficult discipline until you no longer shed tears at your
failures, but can accept a high five from co-workers at every
success. I wish you the best of luck.