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Learning Silver Smithing in Europe


#1

My wife and I have been in Germany for a year. She had just began
learning silver smithing prior to our arrivial. Living in the
Kasierslautern area we have not had much luck locating a school that
she could learn from. Mostly this is because of the language
difficulties. Any assistance on locating english taught courses in
Germany would be very helpful. Or if there is any possibility of
learning from a jeweler that is also a something she would consider.

Troy


#2

Fot anyone wishing to spend some time in the UK learning our trade
here is a website that gives addresses of colleges all over the UK,
offering courses in goldsmithing, silversmithing and jewellery
design and making. http://www.teg.co.uk/jewelscl.htm. The most
popular ones to my knowledge are the Kent Institute of Art and
design and the Sir John Cass at the London Guildhall University,
nearly all London colleges are well staffed and offer good courses.

Although I do have one gripe about the teaching establishment in the
UK, many colleges only have teachers who have only learnt their
skills through college education and have very little workshop
experience. I regard myself as quite a skilful craftsman but when I
made enquiries at a college about doing some teaching and passing
on some of my many skills, I was told that I was not qualified to
teach as I had not got any college qualifications. I had left
school when I was 15 years old to enter a six year apprenticeship as
a goldsmith and have worked in the trade at the bench for 44 years
now, but I have no pieces of paper saying that I have completed any
college courses so in their eyes I am unqualified to teach. I
sometimes wish I lived in the USA as you seem to have free minds as
to qualifications, talking to Robert Whiteside I think together we
could have created works of art to rival that of Faberge easily.

See my gallery on orchid and check out Robert’s website to see what
I mean.

Regards James


#3

Hi Troy,

Try http://www.stuesse.de. The owner is Felix Urs Stussi and he
speaks English. His studio is in Freiburg in southern Germany…I
don’t know if that is close to you or not but at least you could
email him for His email is info@stussi.de . It is
important that you try to learn German since you live there and
especially if you plan to stay. Imagine a German student looking
for silversmithing classes in German in the US. I found that just an
effort to learn and speak their language, even badly, can get you a
long way. There are many similarities btw. German and English when
you may find it easier than you think to learn! If you are near
Switzerland try http://www.free-form.ch , they teach classes in
English, German & French. I was the only english speaking student in
a class of german students for one of my classes, and they translated
into english for me, even the study books. I ended up learning a
little German too!

Good luck!
Beth Thompson


#4
no pieces  of paper saying that I have completed any college
courses so in their eyes I am  unqualified to teach. I sometimes
wish I lived in the USA as you seem to have  free minds as to
qualifications, 

Not so open as you’d like. We also require a master’s degree to
teach college.

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


#5
         I have no pieces of paper saying that I have completed
any college courses so in their eyes I am unqualified to teach. I
sometimes wish I lived in the USA as you seem to have free minds
as to qualifications 

Unfortunately, James, this is increasingly not the case, especially
in so-called “institutions of higher learning.” My husband is a
college professor, and I have been witness, through him, to a
distressing cascade of changes in the academic environment.
Apparently, there has been a nationwide move to dismiss college
faculty who have not attained the “terminal degree” in their field,
or to put them on a sort of probation until they earn this degree.
At our local college, the experience and talent of many instructors
and professorshas been completely ignored, and some have been forced
to resign or to give up chairmanships that they have held for years.
This attrition is occurring in many colleges, and many gifted and
well-loved mentors are being lost.

So, even though you could probably make Faberge bawl with jealousy
at your amazing craftsmanship, and even though you could be a
wonderful teacher and inspire generations of future jewelers, there
probably wouldn’t be much chance of you getting a tenured position,
even in the art department of our teeny little liberal-arts college.

What a shame, in every sense.

Sincerely,
Jessee Smith
www.silverspotstudio.com
Cincinnati, Ohio


#6

Jessee is absolutely right about the necessity of “terminal
degrees”–i.e a doctorate if one expects to teach at an institution
of higher education. and I would like to add that even with this
document, professors in the U.S. are caught in the publish or perish
trap if they hope to get on and stay on the tenure track. So you
see, James, there is no such thing as relaxed requirements for
teaching here in the U.S.

Alma