In a recent posting, a job was offered with the requirement of 5
years of bench experience. Pretty straightforward.
Here’s my question. How does a self taught, working (either on
projects for people/money or for experimentation) jeweler calculate
their years of experience. Since we have no regulatory standards, such as
Europe and anybody with a saw (such as myself) can call themselves a
jeweler, does it rely upon retail employment, years of sales? Education?
I’ll use myself for an example and let the fates decide Hmm, in
1992 I took my first jewelry class, then shortly after received my
teaching degree and began THAT career. However, I was smitten with the
metal bug and kept it up in my spare time, in earnest for the last two
years or so. I have finally (over the years) scraped enough materials and
stock to have a “bench” ( I built it last month…Cheers!) but basically
do the same things.
Although I may not be working on a selling or gallery piece, much of
the time I will be practicing those skills that count in the finality of a
piece, i.e. piercing, filing, finishing techniques. Does every time I
individually pick up a piece of metal and hone what skills I have as well
as experimenting with new skills ‘count’ towards a general statement of
experience? Do I have 6 years? 2 years? or 0? I know what I think, but I’m
extremely interested in the opinions of those in the industry/field who
have dealt with this question.
Not to exclude a single soul, but I’d be interested in Alan Revere’s
and Charles Lewton-Brain’s opinion, as an established jeweler educators
who deal with students and placing them in the industry. Well, that came
out much longer than I thought it would, but 'tis a question that I needed
to ask. I (as always), thank you for any response and enthusiastically
await any responses and will value all highly.
Yours in tutelage
Midwest, U.S. Corydon, where frankly, I’m in the middle of a train wreck
of the Farenheit and Humidity Lines!