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- To: BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU
- Subject: Re: Apprenticeship
- From: Richard Minsky <minsky@MINSKY.COM>
- Date: Thu, 25 Dec 1997 15:46:48 -0500
- Message-Id: <199712252036.MAA16002@SUL-Server-2.Stanford.EDU>
- Sender: "The Book Arts: binding, typography, collecting" <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
I'm sure that working in Pat's studio is a valuable educational experience,
but I have reservations about using the term "apprenticeship" to describe this:
>Apprentices work only 4 hours, 5 days a week and are expected
>to produce a body of their own work during their (minimum 2 months) stay here.
That seems to add up to under 200 hours. Perhaps "short term intern" would
be a better description. The history of apprenticeship is long and strong.
When one looks at the guilds and their 7-year, 12-hour day, 6-day weeks, the
comparison is extreme.
In today's world, apprenticeship in Art and Craft is different, but still
extrmely demanding, for both the Master and the Apprentice. In 1978 I was a
Founding Member of the Board of Directors of the American Council on
Apprenticeship in Art and Craft, under the leadership of Gerry Williams
(Editor of _Studio Potter_ magazine) and participated in the writing of a
book on that subject, which deals with the issues of finding, nurturing and
releasing apprentices. I would suggest that anyone interested in
apprenticeship from either side read through it, with its suggestions for
the wording of contracts which spell out everyone's responsibilities, and
the documentation of many artists' and artisans' experiences.
This subject arose here a year or two ago, so a search of the book_art-l
archives will give you the ordering info, if its not in your local bookstore
In the United States, Apprenticeship is a term regulated by the U.S. Dept.
of Labor, and has very specific meaning. It used to be 4,000 hours minimum,
with minimum wage payment at the least, and I believe you used to be able to
deduct room and board from that. But I haven't looked at their standards in
several years. A search of their website should turn up the current details.
At Center for Book Arts, we have a two-year minimum with four years
preferred. And for all the ups and downs of the program, some really
wonderful people have passed through it, who have gone on to great
achievement. From the days in 1974 when apprentices Robert Espinosa, Bob
Bretz and Gloria Zuss helped me start the CBA; the late 70's which included
such luminaries as Alexandra Soteriou, Reggie Walker, and Dikko Faust; to
the end of the first series of apprenticeships in the early 80's with Mindy
Dubansky and Barbara Mauriello, I was fortunate to learn from and by these
experiences, as well as to impart some sense of the enthusiasm I felt for
the book arts. Today the program continues, though smaller in scope.
Information is at <http://colophon.com/gallery/cba.html>.