PWF Teacher Certification Program
A little history …
Four years ago, Barbara and Jim Lewis began to work with a patent engineer to develop a patent application for the bead pulling station (BPS). When the application was filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in March, 2011, the BPS became “patent pending” and was advertised as such. On June 25, 2013, Utility Patent 8,470,399 was granted. The primary objective for obtaining this patent was to protect the educational integrity of this unique process.
What’s involved in becoming a PWF Certified Teacher …
The Certification and Licensing Program consists of a two-day intensive workshop. Prospective Teachers will experience the Certification Training Class as if they were new students taking a Painting with Fire Workshop. This will be the experiential model for how Certified Teachers should approach their own teaching. In the course of teaching over 600 workshops, we’ve learned what works and what doesn’t.
The content of the PWF Teacher Certification workshop is comprehensive. We begin at the beginning, which is discussing safety, and end with the business aspects related to liability.
Upon successful completion of the workshop and payment of a licensing fee, Prospective Teachers will become PWF Certified Teachers and can begin teaching the immersion process of torch-fired enameling using the bead pulling station. With this achievement comes a sense of confidence and knowledge that you can handle any situation that arises in your classroom and you have the support of the PWF Team.
The Certification and Licensing Program has the same goals and high standards for Certified Teachers that we have for ourselves. We are firmly committed to training and supporting our teachers so that all prospective students are learning best practices for safety and efficiency.
To certify and license 25 PWF teachers in the next 12-24 months, preferably representing a diverse geographic area. We want to share our teaching experience and business opportunities with you. We simply cannot keep up with the number of teaching requests we receive. We feel it is better to refer requests to Certified Teachers than enable others who may inappropriately represent themselves as qualified.
To obtain certification, you must successfully complete the two-day Teacher Certification Workshop and pay an initial licensing fee. The licensing fee is $250. We consider PWF certified teachers to be our “business partners.” Together we’re in business to protect the integrity of the technique, how it is taught, and who teaches it. This is an essential component to the success of the program. It is entirely possible that you will recoup the cost of your two-day workshop AND your licensing fee in your first one or two workshops through tuition and sales of selective materials. Sharing the PWF method with students will provide you with a revenue stream as a result of the general recognition of the PWF immersion system as being a superior method of torch-fired enameling.
To prevent patent infringement, PWF will send notification letters to major teaching venues informing them of the Teacher Certification Program and the restrictions provided by the patent on non-certified teachers.
To assure that PWF certified and licensed teachers have comprehensive training about safety, a clear understanding of the most frequent causes of accidental burns, and an experienced-based knowledge about the most common troubleshooting issues that arise with students. We want you to feel confident when you walk into a classroom to teach and we want the students to experience a sense of surety that they’re receiving the best and safest teaching possible.
To provide the certified and licensed PWF teacher with written materials on safety and sample liability-release forms. Why reinvent the wheel? When a student signs our release form, they acknowledge that they are about to engage in a process with inherent dangers and they also acknowledge the protection of the technique provided by the patent. It is recommended that you have every student sign a release form before the class begins. Our forms are being offered to you as a convenience, but you can also use it as a boilerplate for your own individualized forms.
To provide the certified and licensed PWF teacher with rapid access to the PWF teaching staff to assist with student Q&A and advanced troubleshooting issues, as they arise, even during live classes. We provide this service to our customers, why wouldn’t we provide it to our teachers! You have a team of enamellists behind you.
To provide a 20% discount on these items 8oz enamels (3 oz and 1 oz on special occasions), surface decoration, enameling and metalworking tools and other jewelry making supplies. Because we manufacture some items ourselves and/or have established relationships with other manufactures we are able to offer a higher discount on those items. This includes but is not limited to 30% off the Bead Pulling Station, all metal tins. Teacher orders are best placed through the following email and format : firstname.lastname@example.org, Subject line: PWF Teacher Order, Body: item and quantity, address to where they are to be shipped, and preferred method of payment. If paypal please give us your email address. By credit card we will call when the order is ready. A quote of the order will be sent to your preferred email address for your approval prior to payment request.
Other benefits include but are not limited: provide shipping priority for teacher orders, special discounts, new techniques, technique support, and other questions.
To assure that PWF teachers follow patent requirements. It is our duty to inform the public that the bead pulling station, and the enameling method associated with it, is patented. As a certified teacher, you will inform your students of this protection, but you will also want to become vigilant of patent infringement abuses, which should be reported to us for action. Our first step is to send a friendly “cease and desist” letter before referring the matter to our attorneys. Unless requested otherwise, you will remain anonymous to the patent infringer.
To provide online or in-person yearly Continuing Education*. You have the PWF team behind you that works with enameling everyday. We are constantly making advances in enameling methods and teaching practices, which will be shared with our teachers. But you will also be making your own discoveries that will set your work apart from others.
To promote Certified Teachers on the Painting with Fire Studio website through a registry of PWF Certified Teachers, teacher profiles, a portfolio of teacher and student works, and links to teacher pages. We want you and your students to be successful. We will do our part to help this happen. We will post your information on our website and on the Painting with Fire Studio Facebook page and other online media.
The two-day intensive Teacher Certification and Licensing Program is intended for those who want to be teachers. However, students who have successfully completed the course will have up to 90 days in which to decide whether they want to be involved in fee-based teaching. At the point you successfully complete the two-day training workshop and pay your licensing fee, you, as a PWF Certified Teacher, can begin to set up fee-based teaching opportunities.
About the patent …
Painting with Fire Studio has posted recent notices aimed at educating PWF customers and students about potential patent infringements. These infringements occur when a fee-based class, using the bead pulling station (BPS) and the method of enameling associated with it, is taught by an instructor who is not a PWF Certified Teacher. A Utility Patent, issued by the US Patent and Trademark Office on June 25, 2013, protects the educational integrity of the PWF Immersion Method of enameling and the BPS. However, owners of the bead pulling station should feel free to use the equipment to make beads, and other enameled objects, for sale and personal use.
Simply put, patent infringement occurs when money changes hands, which makes the transaction a “commercial” one. You can share the technique with a friend, but if you receive compensation for that “sharing,” you have now committed patent infringement.