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In a hidden lane not so far away, lies Scott McIntyre, co-founder & co-director of Vanilla Ink, passionate educator, Star Wars fan and master of jewellery! (sorry, I still have Star Wars fever from Christmas time!)
Since starting my apprenticeship at Vanilla Ink I’ve been lucky enough to have Scott as my boss and mentor. As well as shadowing Scott in the workshop and getting one to one tutorials with him I have also been attending the classes Scott holds in the Vanilla Ink school. Jewellers have been coming from all over Scotland to attend his jewellery classes to soak up all the knowledge he has to offer. Personally, my mind has been blown several times so far witnessing everything he knows and can do. It’s also interesting to see how many professional and established jewellers come to his classes to learn from him. Is he a bigger deal than I first thought? I’m just now realising - yes, he is! But of course, being the lovely guy that he is with a non-existent ego he would never portray himself as the big deal that he is. Which is what makes his classes so accessible. Of course the classes are split into different levels of experience so no one feels out of place, but it’s his open and comforting approach to teaching which makes his classes so good. No question is a stupid question in Scott's classroom. (Hooray for sloth brain me!)
So far the Jobbing & Repair class and Finishing School class have been very successful. I’ve personally felt a little bit of an imposter amongst all the other experienced jewellers taking these classes. Especially when they come in with wearing all the gorgeous jewellery they have likely handmade themselves. But of course, Scott’s welcoming and friendly environment makes me feel at ease and eager to learn. With classes happening every couple of days there are loads to choose from. If you want to learn something new or brush up on your current skills, Scott is the man to learn from. He’s got over 22 years experience in the field, and is very eager and passionate about helping others succeed. He’s definitely doing it for the right reasons! Having a not so nice learning experience himself as a young apprentice he’s found his own great way to teach by making it fun and enjoyable. No one wants a patroniser shouting at them for getting something wrong or having to sit in a boring class with a teacher who obviously hates their life and everything in it. I’m sure many of us have experienced teachers with zero kindness or people skills, or have I just been very unlucky before? As someone who needs that wee bit of extra learning and the right kind of learning environment I really do recommend Scotts classes. I certainly enjoy them, and have seen a lot of other people give him good feedback too.
I’m looking forward to the classes Scott has coming up, and to also being in the same room as more amazing jewellers of all levels. You’ll be able to spot me in the class easily, I’m the one with the constantly confused looking face who asks all the stupid (but not stupid) questions. I encourage people to feel comfortable and relaxed and ask Scott, or myself, anything as that is the kind of environment he is looking to create. I of course can mostly help in directing you to where things are and what kinds of teas are available in the kitchen area but that doesn't mean I’m not here to help. One of the main reasons I’m attending Scott's classes is to gain enough experience to one day help teach too. Yikes, better replace my confused face for a confident one soon. If you want to take part in any of the classes coming up you can buy them through the Vanilla Ink website. If you're interested do it quick as they sell out fast and there are already limited spaces left in some classes. I hope you find his classes as beneficial as I have, and of course good luck and good fortune in all your jewellery careers.
Top learning from this week:
Star Wars chat is never frowned upon!
P.S. I've previously said I'd be posting a blog every Friday. So far I have not posted a blog every Friday! Due to some technical difficulties and me mostly being not so great at blogging I have not kept to my word. Many apologies, a 'any day of the week' weekly blog is what this is at least for now until my writing and computing skills improve.