To educate or not to educate?
I have started this new thread leading away from another one because I feel we were going off at a tangent and I felt we were possibly heading in the direction of confrontation which I think is the last thing this forum needs. There are enough wars and conflict zones on this planet without starting another one here! LOL
I would just like to say that I am offering my advice here freely to those who wish to learn more about engraving, be that a beginner who posts pictures in order to get advice on how to improve their work or a more experienced engraver who wishes a fair critique of their work. I am not here to slag anyone off or belittle them in any way. I have been engraving for nearly 29 years and learned from my father who, in turn was apprenticed to the engraver Harry Kell who had been apprenticed to his father Harry Kell Snr who had been apprenticed to Sanders back in the latter part of th 19th century. I don't know who Sanders was apprenticed to but you can bet there's an unbroken lineage of engravers for the past 300-400 years, so I'm not speaking out of my hat here! I do have a little knowledge of the art of engraving and feel that these credentials to lend me some credibility in the engraving world. In no way is any of this meant to sound conceted or big headed by the way, nothing could be further from my mind at this moment.
Due to modern life styles, etc., it's highly unlikely that I will ever have an apprentice and this historic lineage of engraving could stop with me.....this forum however has given me the oportunity to pass on some of that knowledge. Whether or not this knowlege is taken on board by the members of the forum is entirely up to them I cannot and will not force it down anyone's throat.
I also realise that we are human beings and we may not always agree with what another person is saying. This is allowed; we can have disagreements but still be friends. I am not saying to anyone that I am the absolute authority on engraving but I've noticed on several occassions in the past that when I pass certain comments, namely about the 'fundementals and rules' that in my opinion we need to learn as we begin out engraving career (and sometimes with tool discussions to), it fires certain individuals up with what sometimes feels like an evangelical zeal.
I am not here to fall out with anyone. I have much better things to do with my time than spend many hours at the keyboard trying to justifiy an opinion which has been questioned in such a manner. As I say, my goal is to educate and if it means one person listens and it improves their work then I've attained this goal.
I don't know about the rest of you, but it doesn't feel very nice when some people appear to be gunning for you when all you're trying to do is help novice engravers who are plainly seeking guidance. That is not to say lively discussion and debate aren't to be encouraged, it can be fun and educational too. It's just that the one person says black, the other white gets boring and far from educating a novice can just lead to confussion.
I'm sorry if I've gone on a bit but I just had to get it out of my system and if you don't think my opinions, critiques, help are worth a light then please tell me and I won't bother wasting any more time.
Last edited by Marcus Hunt; 03-11-2007 at 01:45 PM.
Once again Marcus..............well said
Let me add one other observation that I have learned after 30 plus years of teaching Art in public schools in addition to being an engraver. I good teacher also learns from his students.
Sheaksperre at one point in time was taught to read and write. Einstien at some point in his life was taught basic laws of physics. Mohamed Ali at on point in his life was taught the rules of boxing and basic ring strategy.
No matter what endeavor in life people excell at there is an education in one form or another at the root of their success. Would Sheaksperre have been a world celebrated playwrite if he were left illiterate and told to "figure them words on your own"? Hardly.
Granted there are savants and child prodegies like Mozart in the world who can just pull it out of the air and do it. But those gifted abilites are a rare freak of nature in the human race. A positive one no doubt but a natural rarity none the less. In most cases tend to be greatly deficent in other areas of life.
Is it possible to figure this out on your own. Yes, I know a lot of folks who have done it. I have done it and it is a hard road travelled with not much to show for it at the end but a pair of worn out shoes and same skills you could have learned much faster.
For most of the human race we need to be taught in order to succeed in any given field. It seems strange to me that an exception to this would exist for this one artistic endeavor.
I couldn't agree more, Marty.
A fine thread and very well said. Hey, that rhymed...
Marcus The contributions and knowledge left on this forum by you and others is so valuable to many not only beginners.
To be able to just talk shop to others is a blessing, my shop talk in the beginning was with steel workers over a beer, nobody did what I was doing. I went to two weeks of classes 28 years ago or so, didn't learn much but it got me started into the jewelry trade as a polisher. Very rarely did the master jeweler show you how to do anything, it was pick up a tid bit here and there, mostly because they wanted to protect their job in case you where better than them. Then I had an opportunity to work with a very good diamond setter which was more tid bits. Then I hit the books. It was a long road teaching myself. If a person young or old is starting out and serious about the jewelry and engraving arts go to school, there are a number of fine schools out there to attend, with masters of the trade teaching everything they know. When I went to classes they were held in the basements of jewelry stores not like that today. The schools today have state of the art equipment with many masters of the trade teaching. It's almost like taking golf lessons from Tiger Woods you may never be as good as him but at least you'll be hitting good while in his custody and get some strong true knowledge, it's would up to you run with it.
The information on this forum for example is more information than I could have got in many many years of trial and error. Just the Internet would have saved me many a bruised noses, but to go and learn from the many fine teachers would have been a blessing. The forums are great if you only need your hand held once and a while, but if your young and serious about getting into the trade go to school the knowledge will repay you many times over.
Just my thoughts of the picture
Last edited by Mike Cirelli; 03-11-2007 at 03:28 PM.
very eloquently put both Ray and Mike.
I'd just like to say I for one have learned a hell of a lot of stuff from you guys and girls who contribute to the forum. I'll be the first to hold my hand up and say "I don't know it all." That is the wonderful thing about engraving and embellishment; there is always something new to learn and I seem to learn something new every day from you guys. Thanks.
I think your posts on this forum show so much honesty and sincerity that highlights your talent as and engraver and teacher. It would be a great loss to all of us who want to learn if these posts cease to exist. Please continue with your help and opinions.