Folksy Ltd

Are you qualified?

(Silvapagan) #1

Just reading through the “Teaching your craft” thread got me wondering how many of us have formal qualifications in our chosen crafts. I would love to do a Master’s in traditional wool crafts (as well as one in historic garden design, but that’s another topic!) but the only formal qualification I have in this subject area is an O-level in Textiles.

A dear friend became qualified in pmc clay work a few years ago, because she wanted to prove to herself that she could be (she was also a qualified theatre nurse).

Do you have any formal qualifications related to the things you make and sell on Folksy?

(Sara Leigh Thornton) #2

Art A level is the highest I can offer LOL! I did consider going to Art College, but it wasn’t for me.

I can understand why people like to get qualifications in their craft if they enjoy set courses and study etc, but I just want to paint :smile:

(Eileens Craft Studio) #3

I’m a qualified seamstress, but my degree is in an non craft subject.

(Sonia Adam) #4

I too have a degree and also a teaching qualification - but not in craft!

(Shirley Woosey) #5

I’m a qualified accountant but don’t think that qualifies as crafting … unless you include creative accounting I suppose! :wink:

I learnt my sewing and embroidery skills at my grandmother’s knee when I was small.

Shirley x

(Helen Smith) #6

Over qualified probably, with a degree in Maths and another in Applied Art as well as a City&Guilds in Creative Embroidery…

(Denise Milward) #7

Fascinating to read the replies because of the degrees and teaching. I’ve got a science degree,a teaching qualification (Cert Ed) and trained to teach music! Funny thing is,my first job in was teaching French but I did move on to be a primary school teacher and taught art and craft as all as everything else!

(Roz) #8

:slight_smile: Never was very creative as a child/young adult. Dropped out of needlework and art classes long before O’level and went on to get a degree in Physics and a Masters in Radiation Physics and then post children qualified as a chiropodist (I guess paring corns could be considered an art form!). I started sewing when I met my husband and needed ball gowns and then started getting creative about 2 years ago when my children had pretty much grown up and no longer needed me as much :frowning: . I got addicted to felting about a year ago - I would love to get some qualifications but have no time so am completely self taught by trial and error!

Interesting that there are quite a few “scientists” that are crafty - perhaps the gap between art and science isn’t so big after all. One of the things that drew me to felting was the fascination of the science behind it!

(Helen Smith) #9

I really think the art/science divide is a totally artificial thing, lots of scientific disciplines need an element of creativity and a lot of design/making needs an understanding of numbers and chemical processes. I mean, look at Leonardo da Vinci!

I also think we make our children specialise in school far too early, how are they supposed to know at the age of 13 which direction their life is going to take? I could go on… :wink:


I have a degree in textile design, which is actually a BSc rather that BA like most design degrees are. We studied a lot about fibre technology, manufacturing and chemical finishing processes etc definitely useful knowledge to have when considering an end design/product, maybe not needed so much in my Folksy shop as my day job though!

(Emma Wood) #11

Art Foundation qualification. Also have a BSc in Knitwear Design and Production, although I haven’t knitted much since I left Uni. I also have a PGCE in Design and Technology, and I have been a Textiles teacher for the last 15 years. Don’t get much time to do my own stuff anymore.

If I won the lottery I would love to do a degree in Fine Art. They told me do specialise in Fine Art on my Art Foundation, but I didn’t listen…

(Sarah Eves) #12

I went to Art School at 16, back in the 1980s, and did a first year preliminary course as it was known then in mixed arts, before specialising in textiles for my foundation year.

I was supposed to go on to do textiles at the next level but was sidetracked by travel, London and boys, and never went back.
In some ways I regret dropping out pre degree, but in other ways I’m glad I got to travel.

Looking back, 16 was way, way too young to be at art school - most had come after A levels, but the system at the time allowed you to go straight from school if you got through the interview.
I would have been more focused starting at 18 than I was at 16.

Sarah x

(Rachel) #13

I have a degree and my teaching certificate - Cert Ed and my school needlework qualifications but nothing at all in Art.

(Brenda Cumming) #14

I SOOOOOO agree Sarah…when I was at school a long time ago you needed Maths O level to get into art school and I hated maths…
The only qualifications that I have are from the school of life. Despite that, I have been employed as a teacher at adult education centres in London and in Wales. (no one seemed to mind that I had no posh certificates, only that I KNEW my craft).
I am not even convinced that having a piece of paper says that you know what you are doing or talking about either. I know lots of people at school who sailed through exams and hadn’t got a clue and others who had infinite knowledge but couldn’t write it down and so failed their exams. (me included). I DID get English and Art but don’t ask me to write anything down, just let me SHOW you. Like Sarah I would rather paint and have many “life” qualifications to prove that I am proficient in what I do (and teach)

(Silvapagan) #15

I forgot to say that I do also have a degree, in Heritage and Landscape. It was the C&G courses that interested me a while ago, but nowhere near me offers them.

(Shirley Woosey) #16

I totally agree with Brenda @teabreaks.
I left school at 15 with a few O levels, maths was not one of them.

Worked in Accountancy and was qualified for it by life and experience but then in my late 40’s had to take the exams because I couldn’t progress without the piece of paper.

Shirley x

(Minerva) #17

I don’t have a Crafts related degree. I’m a self taught knitter and started cross stitching in my childhood.
However, I have a degree and years of working experience in another field. After years of studying, I think my brain is reluctant to do any more unless it’s something I really like and do it my own pace.

(Brenda Cumming) #18

Shirley…I once remember working with a lady who always told everyone (very quickly spoken) that she had 8 GCE’s at No Level…lol
I also know a man who worked for the government for over 40 years…he told them at his interview that he had a university degree and top grade A levels .
He had NONE of these qualifications and every time they asked to see his certificates he kept saying that he had left them at home.
I have a certificated for my O levels…but have NEVER EVER been asked to show them to ANYONE.
I am sure that if I went online and told people that I had a fine arts degree, you would all believe me and I doubt if anyone would even think to check.I repeat that I only have Art and English O level but that was so many years ago that I doubt if it could be checked. I know a lot of people who claim to be qualified and I trust what they say…but they MIGHT be telling porkies…lol… I have worked my way through life by showing my abilities and what I could do and not what someone marking a paper has told me that I am capable of…especially when they don’t even know me… I agree totally in the statement, “You learn more when you have left school than you ever did IN it.”


I have a degree in Literature (as I love reading and writing) and a Masters in Historical Socio-Anthropology (not as complicated as it sounds) as well as a teaching qualification. As far as arts is concern, I only did workshops and short courses and when I was in school, I always took part in exhibitions and practised arts as an after school activity. I never though of getting a degree in Arts and I never though that one day I would sell my paintings.My day job however combines my love of writing, books and anthropology with arts as I am a freelance writer specialising in arts related articles (eg. ghostwriting blogs for online galleries), home décor and book reviews (mainly arts and crafts).

(Roz) #20

I remember at one of my first jobs in a research lab there was a young lad who worked in the mechanical engineering department. He was only about 17 but could make just about anything you wanted and made it with precision and skill. He had been given the job provisionally on the basis of passing certain o’levels that he had taken. He held the job for several years before bureaucracy caught up with him and he was told he needed to produce the certificates. He never showed up for work again and was never heard from or seen again. A real shame and a waste of such talent all for the sake of a piece of paper.