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{anthrax}BRONZE Member
Look I've changed my title!
209 posts
Location: England


Posted:
I want to go to uni and study art foundation followed by 3 years of jewellery design or silversmithing, or something along those lines.

However the way on which I intend on securing my place is with a portfolio of work. The only problem is I am not entirely sure what they are looking for. I have been doing a lot of observation work, focusing on vertical structures in particular at the moment. I have also started a fashion scrapbook with my own designs in it and I have a small sketchbook for anything that takes my fancy.

What else would you suggest I do?

I'm going to some open days and I intend on talking with the people there to see their input on the subject.

Cheers

anthrax.... it infects, then spreads..... fast


BansheeCatBRONZE Member
veteran
1,247 posts
Location: lost, Canada


Posted:
Hey there. late into the discussion, but I am a jeweller, so I wanted to hop in...


I would suggest at your age that you do go and do an arts based jewellery program where you will be introduced to a mulititude of techniques and tools that you may not get exposed to in a stricter sales based trade studio. Do that so you can explore your own style and direction, eventually narrowing what aspect of the field you want to work in, and also that will then tell you what style of jeweller you would be interested in apprenticing with... ( and if you want to do it that way! I recommend it though, very practical skills based! ) There are lots of different emphases. For example, I am a contemporary art jeweller, who works out of a smell private studio. I make one of a kind things that are very much my own personal style, unlikely to be something you would ever see produced in multiples. I sell to Galleries, who sell for me, or some have a consignment relationship, and represent my work for me. In addition i do custom work.

It is a very different thing to work in the mass production, or evenstudio multiple aspect of jewellery production. There is also the possibility of narrowing your focus , specializing in one technique, such as stone setting, or casting...

You have lots of options, some focussing on production, practical techniques, sales, etc etc, and others on artistry, of course they are not mutually exclusive, but look for which school has what emphasis in their programs... germany has some great technical skills programs offered if you like that sort of thing and want some international expereince at some point... check out pfortziem( sp? ! )

Portfolio, the advice you have been given seems pretty sound!Take the extra steps to make it look like you care about your work and are ready to be proffessional in your approach.

Good luck!
PS you can see a few pics of what I do in my gallery, or at www.cabc.ca( I think, at any rate the site for the crafts association of BC, under member portfolios...)

cheers!
Andrea

"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."


_Clare_BRONZE Member
Still wiggling
5,967 posts
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK)


Posted:
cabc.net wink

Hugs

With greetings from the green island
andy and clare

Getting to the other side smile


TheBovrilMonkeySILVER Member
Liquid Cow
2,629 posts
Location: High Wycombe, England


Posted:
Well, since this seems to be the thread for it, I'm going to do a small amount of hijacking and ask a few things myself...

Basically, I'm after advice.
I've decided that I want to have a career making jewellery and to that end I've been on a course that taught me a few basics, have built myself a bench and bought a set of basic tools.
I'm 26 - going back to uni isn't an option - there's no way I can afford the money, especially with the absurd top up fees that are being introduced.
Also, I'm currently too old for a modern apprenticeship (although I've heard rumours about the age restriction being lifted soon).

So, what's a good way to proceed from here?

I'm planning on writing a letter that I can send out to as many jewellers as I can find the addresses for asking for any advice they can offer - is this a good idea or is it just likely to annoy people?

How can I get a highly polished finish without a polishing machine?
Currently I've been using moving from files -> 280 grit paper -> 600 grit paper -> dialux blue compound on cardboard, then on a piece of synthetic fleece, and using a lot of elbow grease. Is there anything I can use to get a better finish or am I stuck here until I get a machine?

Are there any particular shapes/objects that would be good to practice on?
What kind of things would get me the most useful practise, given that I can't really afford to go through loads of silver, so I have to use what I have in the most efficient way possible?

But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.


SkulduggeryGOLD Member
Pirate Pixie Crew Captain
8,428 posts
Location: Wales


Posted:
Bov, I'd like to answer your question about the letter sending. In my opinion as long as the letter is short and to the point it won't annoy anyone, to the contrary, I think it will show people that you have drive and ambition.

There are quite a lot of small jewellery designers about with websites, maybe asking them in a short email where they learned their trade might give you some other ideas on how to learn your chosen trade.

Good Luck hun. I know you have the talent to succeed. If there is anything you need doing that I can help with just shout.

Feed me Chocolate!!! Feed me NOW!


effexmember
32 posts

Posted:
I have said earlier in the thread that there are 2 ways of doing an apprenticeship. formally or just by working for a jeweller without all the formalities, you get much the same experience. Sending out letters will not really get much response, most people wont reply unless they have a vacancy. But it is prob worth trying imho.

The 2nd best way of polishing is by tumbling. But if you can afford to buy a tumbler ya can afford a polishing machine. if you have a drill, which I cannot see ya being able to make much without one ya can buy the fittings to do slight polishing work, basicaly using the drill like a mini polisher. In the good old days before electricity they used leather to sharpen and polish things.

Silver is probably the best and cheapest metal to use. if ya have a bench then you probably have a leather 'skin' to catch the metal fillings. By not leaving tools or anything in your skin and keeping it clean you can catch up to 95 - 98% of all the pieces which can be melted again using a basic torch. Professional tradesman allow up to 5% loss but aim for 2%

smile and people will wonder what yr up to.


effexmember
32 posts

Posted:
are you going to Falmouth Bovrilmonkey?

smile and people will wonder what yr up to.


TheBovrilMonkeySILVER Member
Liquid Cow
2,629 posts
Location: High Wycombe, England


Posted:
Yep, hopefully smile

At the moment I don't have a power drill - I've been using a pin vice and a couple of drill bits to drill holes through the silver, it takes a while but it's obviously a lot cheaper.
The next purchase I've got planned is a ring mandrel, but a decent drill's next on the list, possibly one with a flex shaft attachment.

But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.


NOnactivist for HoPper liberation.
1,643 posts
Location: ffidrac


Posted:
i have a nice silver ring that's not polished and i like it like that smile it's clean, but not polished, why not try design some things that look nice all rough and non-polished, until you get a polishing thingy?

also if you have a good camera, and if it's just for practise or trying to build a portfolio, why not recycle the things you make? so long as you have a good camera to record everything, you can melt stuff back down perhaps?

Aurinko freedom agreement reached 10th Sept 2006

if it makes no sense that's because it's NOn-sense.


TheBovrilMonkeySILVER Member
Liquid Cow
2,629 posts
Location: High Wycombe, England


Posted:
The reason I'm after learning how to give something the highest possible polish is because I was told it's far more valuable as far as technique is concerned - once I can polish something to a mirror finish, then I can just stop a few steps early for different finishes.
Personally, I prefer the way silver looks after sanding with some wet 600 grit paper, but I see it as more important that I get as much practise and learn as much as possible.

I don't have a camera that's good enough unfortunately, or I'd start recycling stuff.
I'm considering going to the local college and trying to speak to some photography students - if they take pictures of things I make, it'd be mutually beneficial - we'd both get some good photos for our portfolios smile

But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.


effexmember
32 posts

Posted:
Written by: effex


Some jewellery makers become ''jobbers' which mean once they know how to do the basics they are able to rent a little space in an existing workshop and offer services to the local jewellers. (ring sizings etc)



A few jewellers who have a workshop rent out a bench and facilities to jobbing jewellers for a nominal fee or certain jobs in exchange - say a few sizings etc. Ask around and ya may find one. I know of a few in my local area but that is Sussex.
Most of the advice and contacts I have are in this area. if you are prepared to advertise in the trade magazines or websites for a position I can give you thier links.

Written by: effex


Even doing a part time sales position in a silver or gold smithery will teach you alot. In order to sell your designs/ pieces you will finally need that retail experience.



this will not only teach ya but give you a few links and contacts and introduce you to the people and business.

Nb you want a dentist / hand drill not a power drill, maybe this is what ya mean. You can probably if ya hunt around find an in-expensive grinding motor that could have polishing attachments.

smile and people will wonder what yr up to.


{anthrax}BRONZE Member
Look I've changed my title!
209 posts
Location: England


Posted:
An update from me:

I went to the jewellers in Newark... spoke with them for about an hour and a half, they said they would be more than happy to take me on smile

I start on the first of March to help them set the workshop up... painting the walls and moving equipment etc. TBH I think its a dream come true, I don't think I could have asked for any better really biggrin

I hope you get to do what you really want to bov smile

anthrax.... it infects, then spreads..... fast


TheBovrilMonkeySILVER Member
Liquid Cow
2,629 posts
Location: High Wycombe, England


Posted:
Nice, congratulations biggrin

But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.


{anthrax}BRONZE Member
Look I've changed my title!
209 posts
Location: England


Posted:
Cheers man smile

Really wish I could do something to help you out, sounds like jewellery making is quite a passion of yours too.

anthrax.... it infects, then spreads..... fast


NOnactivist for HoPper liberation.
1,643 posts
Location: ffidrac


Posted:
way to go anthrax!! sounds like it will be very exciting opportunity, best of luck! biggrin

bov> ah ha, ok, so it's polishing practice you be wanting.... so i have another idea, although it might not be a good one... how about finding a part-time adult education course that you can do in jewellery, it might be very basic, but i think mostly they let you work on your own projects anyway and you could potentially borrow their equipment?? i don't know if that could work, but it could potentially give you 3 months or so using someone elses equipment, and wouldn't cost as much as uni....

Aurinko freedom agreement reached 10th Sept 2006

if it makes no sense that's because it's NOn-sense.


SkulduggeryGOLD Member
Pirate Pixie Crew Captain
8,428 posts
Location: Wales


Posted:
Congratulations {Anthrax}!

I hope it turns out to be all you dreamed of. bounce

Feed me Chocolate!!! Feed me NOW!


effexmember
32 posts

Posted:
that is really cool. imagine ya doing a martial art.
If ya have anything ya want to ask feel free to ask

smile and people will wonder what yr up to.


{anthrax}BRONZE Member
Look I've changed my title!
209 posts
Location: England


Posted:
I have something I want to ask biggrin

Written by: effex


imagine ya doing a martial art.





what the hell??? lol

anthrax.... it infects, then spreads..... fast


effexmember
32 posts

Posted:
heh heh heh
wax on wax off
nvm. A customer gave me a bottle of wine and I tried to drink it, I must learn someday to never turn my pc on after having a few beers. I do say some strange things sometimes.

Good luck though, hope it all goes well 4 u

smile and people will wonder what yr up to.


{anthrax}BRONZE Member
Look I've changed my title!
209 posts
Location: England


Posted:
rofl effex, yes karate kid was a good film... but i dont think anyone would understand that without additional explanation lol.

Leave the electrics alone after drinking smile always for the best tongue

anthrax.... it infects, then spreads..... fast


effexmember
32 posts

Posted:
the reason I said it is because you want to firstly pay respect to the elements and then the masters...... sound familiar?

smile and people will wonder what yr up to.


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