I have a little less than two hours to write this, and I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to be writing about at this time, so please bear with me. This happens every so often — I’ll know that I need to write something, but I don’t know exactly what it is that’s trying to come out, so the best I can really do is just sit down and start typing…
I’m not sure where my career is headed at this point. The school thing’s a mess — I am having an extremely difficult time picking one path and sticking to it. Plus, I already have a BA, and I’m told I don’t really need to be taking any more classes. I’m no longer planning on using my beading as a potential primary (or heavy secondary) mode of earning a living, so that means the Business classes probably just saved me a lot of time and money invested. Though it probably would have been a fun (if expensive and ultimately disappointing) ride.
I probably would have learned the hard way what I did last semester: I’d need to make a lot of low-cost, fairly quick, high-value items (read: earrings, pendants, likely natural stone) in order to earn any kind of profit, because taking 3 hours to knot a bracelet which can be mimicked for $3 with overseas labor isn’t…a good use of my time.
This is unless I went into straight-out metalsmithing, particularly casting, which has an expensive setup but can easily mass-produce things like silver rings, which then just have to be finished + stones mounted. Unless I got into enamel (I probably would); which requires an enameling kiln in addition to the wax burnout kiln. I know there is also torch-fired enameling, but from the few pieces I’ve seen, the enamel doesn’t seem to melt as cleanly. Plus, enamel — requires a respirator, at least, though probably only a high degree of cleanliness and caution (as I have) at most. I have seen some really gorgeous enameled pieces, though. There was one example on Ganoksin which came up recently, using plique-a-jour technique (it basically looked like stained glass) with diamonds. Just beautiful. I’ll see if I can find it for you.
Though I know that I might like doing this stuff more if I were in a really safe environment, which my last two classes were not. Plus, is it a hobby or is it a job? How do you start out designing when no one has taught you how to design in the first place? I seriously wonder about the quality of Jewelry Design classes, given that there are some I do know about. But in the States, it seems that technique is often valued over design, to the extent that design is often brushed aside in favor of technical skills.
And I suppose this would be why I’d take the Studio Art and Art History classes. I still want to do that. But at heart I think I’m an artist and a crafter (even when that is most often expressed in words), not a salesperson.
At the same time…the Business classes have gotten me to think about the job market in a different way. I mostly blame Microeconomics for that. Right now I’m thinking about job specialization which can happen in organizations (as versus self-employment). There are still a few classes out of the Business department I want to take:
- Financial Management
- General Accounting
- Computerized Accounting (or whatever it’s called)
…also, I’ve been told Business Law is a good one to take if I’m intending to form a nonprofit. But otherwise…well, there are the MS Office programs to learn or brush up on as well, but I can do that on my own. Plus, Office is probably going to move to the cloud, at least in the near future (as I’ve heard support for Windows 7 will be discontinued in early 2015 — boo), so there’s probably going to be a new platform to deal with, in any case.
On top of this…I’ve wanted to brush up on my Math. I do know of one place where I can do this online, and it should be less stressful than taking a series of courses and putting my GPA in jeopardy. I’d be able to do it at my own pace, but I’d just have to be sure that “at my own pace” doesn’t end up as “picnicking in the shady spot by the starting line.”
Third. I need to work on getting together a Writing portfolio in case I want to apply for a position which heavily entails writing. As someone let me know today, I’d probably do well as a blogger, but the question is: do bloggers get paid?
I’m going to stick with Intermediate Drawing, I think, this semester. Just hearing myself wax all poetic about the jewelry…that did stir something in me, and drawing is an important part of the design process. My main problem is that I don’t exactly know my motivation behind making jewelry, or others’ motivation behind buying or wearing it. Actually, my main problem is I don’t know others’ motivation behind buying or wearing it. I don’t really even understand my own. So it’s like, what am I selling, you know? Am I selling an artifact of someone’s dream of finding love through beauty? I can’t sell dreams, and I can’t make them come true. I can give you the item, but what that item means to you is your business, right?
I know Jewelers (metalworkers) will probably make more money than Handcrafters (in this case, beaders). They’ll also probably have more job security as people want rings resized and chains fixed, and such. Though, I don’t think either group is really affluent.
My major stress with Jewelry, besides the occupational hazards (which I could avoid easily enough on my own, but which gave my teacher some satisfaction to see us inadvertently or intentionally expose ourselves to here paint the flux on your hand because I won’t let you bring in a paper towel) is the stress of screwing up while resizing someone’s wedding band or something and then this little heirloom is messed up for the rest of their lives. 😛 Do I really want to be under that kind of pressure?
But anyway, I’ve probably sat here long enough. Adobe Reader already downloaded itself and caused my system to crash once during the writing of this post. I probably shouldn’t push it.