Noel and Mark,
I also offered to work for free in order to gain the knowledge to
become a jeweler. My Mentor was a Master Goldsmith, who had put an
ad in our local newspaper for a silversmith apprentice.
I answered the ad and was told he couldn’t pay but basic wage and I
told him, I didn’t want any pay I wanted his knowledge.
I work with him for approx. 5 years, learning everything I could,
includinggemology and geology before he passed away from liver
cancer. After his death, I went to classes that were mentored by the
Mother Lode Mineral Society of Turlock, CA that were held at Modesto
Jr. College, where Ilearned Lapidary and more Silver and Goldsmith
techniques. Before I started working with my Mentor, I had worked at
creating circuit boards, teaching soldering and inspection of
electronic parts that went into the Hubble Telescope and etc.
I started off reworking my Mother’s costume jewelry for myself at the
age of 13. I am now a young 72, still creating jewelry for myself and
to sell. I also can repair costume jewelry which many turn up their
noses to, but when a person has a piece of jewelry that was loved and
worn by their GGGrandmother, to be able to restore that piece to its
original condition is very satisfying.
Without my Mentors benevolence I wouldn’t be where I am now.
I offer free Mentoring to anyone who wants to learn.