You can become a jeweler through a variety of ways. Some people pick up an apprenticeship, others complete vocational training, and some just do it as a hobby and learn through videos. The pandemic has certainly caused people to pick up hobbies and interests that they might not otherwise have had time for. Jewelry was one of them.
Making jewelry doesn’t require a lot of space or tools. Of course the more experience you gain and the type of work you do, will definitely impact how large or small your space needs to be.
But ultimately it’s all about personal preference.
For many hobbyists, having a few basic tools like sanding sticks, files, tweezers, calipers, and a jewelers saw can help you finish small projects in no time. Some places even sell beginner jewelry kits that come with these basics plus a few other essentials that can help you start crafting.
However, for those of you who are interested in making jewelry professionally or semi-professionally. The best way to learn is to apply for an apprenticeship at a shop that you like. It’s important that you find a store that sells jewelry that you would like to make or would wear. It’s also important to make sure that the shop you choose uses the highest quality tools, materials, and craftsmanship.
Setting a high standard from the onset will help establish positive habits that will help grow your skills. If possible, also try and connect with more than one shop so you can see if your personalities and work ethic match. Sometimes a shop can sell exactly the kind of jewelry you’re interested in making, but maybe the team fit isn’t working.
Learning jewelry requires patience, attention to detail, and compassion when mistakes are made. You want to make sure that you connect with a teacher whose teaching philosophy takes these fundamentals into account.
However, the caveat to all of this is that we now have the Internet at our fingertips. Which means you can learn almost anything by watching video tutorials.
Many successful jewelers are self-taught, and have taken advantage of lockdown to learn more about the craft by following their favorite makers online. If possible, consider taking a workshop at your local community center or community college. These programs are super handy because they teach you a wide variety of basics in a very short amount of time, often just taking an intro course can help you learn basics such as cold connections and polishing.
After you learn the fundamentals you can consider taking a more advanced course that teaches you how to use a torch and other tools that require safety training.
All in all, there is no set timeline or method of study for becoming a jeweler.
All you have to do is be committed to the techniques that you want to learn, and the kinds of jewelry you want to make. It’s all about bringing your vision to reality. If all you want to learn is how to make multilayered keychains, then simply learning cold connections will work for you. If you want to learn how to make a ring, then you’ll have to learn how to forge metal, by heating it up and hammering it to your desired length and shape.
The possibilities are endless, but if you’re looking for a new way to express yourself, give jewelry making a try!