So if you had to suggest an on-line school

I was reading all of the posts in the thread “An aspiring jewelry
designer with a dilemma” and even added my 2 cent’s worth of
comments. Now maybe because I am looking at another birthday
tomorrow and I am feeling old, or maybe because I can’t work anymore
because of my health, maybe both; but I am really feeling like I
would like to get a degree in Jewelry and Art Metal. You see, I never
graduated ever. Dropped out of high school and got a GED in the Army.
Pretty much was pushed out of school here at the UW Madison because
of a difference in the concept of what “Art” is about. I would like
to graduate just once. Silly I know at 49 but still a dream.

So the question is, who has a program that I can participate in
while at home?I have a full shop in my basement so I can complete
almost any assignment. I also probably have one of the best
libraries for jewelry, artistic decoration and historical jewelry
design in the state, (I like collecting jewelry books…)

Any suggestion where I might apply on a limited budget?
Gerald A. Livings

So the question is, who has a program that I can participate in
while at home? 

Union College at Vermont University has a low residency degree. MFA,
maybe a BFA. You go to Vermont each year for two years for the MFA,
for I think, 10 days, an intensive with your fellow students from
around the country.

You choose a mentor near home, who is paid by the college, and meet
with them on a regular basis. Make stuff in your own studio.

Last time I checked, that was all correct, but check them out, see
how it works. They may have changed the name of the college, but I
don’t remember to what.

The School of the Art Inst. of Chicago also has a low residency MFA,
brand new program.


No online program in metalsmithing is really going to be worth the
time and money you will spend IMHO. The degree is important only to
you - unless you want to get an MFA and teach at the college level,
having a degree at all won’t matter for finding a job :wink: Your skill
level is what will matter!

So I would suggest you pause and think about WHY you want “a”
degree, and THEN figure out WHICH degree you really want. Sounds
like you have the jewelry-making skills already, so a degree in that
might actually be a bit of a waste of your time and money.

You might enrich yourself more with a degree in Art History with a
focus on Fine Craft (which would then give you the historical
background on what has been done in metals and jewelry over the
history of man). Business-wise, a degree in some sort of
business-related field, or in marketing, might actually be of more
benefit. If you wanted to teach your skills at the high school
level, then a degree in Education aimed at the secondary school
level would be helpful.

Just seems like trying to get a degree in metals/jewelry won’t
actually advance your knowledge level that much. and other options

Best wishes whatever you decide to do! I think we should never stop

Oh - and I do have the MFA (studio art’s equivalent of the PhD); I
do teach at the college level; and that is the ONLY time having that
degree has ever mattered at all lol! If I had it to do again I’m not
at all sure I would take that path. I certainly would have learned
more skills at Revere or New Approach, or the one in Texas that
David Phelps mentioned. BUT I would NOT have gotten the art history
background that I got with my BA which is what I have really found
more helpful in informing my work. So personally, my thought is you
might get a lot more out of the right art history degree at a
program that would let you aim it at your personal interests. for
what that is worth :wink:

Beth Wicker
Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio

NOT SILLY AT ALL. Get that thought out of your mind. As an adult, you
will enjoy your studies, whether they are adjacent topics or
directly involved with making jewelry. I went back and got my degree
(I had lived in Germany 5 years and being very proficient in that
language, thought a degree would be simple. WRONG. I got to do all
my studies with the head of the German department and when I was
finished and had gotten my degree, I was offered a job as head of
the German Department, but declined it.

But there was an intense awareness of what I was doing, I thoroughly
enjoyed my studies = probably more than had I done them when very
young. So I say, go for it. I had been a math and commercial art
major years prior, but both of those topics were so changed there
was no continuum in taking them, so switched to languages since I
had lived in Germany a long time and already spoke the language.

But I can vouch for the benefits (all personal) of getting that
degree. It is just a personal satisfaction that can’t be filled with
any other method.

You don’t NEED the degree, but the personal satisfaction is immense
and I’d say GO FOR IT. Incidentally I was older than 49 when I went
back. There is no substitute for what it will do for you personally.
Such a good feeling!


Thanks for the input. I will look into the different schools that
everyone suggested. =) This is less about me getting a job and more
about getting a degree. I always wanted to finish school and get a
degree. In my family, finishing school was never a priority. So as I
get older I find I want to finish if even for no reason then to look
at it hanging up in my shop. Again, thank you.

Gerald A. Livings Livingston

Always remember a very true story. This one fellow came out of a
community college & had a degree in his hand. He went to a “special
order” workshop.

The boss sat him down & totally ignored his piece of paper. He gave
him about 20 sizings to do. He looked at them all & blurted out
loud…“I just spent 4 years of my life at a cost of umpteen thousands
of dollars & all is wasted. This certificate didn’t do a damn thing
for me”…Moral of this story, a degree is just that, a piece of
paper! Degrees don’t make you money, a skill will @ 24/7.

I call it wallpaper, a ‘hands-on skill’ is so much more important.
You can take your skill to all parts of the world & find a position
anywhere you wish.

Just my own point of view, others might see this differently.

Gerry Lewy