I just talked to my Voc Rehab consoler. She said he called her late
in the afternoon on Friday last week and told her that he didn’t
think I was going to be able to be much help over the Xmas rush
considering the amount of work he feels his new product will bring.
He also said that he needs someone who doesn’t question things, but
someone who just does what he is told. [ hence going through 5
jewelers in 2 years he has been in business ] and that he doesn’t
have time to train me to shut up and do it his way only. Now that I
think about it, I bet much of this may come from a recent incident.
I was having troubles with some silver I was annealing and rolling
into sheet. It was pitted and when I would bend it a few times, the
sheets I rolled broke. Under the loupe I could see what looked like
many irregular and large chunky brittle like layers. Both the owner
and the bench jeweler told me I was annealing the metal all wrong.
The way I learned to do it some 20 years ago was to heat the silver,
or gold, to a dull red, then let it cool to the point where the
redness is gone, then quench it. They both were very instant that I
was wrong. They said that by quenching the silver, I was making it
harder. I needed to let it completely air cool. I was shocked to say
the least, and wondered where I had picked up this apparently wrong
way of annealing silver and gold.
The next day I started looking in books of mine, and those belonging
to the store. Over and over again, from my Brown authored educational
books of Goldsmithing and Silversmithing, to my McCreight, Revere and
even in the back of the Stuller metals catalog, every thing about
annealing talked about the way I was doing it for silver and gold [
white gold is an exception from what I have read] I ask the jeweler
about this. At first she ask who I was going to believe, a book, or
someone who has been working as a bench jeweler for over 3 years?
Then I pointed out it was in every book, and started to show her. She
then said she didn’t want to see it, and that I can do it the book
way if you want, and she will do it her way. I told her I wasn’t
doing this for any other reason than trying to learn the best way to
do it. She didn’t say anything, but I got the impression I bruised
her ego, so I just let it drop completely.
Talking with my consoler she said he sounded stressed to her, and is
it possible he is under a lot of stress to get financing? His in laws
and his wife are all multi millionaires [inherited from the company
grandpa started - 7up] he refuses to ask them for help for the same
reason he is afraid of failing, they would tell him all about it.
Maybe being so close to making or breaking it, he needs someone fully
trained now? He could have just said that if that was the case. But
he sends such mixed impressions, I don’t know what to think. I mean,
Why would he have gone through all the trouble to train me on matrix,
the mill, and art programs to make his new kind of jewelry? And just
late Thursday afternoon he has his jeweler order sheet silver just
for some learning projects he wants me to do, and talks about
bringing in his collection of lapidary jeweler magazines so we can go
through the projects in them and see what other ones might help me to
learn. I know he is flip floppy a lot on things, but I was blown away
this morning after last week???
I’m thinking she mentioned our annealing to the discussion to the
owner, who like her, was very insistent at the time that I was doing
things wrong. He is a self taught jeweler where she has a BS in fine
arts, but both are very proud of their skills, and they should be
because they do produce some nice work. But I hate to say it, but my
consoler and I think I caused this to happen by bruising their egos
and they might be afraid of what else I might point out. Maybe this
is why he told my consoler he needs someone who just does what he
said, not someone who questions him???
So this brings to question just what is an apprenticeship? Or maybe
it would be better put, what was their definition of an
apprenticeship? Either way, I feel my chances are all but ruined now.
How will it look if I try to get an apprenticeship with someone else,
and I have to tell them I had an apprenticeship, but was let go after
3 months, but I still don’t know why? I guess I could always say what
my consoler and I think, and that’s he wanted free labor, and
couldn’t be bothered to train someone. My voc rehab consoler says to
her, in a strange kind of way, this was a good thing. She was looking
back on notes from her previous meetings with him, and one thing he
said bothered him about all his previous 5 jewelers since the stores
inception 2 years ago, was that they wouldn’t just automatically do
things the way he wants them to. She said you cant teach someone with
thinking like that, and I was there as an apprenticeship. She told me
she thought this would be a problem, but had hoped it wouldn’t become
one because she knows how hard jewelry apprenticeships are to get in
St. Louis. And now, I think it will be a lot harder