I was looking over some old posts on my blog, doing housekeeping
stuff and I read this one. I thought it might be helpful to some
Orchid members, so I’m posting it here as well.
So, ya wanna be a jeweler from Elaine Luther’s blog
Every now and then, I find myself giving advice to a young person
looking to enter the field. I thought I’d share some of that advice
The first question I have to ask is, what kind of jeweler do you
want to be? Fine jewelry or the kind-that-does-crafts-shows?
What kind of training do you have so far? I would ask next. Can you
How much can you spend on your education?
Do you want a college degree also?
Let’s take our imaginary friend, we’ll say she’s about to graduate
from high school and intends to go the State U.
Oh, if only we’d gotten to her sooner. So much wasted time! She
could have been learning all through high school! She could have
worked at a jewelry store, or at least a bead store. She could have
started distance education with GIA.
Okay, onward we go. So she wants to go to State U., her parents
insist she get a college education. Does State U. have any jewelry
Well, she should take some business classes, and some art classes. I
know, it’s hard for non-majors to get into art classes. She should
double major in art, or minor in art. (Why not just major in art? Her
parents won’t let her, they’re not paying all that money just so she
can get paint on all her clothes.)
Too bad she can’t transfer to a school where she could take metals
classes, but she can’t. Okay, so summers I’m sending her to “art
camp” at Arrowmont, the John C. Campbell Folk School and the like
(see links in the previous post).
All through college I want her to take GIA classes.
But guiding all these education choices is that first question.
jewelry industry or crafts community?
Of course, if you’re not sure, just do the fine jewelry career
preparation, and you’ll be ready for anything.
Okay, back to our imaginary friend. She’s graduated from college with
four summers worth of fabulous workshops, travel, and gemolgical
training. Now it’s time for “grad school.” Sure, she could get an
MFA, but unless she wants to teach full time, I want her to go to
trade school now.
Why trade school? It’s a more efficient use of time, and more
practical training. And it will help her get a bench job, if that’s
what she wants, much more than an MFA or BFA will.
Choose a school based on their reputation, whether they have a
diploma program, and location. I know not everyone can move to go to
a school. If you can do. Otherwise, choose the best one that you can
Okay, go get a job. Want to see a million opinions on the subject of
training and career prep? Search the Orchid archives at Ganoksin.
© Elaine Luther 2007 All Rights Reserved
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay