Former Guardian journalist and Holts Academy driving online courses.
A new digital platform titled Mastered has launched, offering designers the chances to access online courses, meet industry leaders and build their career opportunities.
Mastered is the brainchild of Adil Abrar, an entrepreneur that supports social businesses with the aim of bringing people together to solve problems. Mastered is being led by former Guardian and Company magazine writer Perri Lewis, who operates as its creative director.
Lewis and Abrar have joined forces with Holts Academy to launch a selection of online jewellery courses taught by Hatton Garden-based craftspersons. Mastered aims to provide creative education that can be taken anytime, anywhere and on any device. The site will also offer access to industry experts who will be on hand to answer questions via online classrooms, giving webinars and providing links to potential work placements or career mentoring.
Current courses include Casting Jewellery at Home, Textile Jewellery and a Foundation in Metal Clay Jewellery.
Lewis told Professional Jeweller that the site is a reaction to the current state of jewellery and craft education. "[As it] currently stands, you can only access the very best teaching if you are willing – or can afford to – travel to them," Lewis said. "Thanks to the internet that doesn’t need to be the case any more. Online education means you can learn in your time, from anywhere in the world."
According to Lewis, Mastered is different to other online educational platforms in that it provides education that comes hand-in-hand with industry opportunities. "We have industry experts who are guest tutors in every classrooms, sharing their advice and giving feedback on students’ work. Take one class and you have the chance to be featured in Mollie Makes magazine. Take another and the most promising student will be awarded a placement in a prestigious studio. You get your own career coach too, who is on hand to give everything from encouragement to business advice."
The partnership with Holts Academy came about through Lewis wanting to offer vocational training that enhances career or business potential, rather than jewellery tutoring that focused on learning skills for the sake of learning. "Their teaching is impeccable quality and they share our vision that designers and makers across the world should have access to the best teachers," she added.
Perri has been writing about design and craft for the past five years. In 2013 she published her first book, Material World: the Modern Craft Bible, which featured a section on jewellery with inspiration for budding jewellers from Lara Bohinc and Tatty Devine.