New graduate of University metals program. <snip>. Would love to hear from people just starting out and trying to find some direction. Am not interested in working as repair jeweler, just a designer that wants to create and possibly sell.
First, Welcome! This is great community.
You mentioned you are not interested in repair jewelry… my two
cents is this… it’s not glamorous, but you CAN learn SO much from
repairing jewelry. When you can open up a job envelope and not know
what’s coming at you until that point, and restore, or size it or
re-set a stone that’s fallen out, after re-building or re-tipping a
prong, etc, you have learned intimately how something is made. It is
a fantastic learning curve. It plants seeds of inspiration, how to
"build a better mouse trap", etc. Just being in a shop environment
and absorbing from more experienced jewelers is the best
education. I no longer work in someone else’s shop, or repair for a
living, although I still do repair, mostly I make my own jewelry to
sell in galleries and shops. But what I learned in a repair shop was