View Full Version : Training versus natural ability

08-01-2010, 12:21 PM
Hi there.
I wanted to ask about training and certificates. I worked with a jewellery silversmith who taught me how to do things and I have since set up my own workshop in my shed and practice my skills producing jewellery and items, not much as I work full time though.
I have started to find that when I want to get some wholesale materials that they say you can get further discount only if you produce a certificate, however I don't have one because of how i learnt, I have a natural ability to do this and also because i cannot afford to stop working to take a full time course.
Is there anyone else out there with a natural ability to do their work but do not have certificates? and where do you source good deals? I find I can pick things up quickly and have diplomas in art from earlier years.
Would love some advice and suggestions, like are there any fast track courses anywhere, as it seems they just want your money and you have to sit the whole lot?

08-01-2010, 12:54 PM
I've never come across a supplier that has asked for certificates of jewellery-making competence to get wholesale prices, but in the US they ask for a tax certificate and in the UK evidence of your business status. Sometimes, suppliers will offer a discount if you are a student and enrolment confirmation is normally sufficient evidence.

Edited.....for Art Clay wholesale discounts I think you need to prove that you have completed the AC certification course.

08-01-2010, 12:57 PM
Hi, i havent come across this but you could try showing a business card or another invoice from another supplier with your name, business name on.

Rob Taylor
08-01-2010, 01:12 PM

Just speaking on behalf of Cookson's, we sell to the Jewellery trade in all it's forms. If you are making product and reselling it, as far as we are concerned you are in the Jewellery trade. Our discounts tend to be volume related with price breaks etc. We do not ask for certificates in any form.


08-01-2010, 02:03 PM
The website i found was zama uk and I was looking at silver clay as i noticed the same packaging as a day course i recently went on. Although I normally work with silver traditionally, I wanted to have a go at this.
Anyhow, cooksons have kindly given me a call and explained that certificates are not normally needed, and certainly not for their orders, so thats reasurring.
Thanks for your comments too, nice quick replies...
So any more suggestions of short courses? Cooksons suggested schoolof jewellery.co.uk so going to go have a look.
Guess being a lecturer myself, I love to learn :o)

08-01-2010, 02:03 PM
Thanks for the info. I was wondering what exactly proof of business status means? I have my journalism business and know how to deal with the tax side of things with that one and pay NI contributions, but am new to jewellery business and am just in the process of building it. I have City&Guilds Certificate in silversmithing but have not the foggiest if that counts- however it helped me getting my own hallmark and discounts as a student.

ben b
08-01-2010, 02:08 PM

In the jewellery trade, there arn't many "coherent" qualifications, as most people did what you did, that is learn under someone else, either in some sort of private or college course, or on the job as an apprentice.

There is (or was?) a city and guilds program for jewellery, which would give a certificates, tho maybee they would be split into specific areas such as silversmithing or metalwork and so on? (http://www.cityandguilds.com/uk-home.html)

This would be true of many jewellery courses, as jewellery is such a wide word.

To that end, it comes under art, and and degree courses, such as a masters, BA or hnd in 'jewellery', would be very much about the history and design of jewellery, and many people in the trade would have degrees in art or similar instead. A specific university course is (here) School of Jewellery (http://www.schoolofjewellery.co.uk/)

There are also some certificates or qualifications relating to specific areas, such as gemology (the FGA part 1 and 2) (here) Gem-A | The Gemmological Association of Great Britain | Education (http://www.gem-a.com/education.aspx)
and retail deplomas run by the NAG (here) Retail Jewellery Courses - retail, education, training, courses (http://www.jewellers-online.org/pages/education-courses.php?id=2)

So as you can see, qualifications are not coherent, but are disjointed, covering many aspects, and the actual hands on learning is mainly done under apprenticship, as far as bench work goes, or evening classes, and as such, you will see even the birmingham university lists these as its 'leisure' courses!

My advice would be, dont sign up for a course just to prove something to suppliers! only if you feel it would benefit you!

I will PM you (you'll see a notification on your profile screen that you've got a message) with some trade suppliers, as i see your in southern uk, as its cookies forum, so this info is usually done this way as its the done thing!

08-01-2010, 02:21 PM
Thanks BenB
Good advice and yep you are totally right, has made me feel better, I just stumbled across this site that mentioned certificates so threw me.
Think I need to read the rules!! as i have put a website in previous link!! oopppsss but cooksons did mention that one :)

Di Sandland
08-01-2010, 02:24 PM
Sadie - it's not in the rules, as such, it's just that with Cookson's being a commercial operation and providing these facilities to us, it seems impolite, to say the least, to recommend any of their competitors!

However, when it comes to areas in which they're not active - like training, for instance - then go right ahead and put in the link.

The certificate that Zama ask for is to get their preferential rates for silver clay for tutors who have whatever certificate it is they promote ;)

ben b
08-01-2010, 02:26 PM
dont worry, i just do it as i dont feel right listing a BIG list of other suppliers, such as when people knew (ish) to the trade want a background of suppliers so I PM info like that instead....

08-01-2010, 02:47 PM
Hi Sadie what do you tutor in PMC?

08-01-2010, 02:58 PM
Hi no not yet, I'm actually a t tutor for complementary therapies, doing this is a hobbie at mo as I work full time at a college, although have done some work for people.
I have only just started looking into PMC as have mainly worked with traditional methods, which I have to say i do enjoy as I just love every stage from a block of silver to a finely polished piece of work.
I found the PMC quite easy so will look into doing some tutoring, but thats in the future :o)
Hope you well and what do you do?