Ed, I am someone who has been where you are. Your professors
are trying to brainwash you into thinking you’ll never have to
"lower yourself" to doing any repair work and make anything
other than what you design.
I came out of school thinking just like you are now, and I was
in for a real shock. Ed, galleries are interested in one thing.
Making money. No matter how much they like your work, they
might even carry it in an exhibit, they won’t buy it wholesale
unless their customers will eat it up. Unfortunatly, most
customers don’t have the good taste that we had learned to be
accustomed to in art school.
When I got out of school, I had to support myself. I chose to
get a job in a jewelry store as a goldsmith’s apprentice, as
well as develop my own designs. Later in life I had to support
an infant on my own and got a job as an apprentice sheet metal
mechanic (I left a 1st class mechanic). I will never regret the
experience I got in those two areas. Today I do major art and
fine craft shows and some galleries. My first love will always
be my one of a kind pieces, but I also have a production line
which is affordable and pays the bills.
Good luck to you! I suggest you take as many business classes
as your scedule will allow and talk to people like me who have
been out here in the real world (giggle). By the way, I make a
pretty good living now, have a name for myself and would rather
make jewelry than almost anything else. Wendy Newman