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So if you had to suggest an on-line school


#1

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


#2
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.

Elaine


#3

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
would.

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

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
bethwicker.com


#4

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!

Kay


#5

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


#6

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