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[Seeking] [SF] Goldsmith apprenticeship

Hi all,

I’m wondering if there is anyone in the Bay Area of California
interested in taking me on as an apprentice. Alternately a job in a
production shop or someone willing to be a mentor would be
appreciated too.

I currently work out of my shop in Oakland which I furnished as my
skill grew and I realized this would be my career goal, everything I
thought I would need prior to quitting my job over a year ago. I
feel that my progress has been tremendous, but is slowed by my
inability to bounce ideas off of others and having to come up with
solutions on my own. While those “aha” moments are fulfilling, I feel
they come at a slower pace when I have to work them out completely on
my own. For example, it took me a couple of months to realize that
every time I soldered an item, it need not be rendered completely
annealed, by simply letting it cool on the block instead of instantly
plunging it in water. That may seem simple to some, but to me it
changed the whole fabrication design process.

I have taken machining, welding, enameling, engraving, casting and
jewelry classes at the Crucible, Revere Academy and Scintillation
studios. I find that while the level of expertise is sufficient for
a classroom environment, it is not much greater than what I can get
out of books or videos. And often times the money spent could have
been better put into tools or materials. At this point I’m not so
interested in technique as much as how to go about making a career
out of being a goldsmith. I feel that would come from lots of hard
work in the studio. For the past year that’s all I’ve been doing, but
I would like to step it up a notch.

You would be someone with a thriving (as much as possible in this
economy) practice with years of experience working in gold (as I’d
like to make the transition from primarily working in silver to
working in finer gold items). I, in return, could do the basics like
draw wire and work up to greater levels of tasks as you see fit. I
can supply my own materials for my own work, so there is little need
for your own investment, except in direction. I could also provide a
fresh look at things, trained as a physicist, with experience in CNC
machining and TIG welding (silver even).

I realize this is a long shot, please don’t reply about how this
didn’t work out for Andrew Jonathan Fine. I’ve been on this list for
the past five years, I know.

Thanks in advance,
Scott Garrison

I was looking for a mentor awhile back and stumbled across the
education issue of Jewelry Artist. The article featured a woman who
had found a mentor and had apprenticed in the “classic sense”
(sleeping on a cot in a back room, learning the trade in exchange
for room and board). The article provided a link to a website that
links up potential apprentices and mentors. I met my mentor through
this (surprising- as I live in Tucson and never expected to find a
mentor listed from Tucson) and it has worked out very well for me.
Check out this link and best of luck to you!

Sarah Sharp