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Thread: Experience versus Qualifications

  1. #21
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    Jason, you make such an important point there. One of the most depressing thing I see on pretty much a daily basis is the proliferation of new websites (which are now incredibly easy to put together) full of poorly made tat. Usually strung, lots of charm bracelets, very little skill involved, made with low grade plated findings and often atrociously finished. Bad photography tends to finish it all off.

    Stuff's being sold for barely enough to cover costs, and they do sell. It gives a bad name to artisan jewellery design, especially for beaders, some of whom I have huge respect for. I suspect few are registered as sole traders, fewer still keep books or pay any tax. It seems to be the current bandwagon to jump on - a few years ago it was cardmaking. Soap and candlemaking seem to get the same treatment.

    This sounds like a bit of a rant, but I do get really quite cross about this. There's a big differerence between making stuff for friends and family and setting up in business. I've no doubt there are lots of hobbyists who have a genuine talent and flair for what they do, but there's a lot more to it than that, and it's harder then ever to compete in a saturated market.

    Off my soapbox now

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonJohn View Post
    Now this is a very interesting question, I do believe in study and am a huge fan of courses whether they be full time or evening classes, however I personally am not interested in certification in any area.
    i agree with jason i'm not looking for certification i don't think that makes you better or worse then the next person it's in the quality of someones work that i think matters ... i'm happy to do keep adding to my everyday learning with day classes ...

  3. #23
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    classic example of something badly produced, badly photographed and overpriced - example removed.
    Last edited by Milomade; 19-08-2009 at 02:27 PM.
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  4. #24
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    Sorry Milomade, but I don't think it's right to post a link to a specific designer's work without their permission. I'd be pretty upset if somebody used one of my pieces as an example like that.

  5. #25
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    I'll remove it then...
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  6. #26
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    I think it is very easy to sit in ivory towers and curse at the people who are not so fortunate.

    Huge numbers of people cannot afford to have the sort of jewellery you are suggesting to be the only stuff 'worthy' of being sold. Should they be condemned to go without, or only buy unethically produced imports that they can afford, when there are people out there who will create for them jewelelry that they are more than happy to buy?

    And large numbers of people who want to make jewellery cannot afford to go out and buy gold and silver to 'experiment' with. It would be interesting to discover how many of the 'experts' on this forum started out feeding their desire to learn how to make jewellery by stringing 'plated tat'.

    It also negates the attempts of true beginners on this forum by inferring that they produce inferior work. If they can find someone who appreciates the love and devotion that has gone into a piece...and lets face it - some people prefer to see the 'thumbprint' of the creator on a piece of art - then who has the right to say they should not sell it? Very few people can afford to make jewellery that develops their skills when it is then going to be trashed or put in a drawer without gaining some recompense for their material outlay....and those that are lucky enough to be able to do that should be very grateful.

    I work damn hard hour after hour and I have no other income but from my jewelelry. I produce inferior jewellery by your standards. I struggle daily with issues of confidence. I shrivel inside with the stress of facing people to sell my jewellery to. I cannot live up to your ideals. I have no choice. I have found some of the comments in this thread to be very wounding and am sure there are many others whose dreams lie bleeding after reading this thread.

  7. #27
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    Barbara, thank you for putting into words the emotions I experienced after reading these recent posts. I don't earn from my jewellery but I hope to, very soon. I am a perfectionist and, like you, I work very hard.

    Illness meant that I had to give up the midwifery work that was, truly, my vocation. The credit crunch meant that web developers/online shopping sites took their writing back in house in the mistaken belief that 'its easy' and 'anyone can do it.' Writing is an art just like any other.

    I have been making jewellery for years and, given the fact that I was pitifully poor at fortune-telling-line tarot because I couldn't bring myself to fleece people or give them false hope, it seemed that my hard-earned skills might help to ease the financial situation.

    I am a work-in-progress, as are my jewellery skills. I wouldn't sell shoddily made pieces, neither would I, as has been suggested on here, import cheap silver and apply my own mark.

    There is room for all of us and everybody has to start somewhere.
    Di x

  8. #28
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    Please don't be upset Barbara. I don't think anyone's sitting in an ivory tower here.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with costume jewellery - but let's not pretend it's anything other than that. What's saddening, is to see people selling badly finished pieces, that clearly have had no pride taken in them. I'm talking about unclosed and flimsy jump rings, bits of untrimmed and sharp wire, poorly fastening catches etc, in which case yes, a bit of imported junk from the high street will do just as well.

    This isn't about wonky loops and odd wraps - these could be considered to add character to a piece. I'm also not talking about beginner efforts - which are to be encouraged and applauded. Should they be offered for sale, often with photos that don't make these imperfections clear though?

    If anyone starting out in making their own jewellery as a hobby can't afford to trash some plated or copper wire and glass beads, then perhaps it's the wrong hobby, even if it's supposed ultimately to be a self-funding one.

    I know it's not necessarily going to be a popular view, but I think there is a point when anyone is 'ready' to sell. What goes before that is apprenticeship. No different to any other job.

    We all produce 'inferior' work when we're starting out. I shudder when I look at some of my early efforts, especially those I was happily giving away to friends and family. I can honestly say, though, that I've never sold a piece I wasn't 100% happy with and proud of.

    But let's not be melodramatic, we all have choices. I know I'm not trying to trample on anybody's dreams, but being realistic. It's an incredibly tough market out there. There are a few people who are lucky enough to make a big success of it, but most of them have had the advantage of great networking and marketing to help them along the way. Far more fail. I'd like to end up somewhere in the middle and make enough to keep doing what I love, and perhaps a bit extra. I could probably make more if I could get a job at Tesco, but I'd be told I'm overqualified, and I'd also be worried I was taking a job away from somebody who needed it more.

    Again, please don't be upset by a debate. And please don't take it personally.

  9. #29
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    There are 387 registered members on the forum...204 of them are classified as active but a scan through the members list indicate that there are less than 20 who contribute often enough to be classified as 'senior' members. Daily the number of Guests on line frequently outnumber the members by 2 or 3 to 1. There are a lot of people who are interested in the forum and who read the comments who are not ready to join in - for whatever reason. This should be remembered.

    The debate on this thread had taken a rather unhealthy turn - which was totally unrelated to the title of the thread. I have a Higher Education qualification and 14 years of experience in art and craft related areas so I can see both sides of the original question. I have also been involved in 'craft workshops' for children and people with mental challenges to overcome for over 20 years, so I am very sensitive to the needs of people who are less able and competent in the eyes of the world in general and have major issues with self confidence...and are also less likely to stick up for themselves.

    Despite this bit of a hiccup which seems to have cut the thread dead, hopefully this thread on Qualifications versus Experience started by Lindsay will continue to run to discuss her initial question.

  10. #30
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    Its nice to see something of a resolution here. I don't know, it seems that sometimes life robs you of all confidence and all it takes is a chance remark to let the self-esteem demons out to play.

    I was every bit as hurt as Barbara and, I think, it stands to reason that others who are, shall we say, less voluble than ourselves will also be hurt but unable to express it.

    I don't think anybody's comments were intended to hurt but, as has been expressed on another thread, electronic communication is something of a blunt tool.

    Now, back to the motley, eh?
    Di x

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