I met a friend of a friend who’s taking metalsmithing at the same high school I went to. I’m always happy for people who start metalsmithing young, since the learning curve is so long. Naturally, I have a ton of resources I want to share with her.
Here’s a round up of posts here at the blog that are particularly relevant to high school students, including a national show to enter, career choices, and outside resources.
The Orchid list at Ganoksin.com
I’ve been a member of the Orchid community since 1998ish, with only one brief departure. I’m always amused when I do a search on a metalsmithing question and get my own answer on Orchid.
The ganoksin site is a treasure trove of information, articles, and now videos and blogs as well. Of course anyone serious about metalsmithing should read ganoksin, but the real treasure comes from participating in the daily Orchid list. This blog is duplicated over at ganoksin.com as part of the Orchid blog network.
Every high school (and college) student who’s serious about metalsmithing should join their local metals guild, if there is one. In the Chicago area we have Chicago Metal Arts Guild. The pacific northwest has the Creative Metal Arts Guild. The St. Louis area has the Society for Midwest Metalsmiths. (If you are a member of one that I don’t know about, please post the website in the comments, thanks!)
An organization for women students to join, if they seek a career in the jewelry industry, is the Women’s Jewelry Association, with local chapters. As a bonus, they also offer scholarships.
Books and Magazines
But I’ll mention just a few.
Complete Metalsmith, ProPlus Edition by Tim McCreight.
or his larger tome:
Whew, that’s a lot of links.
If you’re a high school or college metalsmith and have a question, please post it in the comments, I’m happy to help.
The single most important piece of advice I have for students is: learn everything you can, read a lot, try tons of techniques, ask questions, take workshops, make as much as you can — the more you practice, the better you’ll get. And, most importantly, make the best of your time while you’re being supported by your parents. Apprenticeships, if you can get them, don’t pay well. Do one now, while you don’t have to buy your own food!
Update: 12/16: Read this excellent article in the New York Times:
Transforming Art Into a More Lucrative Career Choice
By MARCI ALBOHER
Published: November 27, 2008
Aiming to end the notion that “starving” and “artist” are necessarily linked, some artists have begun to figure out ways to make art and money at the same time.
Continue here: http://www.nytimes.com.