Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Arrrgggggggg Silver Jewellery course week 7 & 8

I was fairly pee'd off last week so didn't blog about my course. But it got even worse this week so I just need to vent.

After half term we were told we told we would finish our rings and start to learn about setting stones in week 7.
I had just about finished my ring, I had been told we would straighten it after the problems I had placing the top on, but it became apparent he felt it wasn't worth the effort to try. So I thought, Oh well at least I get to move on and learn how to set stones. But No! there were no stones and no advice on how to set them, I couldn't even polish my ring as he still hadn't brought the polishing equipment in. I asked what I should do and he said, design a pendant to set a stone in, I was ignored when I asked what size stone and any guidelines. To be honest I just felt he was fed up with me!
I played with some copper wire and came up with the a set of wires soldered together, as shown here. He showed no interest in what I have done all evening and gave it a quick look over at the end and just shrugged. Then in the following week I played with the design and made the copper maquette shown here .

So with maquette proudly in hand I went off to week 8 hoping to make it in silver and learn how to mount a stone.
So what actually happened - I polished my ring - actually I watched him polish my ring!! Yes after 2 weeks of promising to bring in the polishing equipment he actually did. For some reason we were not allowed to do this ourselves and we all watched while he did it!
That took up the first 10 minutes and then I sat on my backside and did sweet FA. I showed him my maquette and he said "Oo look at you". I asked him if I needed to use a jig to help get both sides even, he then went on to explained what a jig was !!! In retrospect I should have just left, as the longer I sat there listening to people chat the angrier I got. There were only 2 people still working on rings , I got frustrated when I found out the the stones we would be setting were 5mm big and so no way could I make the design I had hoped for as it is much bigger. He really could have told me that 2 weeks ago and not got my hopes up.
I have gone ahead an mounted a stone of my own already.
It may not be perfect, but I learnt a lot from doing it and feel the next one will be spot on.

So here is where I need your advice! We have 2 weeks left, I don't feel in that time I will learn anything new.
I don't want to go back, I feel its an utter waste of my time. My gut reaction is to complain, and never see him again. But, should I just shut up and get on with it and finish the course and then put a complaint in after?

What do you think???


  1. oh wellydog, i feel for you and understand your frustration. i reckon it depends if you can handle your 'disinterested' tutor for a couple more weeks, and just make use of the workshop, tools, and equipment. if its that unbearable, and you have necessary stuff in your 'studio' then use the time constructively at there instead! either way, i'd definitely make a complaint. theres enough good and enthusiastic tutors to take his place. by the way, your piece above looks great, i love it ;) annie x

  2. I'm not one for putting up and shutting up, especially when I've paid good money for something. This guys teaching techniques sound very odd and I would be angry about that too.

    I think if I was you, I would not bother with the last 2 lessons (but I'd wait till the night before to absolutely make my mind up) then when the course is finished I would complain to the college in writing.

    I'm really sorry it's been a dissapointment to you, it's such a shame - I liked the copper thing you made, it would have looked great in silver :)

  3. My opinion - it's just wasting your precious time and making you mad.
    DON'T go back.
    DO complain to the organisers - immediately. I'd ask for my money back. You probably wouldn't get it, but at least they'd know you're serious.

    If this was a free course, then you get what you get, but you've paid for expert tuition, and set aside the time each week - they should know that they aren't delivering.

    That's so disappointing. However, you may find that you've picked up quite a lot through your own efforts. I do like your pendant. Onwards and upwards :-)

  4. How disappointing!
    I agree with Sam, put in your complaint immediately and demand a refund, you were not paying for am amateur to waste your time.

    As with regards to going back,are there any nice people on the course who can share skills, quite often you absorb quite a bit of info from seeing other peoples designs taking shape- if not then perhaps you could tell him what you think of his efforts in front of the class and walk out-

  5. Oh Deberah, if only I was that brave, I am not good at confrontation and usually end up tearful, just because I can't get my point across. There are lovely people on the course, and its nice to see what they develop, will have to give this a lot of thought x

  6. Regardless whether or not you go back make sure you pit in a conplaint.

  7. I can feel your frustration coming through the screen and I would definitely write a letter of complaint. If you can get some sort of refund, then I'd not go the last 2 weeks if you feel so strongly about it still. If there's no chance of getting a refund, I'd probably go for the last 2 weeks to see if you can salvage anything from it.

    You have done soem stunning work though. I love the copper maquette.

  8. I used to do a pottery course like that. Nothing ever got fired so you could not see how you were progressing and if you couldn't master the wheel he didn't want to know. These courses are so expensive now I would definately ask for a refund or some kind of recompense. The tutors are extremely well paid for their time so don't feel bad about having a pop!

  9. That sounds awful, it sounds like you have pretty much taught yourself anyway, so I don't think I would waste my time going back, definitely write and complain, and if you decide not to go back, mention that too - that you would rather miss two weeks and get proper work done on your own, than waste your time going - grrr some people just shouldn't teach!
    Have you been on the Making Jewellery forum at all? Everyone there is very helpful, especially about techniques etc, normally goes over my head ;) Also Andrew Berry creates At The Bench, a series of how to jewellery making films, very useful. He often pops on the forum too and is very helpful :)

  10. Oh No how frustrating and annoying!! Maybe you should just do as UrbanFairy said and just go and use the equipment and do your own thing. If you feel you can't do this just don't go, what you've made so far is brilliant so you are more than capable of doing it yourself (which sounds like you are already!) Definately put in a complaint, a lot of these tutors are just doing to earn a few more pennies and don't really want to be there either!! It's better that he gets told now so no-one else feels like you do.

  11. Sorry to hear about your bad experiences, it doesn't sound very nice at all. I just wanted to say I think what you have made so far is stunning! I would go for the last 2 weeks just in case you learn anything new, and make the most of the materials, especially if you have paid to do it!

  12. That's awful... so glad it hasn't put you off designing as I love your output.
    That lad needs dealing with, in my opinion. Maybe it's all yesterdays news to him, but you guys pay good money to learn something new and special.
    I think you should definitively put a complaint in and maybe even give a link to your blog- it was heartbreaking to follow your journey from "yay, I will be attending a course" to "I am so disappointed"
    I personally would not go back, you have already proven that you are way ahead of whatever that ...moron... could teach you anyway. But make sure you kick up a stink, this sucks royal.