Tag Archives: design

Visual Skills School


The goals and functions of Visual Skills School as a private tertiary institution are unique. The school follows a multi-disciplinary approach to problem solving, development of creativity and applied knowledge, drawing from appropriate art disciplines (photography, design and fine arts) to cultivate a wider skills application in the visual media industry.

Our Vision

VSS’s vision is to constantly strive to  improve study material through research, experiments and creative exercises to empower students in an environment conducive to learning and creativity.

The theoretical foundations of each subject are taught in-depth as a basis from where practical application is to follow. Accordingly, theory and practice are considered to be interdependent aspects in the development of a student for the workplace.

To mobilize the inherent creativity in students, VSS’s philosophy is to embrace the dynamic nature of the visual media industry by exploring different genres and art media. All VSS lecturers constantly update course material to allow for new developments in the realm of photography, visual communication and business, as well as for technological and scientific advances.

Registration 2011

Registration closes 15 January 2011 for the diploma course in photography & visual arts which commences on 19 January 2011, as well as the first short courses, ie basic photography, advanced photography and digital graphic design which commences on 17 January 2011.

Basic Courses run quarterly and registrations are accepted throughout the year.

Day courses such as macro photography, flash photography, portrait photography, darkroom and digital workflow (Adobe Lightroom & Photoshop) are available on enquiry.

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Rita Linde Interiors Decorating Course

We are planning to run an evening class in interior decorating over three months, one evening a week starting on the first Thursday in September from 6-8:30 from our studio in Milnerton.

This certificate course would be a total of 12 lessons and would appeal to people who:

  • Want to make a career change to work in a interior decoration business or showroom
  • Want to work as freelance interior decorators
  • Are already in the field and want to add new skills to improve career development
  • Want to acquire skills to use whilst they renovate, build or decorate their own home

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cad4all Draughting and Promotion


Having a credible product with a fantastic user track record can only be achieved when a comprehensive training program is in place that supports the product.Our training acadamy will be servicing the entire design industry and catering for all the individual markets that utilise CAD software and more.

cad4all promotion

The training programs are designed and content approved by all the regulatory, statutory and accreditation authorities within South Africa. All our programs will ensure that all candidates graduate with a certificate of completion and their certification will be recognised by and approved by all the necessary bodies.


Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers

Significant Points

•    About half of all jewelers are self-employed.
•    Jewelers usually learn their trade in vocational or technical schools, through distance-learning centers, or on the job.
•    Prospects for bench jewelers and other skilled jewelers should be favorable; keen competition is expected for lower-skilled manufacturing jobs, such as assemblers and polishers.

Nature of the Work

Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers use a variety of common and specialized hand tools and equipment to design and manufacture new pieces of jewelry; cut, set, and polish gem stones; repair or adjust rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and other jewelry; and appraise jewelry, precious metals, and gems. Jewelers usually specialize in one or more of these areas and may work for large jewelry manufacturing firms, for small retail jewelry shops, or as owners of their own businesses. Regardless of the type of work done or the work setting, jewelers need a high degree of skill, precision, and attention to detail.

Some jewelers design or make their own jewelry. Following their own designs or those created by designers or customers, they begin by shaping the metal or by carving wax to make a model for casting the metal. The individual parts then are soldered together, and the jeweler may mount a diamond or other gem or may engrave a design into the metal. Other jewelers do finishing work, such as setting stones, polishing, or engraving, or make repairs. Typical repair work includes enlarging or reducing ring sizes, resetting stones, and replacing broken clasps and mountings.

Bench jewelers usually work in jewelry retailers. They perform a wide range of tasks, from simple jewelry cleaning and repair to moldmaking and fabricating pieces from scratch. In larger manufacturing businesses, jewelers usually specialize in a single operation. Mold and model makers create models or tools for the jewelry that is to be produced. Assemblers solder or fuse jewelry and their parts; they also may set stones. Engravers etch designs into the metal with specialized tools, and polishers bring a finished luster to the final product.

Jewelers typically do the handiwork required to produce a piece of jewelry, while gemologists and laboratory graders analyze, describe, and certify the quality and characteristics of gem stones. Gemologists may work in gemological laboratories or as quality control experts for retailers, importers, or manufacturers. After using microscopes, computerized tools, and other grading instruments to examine gem stones or finished pieces of jewelry, they write reports certifying that the items are of a particular quality. Many jewelers also study gemology to become familiar with the physical properties of the gem stones with which they work.

Jewelry appraisers carefully examine jewelry to determine its value, after which they write appraisal documents. They determine the value of a piece by researching the jewelry market, using reference books, auction catalogs, price lists, and the Internet. They may work for jewelry stores, appraisal firms, auction houses, pawnbrokers, or insurance companies. Many gemologists also become appraisers.In small retail stores or repair shops, jewelers and appraisers may be involved in all aspects of the work. Those who own or manage stores or shops also hire and train employees; order, market, and sell merchandise; and perform managerial duties.

New technology is helping to produce jewelry of higher quality at a reduced cost and in a shorter amount of time. For example, lasers are often used for cutting and improving the quality of stones, for applying intricate engraving or design work, and for inscribing personal messages or identification on jewelry. Jewelers also use lasers to weld metals together in milliseconds with no seams or blemishes, improving the quality and appearance of jewelry.

Some manufacturing firms use computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) to facilitate product design and automate some steps in the moldmaking and modelmaking process. CAD allows jewelers to create a virtual-reality model of a piece of jewelry. Using CAD, jewelers can modify the design, change the stone, or try a different setting and see the changes on a computer screen before cutting a stone or performing other costly steps.

Once they are satisfied with the model, CAM produces it in a waxlike or other material. After the mold of the model is made, it is easier for manufacturing firms to produce numerous copies of a given piece of jewelry, which are then distributed to retail establishments across the country. Similar techniques may be used in the retail setting, allowing customers to review their jewelry designs with the jeweler and make modifications before committing themselves to the expense of a customized piece of jewelry.
Work Environment

A jeweler’s work involves a great deal of concentration and attention to detail. Trying to satisfy customers’ and employers’ demands for speed and quality while working on precious stones and metal can cause fatigue or stress. However, the use of more ergonomically correct jewelers’ benches has eliminated most of the strain and discomfort caused by spending long periods over a workbench.

Lasers require both careful handling to avoid injury and steady hands to direct precision tasks. In larger manufacturing plants and some smaller repair shops, chemicals, sharp or pointed tools, and jewelers’ torches pose safety threats and may cause injury if proper care is not taken. Most dangerous chemicals, however, have been replaced with synthetic, less toxic products to meet safety requirements.

In repair shops, jewelers usually work alone with little supervision. In retail stores, they may talk with customers about repairs, perform custom design work, and even do some selling. Because many of their materials are valuable, jewelers must observe strict security procedures, including working behind locked doors that are opened only by a buzzer, working on the other side of barred windows, making use of burglar alarms, and, in larger jewelry establishments, working in the presence of armed guards.

Source: bls.gov, bestamericanarts.com, artistryingoldinc.com, thediamondboutique.net, theage.com.au


Computer Programmers

Computer programmers write, test, and maintain the detailed instructions, called programs, that computers follow to perform their functions. Programmers also conceive, design, and test logical structures for solving problems by computer. With the help of other computer specialists, they figure out which instructions to use to make computers do specific tasks. Many technical innovations in programming—advanced computing technologies and sophisticated new languages and programming tools, for example—have redefined the role of a programmer and elevated much of the programming work done today.

Job titles and descriptions may vary, depending on the organization, but computer programmers are individuals whose main job function is programming. Programmers usually write programs according to the specifications given by computer software engineers and systems analysts. After engineers and analysts design software—describing how it will work—the programmer converts that design into a logical series of instructions that the computer can follow. The programmer codes these instructions in a conventional programming language such as COBOL; an artificial intelligence language such as Prolog; or one of the more advanced object-oriented languages, such as Java, C++, or ACTOR.

Different programming languages are used depending on the purpose of the program. Programmers generally know more than one programming language, and because many languages are similar, they often can learn new languages relatively easily. In practice, programmers often are referred to by the language they know, such as Java programmers, or by the type of function they perform or environment in which they work—for example, database programmers, mainframe programmers, or Web programmers.

Programmers also update, repair, modify, and expand existing programs. Some, especially those working on large projects that involve many programmers, use computer-assisted software engineering (CASE) tools to automate much of the coding process. These tools enable a programmer to concentrate on writing the unique parts of a program. Programmers working on smaller projects often use “programmer environments,” applications that increase productivity by combining compiling, code walk through, code generation, test data generation, and debugging functions. Programmers also use libraries of basic code that can be modified or customized for a specific application. This approach yields more reliable and consistent programs and increases programmers’ productivity by eliminating some routine steps.

Programs vary widely depending on the type of information they will access or generate. For example, the instructions involved in updating financial records are very different from those required to simulate flight for pilot training. Simple programs can be written in a few hours, but some programs draw data from many existing systems or use complex mathematical formulas. These programs may take more than a year to create. In most cases, several programmers work together as a team under a senior programmer’s supervision.

Programmers test a program by running it to ensure that the instructions are correct and that the program produces the desired outcome. If errors do occur, the programmer must make the appropriate change and recheck the program until it produces the correct results. This process is called testing and debugging. Programmers may continue to fix problems for as long as a program is used.

Programmers working on a mainframe, a large centralized computer, may prepare instructions for a computer operator who will run the program.  Programmers also may contribute to the instruction manual for a program.

Programmers in software development companies may work directly with experts from various fields to create specialized software—either programs designed for specific clients or packaged software for general use—ranging from games and educational software to programs for desktop publishing and financial planning. Programming of packaged software constitutes one of the most rapidly growing segments of the computer services industry.

Increasingly, advanced software platforms are bridging the gap between computer programmers and computer users. New platforms, such as spreadsheet, accounting, and enterprise resource planning applications, have created demand for computer specialists who have first-hand knowledge of a user-base. These workers use such platforms to develop programs that meet the specific needs of this base. Computer programmers often are responsible for creating the software platform, and then fine-tuning the final program after it has been made.

Computer programmers often are grouped into two broad types—applications programmers and systems programmers. Applications programmers write programs to handle a specific job, such as a program to track inventory within an organization. They also may revise existing packaged software or customize generic applications purchased from vendors. Systems programmers, in contrast, write programs to maintain and control computer systems software for operating systems, networked systems, and database systems. These workers make changes in the instructions that determine how the network, workstations, and central processing unit of a system handle the various jobs they have been given, and how they communicate with peripheral equipment such as terminals, printers, and disk drives. Because of their knowledge of the entire computer system, systems programmers often help applications programmers determine the source of problems that may occur with their programs.

In some organizations, workers known as programmer-analysts are responsible for both the systems analysis and programming.

Source: bls.gov,