Jewelry making 101: Overview
Being able to wear something you've made yourself can be an incredible feeling. If you've ever thought of trying to make your own jewelry then this is the article for you because I want to highlight different disciplines in jewelry making and I plan to follow up with later blog posts expanding on each type. If you're looking to start making jewelry there are of course tons of online resources from videos to articles. If you're new to the hobby though, then you likely have no idea what tools you may need or even know that there is different types of jewelry making. I've put together a helpful guide breaking each type down that will hopefully help you decide where you'd like to get started.
Probably the most common type of jewelry making for beginners is beading. You can find easy kits that include all of the tools and supplies needed at local craft stores or online. Beading is a great way to begin making jewelry and who doesn't love a pretty stretch bracelet? Beading can also be done with a pull cord style or clasp. Making bracelets with clasps require a few more tools than the other methods but if you're considering this as a serious hobby or would love to sell your own jewelry, then investing in quality tools is beneficial.
Wire working or wire wrapping are techniques very often used by jewelry makers. The trick to wire working is making sure you've got quality tools and materials. Purchasing plated wire for example means it can be damaged easier with pliers so sticking with nickel, copper, or brass for inexpensive options or sterling silver, fine silver, or gold for more expensive options. The wonderful thing about wire working is that customization is endless.
Resin jewelry is incredibly popular right now and it's not overly difficult to make. Resin can be set over material, paper, or objects for unique pendants, earrings, or even charms. You can also go out and purchase silicon molds to create fun shapes or typical jewelry designs like a teardrop. Resin and the molds can usually be found at your local craft store in the jewelry making section.
This is a less common type of jewelry making but incredibly rewarding if you have the time, patience, and creativity. There is quite a bit involved with silversmithing or metalsmithing regarding tools, workspace set up, and materials to begin making pieces. My suggestion if you're interested in learning is to do plenty of research before purchasing your tools and materials. There are many techniques depending on what you plan to make whether it's bracelets, decorative pieces, rings, or textured metals just to name a few.
Whether you're a beginner or expert in making jewelry there is always something new to learn (usually through trail and error). And don't forget, I'll be following up soon with how to articles for each type of jewelry making and I'll outline what you need to get started including tools, materials, and anything else you may need.