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Larry Van Craeynest "Master Your Craft" Scholarship

2 winners, $500 each
Application Deadline
Apr 30, 2021
Winners Announced
May 30, 2021
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Field of Study:
Jewelry Fabrication, Woodworking, or the Metal Arts
Education Level:
Current Undergraduate Student

For centuries, the mentor and apprentice learning model has paved the way for the development of exceptional craftspeople. Larry Van Craeynest of Van Craeynest, Inc. understood and believed in the importance of this model.

The co-founder of Metal Arts Academy, Michael R. Kosinski, began his apprenticeship at Van Craeynest when he was 18 years old. He studied under Larry and many other talented craftsmen at the factory as an apprentice. Michael is one of the many fortunate people who benefited from Larry’s guidance and passion for the craft, and it helped shape Michael into the artist and teacher he is today. 

Larry was not only skilled in fine jewelry fabrication, but he was also a talented woodworker and tool and die maker.  

“Larry insisted on improving your skills and holding your standards high. There were no shortcuts.” -Michael R. Kosinski

Sadly, Larry passed away earlier this year.

As a small step toward continuing Larry’s legacy of mastering your craft with hard work, repetition, passion, and the support of mentors, we created the Larry Van Craeynest “Master Your Craft” Scholarship.

This scholarship will be awarded to two undergraduate students currently studying jewelry fabrication, woodworking, or the metal arts. Other fields of study are not eligible. Each winner will receive a $500 award.

The only requirement is that you are currently working on mastering a craft and are seeking out training from mentors and teachers. Keeping the tradition of skills and knowledge being passed down is our goal. We are reaching to the past and teaching for the future of the craft.

While not required, it’s a plus if you submit a few images of your work along with the application essay.

Selection Criteria:
Essay, Passion, Creator, Ambition, Vision, Purpose, Intent
Published January 30, 2021
Essay Topic

Please tell us a bit about you and your craft in jewelry fabrication, woodworking, or the metal arts. What is the craft you are mastering and why? How did you discover it? What challenges are you encountering? What are your goals for the future, and in what areas could you use help?

400–700 words

Winning Applications

Laura Adams
Temple UniversityLambertville, NJ
My journey in jewelry making and the metal arts began when I was nine years old. My mom was searching for a summer activity I could participate in to keep me from lounging around all summer break. She discovered a local jeweler named Beth Judge who was holding a summer camp for children. At this point I had previously enrolled in various arts and crafts summer camps consisting of macaroni necklaces and friendship bracelet making, my mom assumed this camp would be similar and signed me up. My first day at camp my mom dropped me off at a jewelry store by the name of Beth Ann Designs. I walked in the door and was met with a show room consisting of display cases featuring beautiful pieces of jewelry. With no dry pasta in sight, I assumed I must have been in the wrong place. But then the owner of the store came from a back room to greet me. She introduced herself as Beth, the first adult I did not have to address as missus or mister and my soon to be jewelry mentor. She took me to the back room where I met more confused nine-year olds and a studio full of tools I was afraid to touch. She then began by showing us how she uses a torch, different types of metal, and by the end of the day she guided us to making our first metal piece, a simple sterling cuff with a twist in the center. Obviously, Beth did not let a bunch of children run around with torches, but she would guide us and teach by example, so we understood how these tools and materials were applied. Later in the week she taught me how to enamel, bead, and patina, of course with heavy supervision. Although my mom had virtually no idea what she signed me up for I ended up having one of the most important weeks of art education and by the time next summer rolled around I was signed up for another week of camp. I continued going to Beth’s camp summer after summer and by the time I was thirteen years old she let me start sawing, filing, and polishing on my own. And for my fifteenth birthday her present to me was letting me solder on my own. My evolution as an artist and my time with Beth lead me to understand that being a Jeweler is my calling. Jewelry is not only what I want to do foe the rest of my life, but I feel it’s what I was meant to do for the rest of my life. I am currently a Freshman at the Tyler School of Art at Temple University studying Metals and Jewelry CAD/CAM. I have created Stripes Jewelry where I sell my work and create charity pieces which donate to people and causes in need. Last year I created a toy themed line of jewelry in which I donated 10% of proceeds to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. My greatest challenge in jewelry making is also the reason I created my business. Three years ago, I was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. Stripes has become a creative outlet as well as a way to give back to others. My disability prohibits me from doing a lot of activities and chronic pain often prevents me from metal working. Although challenging ensuring that I can continue to master my craft inspires me to take care of myself and do everything possible to prevent my pain from stopping me. Challenges are roadblocks but not stop signs. I feel that there is virtually nothing that can prevent me from mastering my craft if I do not allow my challenges to consume me. My goals for the future are to grow my business, maintain a healthy mindset about my physical challenges, make Beth and my mom proud. And Lastly be someone that the little nine-year-old, is proud of what she turned her summer camp experience into.
Sarah Shepherd
Indiana University-Purdue University-IndianapolisIndianapolis, IN
During my freshman year of my degree, I was hired as a woodshop monitor at Herron School of Art which is where I completely fell in love with wood, it’s properties, and the community surrounding the field of woodworking. My work is influenced by my personal emotions more than anything, but I try to be as considerate as I can about the planet and the universe around me while I create my art. The decisions I make are heavily influenced by my aspirations and designs drawn in my sketchbooks. Wood and paint are the materials I use the most, but I enjoy drawing and other materials as well. I love to raise awareness about our planet’s most difficult issues such as global warming, animal extinction, pollution, violence, racism, hunger, poverty, mental health, and the human condition, etc. My current work is inspired by mental health, processing emotions, and political issues in America. Being a genderfluid, pansexual person who grew up in a community that’s not very accepting of others, the political issues are affecting me personally in a specific way so I’m doing my best to process my emotions through my art. A type of art therapy for everyone to enjoy with me. - Sarah Elizabeth Dawn Shepherd Instagram: SLWatermelons Website:


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Apr 30, 2021. Winners will be announced on May 30, 2021.

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