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 Subject : Re:Research for my Dissertation.. 10/25/2022 12:39:41 PM 
BRUCE WILLEY
Posts: 25
Location
Hi Jack,

I found out about model making through a friend who was in the program at Bemidji State University (BSU) run by Art Hedlund. The program utilized the shop spaces, equipment and instructors for training shop teachers. There was a Bachelor of Arts and maybe Science available, but I already had a BA so I took the classes I needed to get work and found a job. That was quite easy to do in the early '90s. BSU's program taught me about wood and metal shop equipment and forming plastics, along with molding and casting and electronics. Art's own model making classes covered the planning model construction and finishing skills - especially for scaled architectural buildings and landscapes. Eventually I learned CAD/CAM through courses I took at community colleges after I had a job. As always, the best teacher was experience and I got 50-70 hours of that per week for much of my early career.
 Subject : Re:Re:Re:Re:Research for my Dissertation.. 10/20/2022 11:58:35 AM 
MITCH HEYNICK
Posts: 4
Location
I backed into it full speed ahead...

Mid-seventies, out of architecture school, desperate to find a job (didn't really want one in architecture tbh), I looked at my skill set and what I was interested in and said hey, I loved to build models in school, that was one of my favorite things to do. I knew there were professional model shops out there, so I put my last arch model in the back of the car and went prospecting. I got hired by the first place I stopped, 15 minutes out from the house (but that's a whole 'nother story). I just don't think that would be possible today.

There was no degree or formal training in modelmaking in those days as far as I know, pretty much everyone I worked with came from some background like art, architecture, engineering, woodworking etc. Thanks to a great manual-skills program in my junior high school back in the day (woodworking, metalworking, drafting) plus a lot of time working with tools on other projects, I had already some skills in machining etc. The rest I learned on the job. Ironically, I never did architectural models, I quickly gravitated to ID and engineering models and stayed with it my entire career.

Here (Switzerland), there is a great four-year apprenticeship program for architectural modelmakers. Apprentices work 4 days a week in a sponsoring company plus have one day of classes in both general studies as well as modelmaking specific subjects. But, it's limited to architectural - other types are simply not taught/recognized. People I know here who do some ID modelmaking also "learned by doing".
 Subject : Re:Re:Re:Re:Research for my Dissertation.. 10/20/2022 11:57:23 AM 
MITCH HEYNICK
Posts: 4
Location
I backed into it full speed ahead...

Mid-seventies, out of architecture school, desperate to find a job (didn't really want one in architecture tbh), I looked at my skill set and what I was interested in and said hey, I loved to build models in school, that was one of my favorite things to do. I knew there were professional model shops out there, so I put my last arch model in the back of the car and went prospecting. I got hired by the first place I stopped, 15 minutes out from the house (but that's a whole 'nother story). I just don't think that would be possible today.

There was no degree or formal training in modelmaking in those days as far as I know, pretty much everyone I worked with came from some background like art, architecture, engineering, woodworking etc. Thanks to a great manual-skills program in my junior high school back in the day (woodworking, metalworking, drafting) plus a lot of time working with tools on other projects, I had already some skills in machining etc. The rest I learned on the job. Ironically, I never did architectural models, I quickly gravitated to ID and engineering models and stayed with it my entire career.

Here (Switzerland), there is a great four-year apprenticeship program for architectural modelmakers. Apprentices work 4 days a week in a sponsoring company plus have one day of classes in both general studies as well as modelmaking specific subjects. But, it's limited to architectural - other types are simply not taught/recognized. People I know here who do some ID modelmaking also "learned by doing".
 Subject : Re:Re:Re:Re:Research for my Dissertation.. 10/20/2022 11:51:06 AM 
Alika Brooks
Posts: 13
Location
Hi Jack, I entered the model making profession around 2008 when I was studying for a degree in Industrial Design. Part of the required coursework was an internship. I did mine at a medium sized architecture firm with an in house model shop. That internship turned into a part time, then full time job. I never finished my degree. Not finishing has never hindered me, but I certainly wish that I did.
 Subject : Re:Re:Re:Research for my Dissertation.. 10/20/2022 09:59:03 AM 
MICHAEL SCRIBNER
Posts: 27
Location: Kansas City Metro
My degree was a bachelors in Design with an emphasis on metalsmithing and jewelry design. Just so happens that my program at the University of Kansas covered everything from hand raising metal forms to welding and braising, electroplating, RTV mold making and plaster/alginate molds, lost wax casting, application of patinas and surface finishes from rough to finely polished, extensive use of all sorts of hand tools, work in a wood shop and use of various plastics and tooling boards, use of CAD/CAM software, experience with 3D printers, along with other things I've probably long since forgotten. I didn't realize it at the time, but it was a perfect primer for a broad range of model making techniques and technologies.

As for my break in to the professional space, one of the senior designers at my company had gone through the same program many years before me, and when Industrial Design was hunting for a model maker to round out their model shop, he advised the manager to check in with his old professor at KU, knowing that the jewelry program there was teaching the vast majority of skills that our prototype specialists would employ in their day to day duties. Having been a kid who was very comfortable with computers, I had taken to the CAD/CAM and 3D printing side of things more than many of my classmates, and that distinction got my name at the top of my professor's recommendation list. Everything else just kind of fell into place from there.

As for the other dozen model makers that I've worked with over the years here in my shop, only two have actual degrees in model making, from a model making program. My boss went to Art Institute of Seattle (sadly now closed), and one of my colleagues went to Bemidji State University. Dedicated model making programs in the US are very rare birds. The rest of my colleagues mostly have industrial design degrees, or design degrees in sculpture or similar disciplines. A few are traditionally trained machinists who have grown their skillsets in the workplace with exposure to other tools and systems.

I hope this is useful. Feel free to email me if you have any more specific questions.
 Subject : Re:Re:Research for my Dissertation.. 10/20/2022 09:07:02 AM 
Jenny Tommos
Posts: 22
Location
Hi Will,
Freelance means the same thing on both sides of the Atlantic. It's just that a few members at APMM can't visualize a modelmaker jumping from gig to gig, as I do.
 Subject : Re:Research for my Dissertation.. 10/20/2022 08:55:34 AM 
Will Strange
Posts: 7
Location
Hi Jack,

I discovered that modelmaking could be a career when I was looking for architecture and design courses to study at university. I realised I really wanted to know more about making and studied HND Design & BA (Hons) Model Design at University of Hertfordshire.

I got my first jobs through work experience / internships while I was studying. These led to plenty of freelance opportunities. After I'd gained experience I was offered a full-time position, and then became an associate in a modelmaking company.

As you'll know, I'm now a full time lecturer in both modelmaking and design, but that's another story...

All the best with your research. I hope that plenty of members can help out here.

Also: Be aware that here in the UK we have a different understanding of 'freelance'. Here, a freelancer is more likely to move from one company to another or one employer to another. I believe that in the USA, a freelancer might more often have their own workshop and work from it for different clients and other modelmakers....
 Subject : Research for my Dissertation.. 10/20/2022 08:21:46 AM 
Jack  Wase 
Posts: 1
Location
Hi everyone,
I'm currently writing my dissertation for Modelmaking at Arts University Bournemouth regarding Modelmaking as a trade and I have a question for the community:
How did you enter the modelmaking profession and do you hold any modelmaking related qualifications, either degrees, diplomas etc?
Thank you for your time,
Jack Wase
 
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