I really hesitated about writing to the forum about this, despite
knowing that I would get excellent advice. And I have - so as ever,
heartfelt thanks. This list is so rich in experience and perspective
that it is almost like having a hotline to Yoda!
My hesitation was in the public nature of the forum, and it’s why I
really didn’t want to give too many details. I have a few responses
to you though
An easy answer would be to go back to the "adult" learning classes
and buttonhole the instructor, asking him/her where they would go
if they were you...
I was told to apply to the school. By several people, including the
instructor and other practicing jewellers or former graduates.
Zee, why don't you tell us what country you are living in; maybe
someone on Orchid is there, too and can give you some other ideas
of where to study.
I was loath to do this, because I am worried that naming might be
seen as shaming, but I am in Switzerland, in the French part. Closed
off and very rigid.
If I were in your shoes? I would go to Revere Academy.
Believe me - I wish…but a year living in SF is sadly not something
I can do.
Be your own teacher, grasshopper.
Awesome advice, and I have been doing this to an extent. I do feel
isolated and somewhat ‘out of it’ at times. I wholeheartedly agree
that failure (and possibly frustration) is a great teacher.
Your location may restrict this, but see if an established jeweler
will take you on as an advanced apprentice,
There are restrictions on this for sure. I don’t think it is
impossible, but there is no way that I am advanced enough to ask for
this, and I would frankly feel like a fraud asking. My age and lack
of language fluency are further impediments at this stage. I mean,
it’s not like I am 100 years old, but I certainly felt like it after
my so-called interview.
Do you want to be a 'designer' or a goldsmith?
This is a really good question, and I am glad there was no hatemail
I primarily want to be a goldsmith, and for me at least, you
can’t design (or at least I see may limitations) if you can’t make.
And I don’t really see that goldsmiths are not also designers
(however, I have met many people who say they are designers, but do
not create objects). I was looking - and found what purported to be -
a course with a combination of teaching, where my technical skills
could be improved, as well as being able to get to know design tools
and some business teaching, an applied design course I guess. I
certainly wouldn’t approach prospective employers saying I am a
designer - I would ask for work as a jeweler or metalsmith. Like you,
I mean no offence to anyone who is a designer purely and simply.
I would give the following advice. Find some piece that you like.
It has to be technically challenging. Try to reproduce it to the
tiniest details. When you will fail, analyze the reasons for failure
Given the limitations of your circumstance, why not set yourself
some goal- perhaps assembling a body of work for a solo
This was a very thought-provoking suggestion. On top of all the
other advice, it really gave me a possible view of the future. I am
going to have this as my goal now, so thanks! To be honest, having
to put together a portfolio was a very focusing and challenging task,
and I was dreaming about potential solutions to the problems that
were coming up. The part about analysing technically the reasons for
failure was very prominent, but also very fruitful.
I have a beaded winged pig hanging from my rear view mirror. The
winged pig symbolizes, for me, the importance of dreams, however
unrealistic they might seem. Never give up. The pig’s name is Pearl.
Thanks…I did have a couple of weeks of feeling depressed, but I
don’t intend to give up. And I will think of Pearl! lol. Maybe I
will make a sister for Pearl, first up!
I really appreciate all your wonderful guidance.