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Thread: Experience versus Qualifications

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    East Mids
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    11

    Default Experience versus Qualifications

    So much emphasis is placed upon having qualifications thesedays - but are qualifications more relevant than good old fashioned experience. It's all well and good have a Degree, Master, C&G etc, but if you don't have that talent and knowledge which develops with years of practise, then what good id it. Often the basics are forgotten with these people - that's what I've found in my personal experience.

    Please discuss, would love to hear some thoughts!

  2. #2
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    Jul 2009
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    Shetland
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    Well my background is ex forces and qualified nurse. I taught myself how to make jewellery and experiment all the time. Not having a qualification works in my favour as I will try things differently. One of the problems with qualifications is that some people struggle to think outside the box. Therefore don't seem to push themselves.

    I have found this a problem with our local college, almost all students go on to produce the same things in the same style, which is a pity because some of the work they produced pre course tend (in my opinion) to be better.

  3. #3
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    Jul 2009
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    Nottingham.
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    I would tend to agree, although I did do a course to start learning so that I could get advice. I made sure I always practiced the key skills taught, but didn't then restrict myself to using just what we had been taught to create pieces - I always think the tutor is there to ask questions to and to help you achieve your goals (within reason!). My tutor was great and did a very good job. However, she did say that to really make a career from jewllery making you ought to do the degree (I don't know if this was really because she also taught on a degree course as well as the evening one I was doing). I always believe that if you are truely talented enough that will outshine any certificate...

  4. #4
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    Jul 2009
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    Bath
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    I agree that a degree/qualification isn't always necessary, though I guess it probably can help you to be taken more seriously. Maybe that's my paranoia though, because I am self taught aside from a mini course in Silversmithing a few years back I do worry about how it will affect peoples opinion of me as a Jewellery Designer and Maker.

    I'm actually looking in to a Foundation Degree at the moment to take part time, to me the more you learn the better, no matter where it comes from!

  5. #5
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    Jul 2009
    Location
    Wexford Ireland
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    481

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    I am totally self thought, i go on the rules that if i would'nt wear it myself then i don't sell it,,, i make absolute sure that each item is perfect before it goes up for sale..

  6. #6
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    Jul 2009
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    Bitton (twixt Bristol and Bath)
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    Well I reckon you need a bit of both. Nothing can replace experience but some education in any given field is a great place to start and when dealing with something that costs money it can provide you with enough to stop to many initial mistakes. I know I have been able to teach myself many things but I have really enjoyed pulling in the experience of Chris Pate for my PMC and now I fully intend to do a course of metal work with her

  7. #7
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    Jul 2009
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    398

    Default

    Like others I am totally self taught and have no qualifications whatsoever.

    I do want to go and do a silversmithing course but honestly I don't think qualifications matter unless you are going to be working for someone else imho.

  8. #8
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    Jul 2009
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    Scotland, UK
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    I'm teaching myself a lot, but have had one to one lessons with a professional jewellery to learn the basic stuff and also specific things I wanted to know how to do and I've also signed up for some evening classes in silver jewellery creation too. After all this I think it's a matter of me putting the hard work in and perfecting the art through practice - practice makes perfect. It's good that I know a few professional jewellers and can always count on them for advice and tips and a few one to one sessions.

    I'd love to go and do a proper college course, but I just don't have the money.
    Find Milomade online - follow the links below....
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  9. #9
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    Jul 2009
    Location
    Flushing Cornwall
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    Default

    Well, I do have a degree, but the resin work I so much wanted to learn, I had to teach myself as the prospectus fibbed!! which I was pretty sore about, so I think its taken me a lot longer to get to where I am. Since I graduated I have also been doing a part time silver smithing course, which is amazing, they have opened SO many doors to me, and taught me so much.
    I think a formal education is a definite benefit, in that you have all the experience that comes with being at uni the proof that you can apply yourself long term, complete projects to a certain standard, gained knowledge,skills and training, learned to develop ideas and concepts, understood various theories ......etc!!

    I'm glad I have a degree under my belt, but seeing as all my jewellery making skills are down to either being self taught or further classes after uni, my degree cannot claim to be responsible for my skills in this area, but in other areas I benefited in different ways.

    In the end which ever way you go about it its the Talent, Drive & Self Discipline is what gets the ball rolling!!:p
    Hanx
    HannahMary Jewellery
    Website


  10. #10
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    Jul 2009
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    Nottingham.
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    If in particular most of the things you are saying you will get out of doing a uni degree amount to discipline, then I think any degree will do - I did Engineering Product Design and then a masters in composite materials - so have most of the attributes you mentioned above.

    I think what people miss out is that I think there are those that are simply talented (and I'm not suggesting that I am one of those!) at certain things, and that if you are talented enough with something like silver smithing, creativity, jewellery making etc then it won't matter to your buyer if you have a degree or not. People buy into what they are looking at.

    I agree that if you for instance did one of the jewellery degrees at somewhere like UCE (sorry is it BCU now?) that you are probably ahead in terms of specific knowledge, but I think there are so many ways in which you can find out information these days - you only have to go into a jewellers and start talking to them to learn more - I've found that out. I've spoken to makers online, been into some of the poshest jewellers in London and asked them questions, and also spoken to those in the Jewellery quarter as well as asking a couple of the Cookson's people (and dare I say it Sutton's people) questions too. I think it is easier to be tought the basics - just don't let it box you, make it work for yourself.

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