Shirley Vickers Academy
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By attending a Shirley Vickers workshop, you will learn the art of invisible china, porcelain & pottery restoration.  You will learn how to repair chips & cracks, and how to make missing parts.  You will also learn how to unglue and reglue, receive expert instruction about the use of the airbrush, and complete 2 - 3 items.

 Why Choose A Shirley Vickers Workshop

We have found that tuition charges for most classes run from $200 to $300 per day. Classes vary from 5 to 7 days. Our class fees, which are usually for 5 days includes use of all equipment and materials, with option to purchase the equipment and a ready to repair at home supply kit. Once a student leaves our proven and successful class system, they have everything needed to start work immediately when returning home, something we strongly suggest. Feedback from our many successful students assures us that providing all the equipment and supplies, and an education that includes how to set up your business and how to design your work area are essential to a student who takes the restoration business seriously.

Our academy, now in its twenty-ninth year, constantly strives to improve the course content and the methods of instruction. Our reputation has grown not only for its excellence in teaching methods, but also for the immediate ability of our students to enter quickly into this profitable profession, in many cases within a short time after leaving class. How is this possible with only a one week teaching program?

The Keys:

 Small Classes (6 to 8 - often less)
 Expert Instruction
 Longevity in Business
 Instructor in Full-Time Restoration Business
 Superior Factory Direct Equipment
 Dedication to Student Needs
 Supply Business of Restoration Products

Over the years we have tracked others in the field who offer restoration classes. What do they have to offer a prospective student? What is the cost of the course? Does the instructor have professional training? If they advertise small classes, what is really small? We find classes advertised as classes small to guarantee individual training usually means anywhere from 12 -25 students.

We make sure we have more to offer than other courses. Our course is designed as a business course. Those contemplating restoration as a hobby need to understand that classes taken to gain expertise for a hobby or to start a business requires the proper equipment and instruction in the use of that equipment. To become proficient in this line of work, you cannot achieve professional results without individual instruction and a knowledge of the correct use of necessary equipment.  Many schools offer tuition only. They are not set up with the supplies needed for this profession. The problem to a novice (especially when they are given incomplete training) is that they do not know the distinct differences in various air compressors, airbrushes, drills, chemicals, etc. Being told to go out and buy a particular air compressor without complete training to know what P.S.I. (pounds per square inch) is needed for a particular paint medium can be disastrous. You should be taught why you need moisture traps and why one type of airbrush over another is appropriate for a specific task.  In other words, not any old airbrush will do.

In our school the student arrives in the classroom to his or her own personal equipment set up to use. They learn all the facets of this equipment and, on arriving home, know its workability . They leave our class thoroughly trained in the chemicals used, their advantage and disadvantages and their chemical content. Regardless of how good an instructor is when teaching such technical and chemical procedures, one cannot give individual attention to 12 to 25 students, even with an assistant. Yes, you can teach them something, but not all that is needed to succeed at home and make good repairs. When I ask students to "crowd around when I am demonstrating," I cannot imagine large bodies of students being able to observe procedure. This type of instruction is not like a university auditorium instruction. Learning the art of china restoration requires hands-on, getting dirty, redoing the work, repainting, resanding, writing notes, watching as the instructor teaches others, in other words, total involvement. It's a very full week with no room for those not dedicated to stick with the program. In this type of rigorous training its impossible to teach large numbers of people on an individual basis and get to know everyone's strengths and weaknesses.

Our students start painting with an airbrush by day 2 and by the end of class they are working to master this exciting art and complete their own items.  This way they learn how to match colors, how to shade and how to make a gloss finish or a semi-gloss or matte (dull) finish.

Further, to learn the methods that bring satisfactory and fast results requires an experienced and professional instructor. Teaching is also an art and experience that only comes from years of hands-on training.  Therefore, your choice of the instructor is a critical factor.

One of the advantages of the Vickers School of China, Porcelain and Pottery Restoration is the instructor is still a practicing restorer. This means the teacher is constantly improving on techniques, always perfecting her skills. For any teacher to have the ability to tackle any project the students may bring to class requires many years of actually working the business, constantly fine-tuning the craft.

When inquiring about other schools the first questions a prospective student should ask are, "How many years have you actually worked at restoration? When did you take your class training and from which school?"

 Before The Workshop Starts

You will receive a detailed analysis of each day's work and how you will proceed.  This way you will read how the class continues in a logical sequence.

Students arrive Sunday at 12 noon, register, and collect their manual and equipment.  Afterwards, class begins with a thirty minute lecture.

 At Home After Class

When contemplating this course, it is essential that the prospective student understand the need for continued study upon returning home.  The faster the student sets up and gets to work, the faster he or she becomes proficient in all of the techniques learned in class.  The idea is to retain all knowledge and apply it as quickly as possible.  This immediate practice is what we feel makes for a successful restorer.  We extend a follow-up service by mail for those who have questions as they continue with their work.  This is explained in class.  Our successful students are our best advertisement.

A 28-page booklet is part of the course of continued study at home.

How Do I Register For A Workshop?

For your convenience, we have included a secure form for you to reserve a seat in a workshop. The reservation is without cost or obligation. After you complete the Reservation Form, you will be contacted and final arrangements will be made. Be sure you visit our Workshop Schedule page before you complete the secure Reservation Form.  Please call (928) 476-3703 with any further questions.

Check out the following pages for more information about our workshops.

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This page was last updated: 04-14-2010