Students anticipate graduation with a mixture of excitement, relief and total panic. What's next!? Starting a new career in jewelry can be daunting. Plan ahead to cover your work space needs and save yourself one extra headache.
You won't always have access to a state of the art jewelry studio when you graduate. Ack!
It is easy to fall in love with metalsmithing. Hammering, soldering, and casting are the perfect blends of art, science, and that mystical something extra - alchemy, perhaps. In the whirlwind of a love affair, it can be difficult to imagine a break-up. Studio time can be the same way. College studios are some of the best-equipped jewelry studios in the country. Enjoy the moment but know that you will not always have the amazing space you enjoy now. Graduation from your jewelry and metals degree program is a big transition.
It is often a shock for recent graduates when they lose access to the school studio. Suddenly you find yourself without space to work, a bench, proper ventilation and even some very basic tools for the art form you have spent so much time learning. While this transition is inevitable, jewelry students can start thinking about it now so you will be ready. Here are some steps to consider.
1. Start a tool wish list
You will need a lot of jewelry making tools and equipment when you graduate. Start a list now and purchase a few items at a time or ask for tools as gifts to outfit your future studio. Purchasing everything at once is a huge investment, but if you break it down into small steps it is less intimidating.
2. Think about what kind of workspace you will need
It is easy to assume that you can set up a work table in your apartment wherever you end up. The reality is that neighbors don't take kindly to loud hammering at all hours, your lease may prohibit fuel tanks, and the landlord may call the fire department if they smell fumes coming from your apartment. It isn't that easy. Consider your living arrangement options and lease needs before you enter into any contractual agreements. Think outside the box. For example, sometimes you can rent workspace in a detached garage if you get on Craigslist.
3. Look for bench rentals and co-ops
Many major cities have independent jewelry studio schools or community art centers that offer bench rentals. Sometimes you can rent benches by the hour in a common area and maintain a locker on site to store your tools and supplies. Or, you can often rent a dedicated bench by the month in a shared workspace. If you know which city you plan to live in after graduation, start looking for options early. Sometimes there is a waiting list.
Interested in opening a Jewelry Supplies for Students account with Halstead? Click below to review our criteria and register today. A service representative will get back to you once your account is ready to roll.
Subscribe to our weekly jewelry articles on small jewelry business resources, studio techniques, connection to your metalsmithing community and more.
You may also be interested in other jewelry career and education related articles from Halstead:
Halstead's Preferred Studio Schools- for bench rental space locations and continuing education