Jewelry SilverSmith Apprentice Search!
Oh man, the big day is finally here!!! This has been something that has been rattling around and kicked around for a while now. But every time it felt things were going right to announce this search something would come up. From unexpected car issues to roof issues to ferret issues. It always felt like something would come up that would just knock everything off kilter.
But here we are! We are sooo happy to announce this not only cause it has been in development for so long, but because with this hire, the business can start to move up to the next level!
Although, this is just the start of the process. It feels good to be on the way. Hopefully, we can move on it quickly, but an apprenticeship in the world of Smithing and more specifically in the world of Renaissance fairs, is not the same as say in the business world. It is actually pretty cool and a whole different way of working.
From Wikipedia: "The system of apprenticeship first developed in the later Middle Ages and came to be supervised by craft guilds and town governments. A master craftsman was entitled to employ young people as an inexpensive form of labour in exchange for providing food, lodging and formal training in the craft. Most apprentices were males, but female apprentices were found in crafts such as seamstress, tailor, cordwainer, baker and stationer. Apprentices usually began at ten to fifteen years of age, and would live in the master craftsman's household. Most apprentices aspired to becoming master craftsmen themselves on completion of their contract (usually a term of seven years), but some would spend time as a journeyman and a significant proportion would never acquire their own workshop. In Coventry those completing seven-year apprenticeships with stuff merchants were entitled to become freemen of the city."
A few things have changed since that time, mainly, there are more worker protections and you know, indoor plumbing....no plague. Which is is always good. As well as better living standards and a whole mess of things. But sometimes, no matter how much we have modernized, some things have to done the old school way. Being a stone mason, a glass blower, and other specialized trades still require a certain amount of hands on work and hours to be a master.
And that is where we are now. After over 16 years of experience and 11 years in business, we are ready to grow our little business from a one woman show. If anyone is interested, please feel free to reach out to us. Until next time. Here is our post in full:
Did you ever want to run away with the circus as a kid? Or maybe you are someone that wants to travel, and see more of these great United States? Whatever the case may be, we have a life changing opportunity here with us. We are currently looking for a full time ( 9 months) Silver Jewelry Apprentice for Gentry Jewelry with significant growth opportunities.
A little bit more about the company: we currently are in our 11th year of operation and slowly have been growing. We are a small business after all. Master Silversmith Jennifer Van Swol was trained under Gordon Silvernail for over 8 years before opening up her own shop. Currently, the shop travels from Texas, to Florida, back to Texas, & then to Colorado before finally heading to Michigan. We have an online store, as well as a Facebook page, Twitter page, and an Instagram page. We currently have two main booth shops and three temporary pop up shops.
Cons of Position
So, let's start with the cons of the position, the pain points as it were? We won't sugar coat it: the biggest issues will be the traveling with, setting up, & then breaking down wherever we call home about every 8 weeks from Mid-January until the end of October. In addition, we will offer a small stipend for room & board should you choose to not use the accommodations offered at each show. Alternative housing options normally involve camping, so please keep that in mind as you read on, & message us for any questions you may have.
Other things to consider: we are a small business so we currently are unable to offer health insurance, vision insurance, dental insurance, 4O1K, or PTO time compensation. In addition, we cannot offer child care compensation or accept new pets on the road. Internet is not guaranteed, nor running water, or indoor plumbing at all shows, but electricity and facilities are if you stay in company accommodations.
Pros of Position
So what are the pros to this job? Well, if you made it this far & are still interested, let us tell ya what you get for going on this adventure. First the big one: you will learn a trade. Not any ol' trade, but the the trade of handmade silver jewelry. You will be taught by a Master Silversmith on all the steps from conception of a piece, to creation, to final polishing before sale. Second, you will see the country and avoid the hottest weather in each area throughout the year. Most shows are held during the best time of year for the areas they are held. Third, you will have access to jewelry making tools at no cost to you. No need to buy or rent things, you are here to learn and practice, practice, and practice some more. Lastly, and we cannot stress enough, you become a very integral part to the business and make a direct impact from Day One. There are not many places that can say that, and mean it.
As this is an entry level position, we are not going to be looking for 4 years of college and 10 years of practical hands on jewelry making by the age of 23. What we are looking for is a passion for working with your hands and a desire to learn the jewelry world. If you have any experience in sales, retail sales, or marketing that is a plus. That includes table management and booth management for other vendors. In addition, if you have any experience in torch work or jewelry making, you bet that is a major plus.
Just like above, we aren't looking for like a laundry list of skills. It is an entry position. If you have some of the specialized skills we are looking for, that is a major plus. But there are some general skills that are needed to be successful:
*You will need to be able to observe, analyze, and follow direction.
*The ability to operate and understand a Square register
*Able to stand up for 8 hours a day ( Yes this is a skill, and very important)
*Able to lift up to 30 Lbs.
*Able to greet, interact, and assist anyone that enters the shop for up to 9 hours on work days.
*Able to work outside; in all kinds of weather and conditions.
*Able to be on time and with appropriate costuming during a fair work day.
*Interpersonal communication skills. (Another one of those this is a skill and very
*Able to handle and operate power tools and bench tools.
Here are some specialized skills that you will learn but if you already have them, even better:
*Bobbing, buffing, and polishing silver jewelry
*Able to operate an industrial buffing machine
*Able to handle and operate an acetylene torch
*Able to identify and name semi precious and precious stones.
*Able to swap set stones
*Able to accurately size customers using ring sizers
If you feel that you have the skill set and passion we are looking for, please drop us a line. We will be taking our time to find the right fit but we will answer everyone. Once a candidate(s) is selected, there will be a trial period of no less than 2 shows and no more than a full year circuit run. We wish everyone good luck!