Making jewellery in the traditionally way using practical bench skills should ideally be learned by hands-on practical tuition.
Although online videos can be helpful for trade tips, you won’t get a feel for how tools should be held or applied, which is absolutely essential for beginners.
I recommend undertaking a local Jewellery Making class to start with. This will help you understand the making process and give you an idea if you have a natural aptitude for working in metals. Projects set by the tutor will be designed to build confidence over time through the use of a variety of tools and techniques.
The most important factor is to learn jewellery skills from someone who has jewellery trade experience. Learning from a self-taught jeweller is not ideal, your tutor should be an accomplished highly experienced trade Jeweller who has worked in a variety of precious metals.
One-to-one tuition will help you learn quicker, you will still make mistakes which is an important part of the learning process however the undivided attention of a tutor will allow you to work at your own pace and on your own more complex projects.
Tips for Jewellery Beginners
Don’t expect to make wonderful pieces of jewellery straight away, any specialist craft requires at lot of practise before the maker becomes competent.
Finishing is an important part of Jewellery Making, take the time to find perfection in your finish. A wonderful design can be ruined by a poorly finished piece.
You will make many mistakes, this is normal and helpful for becoming a jeweller. Jewellers are problem solvers and you need to learn how to fix your mistakes or find another solution. This will stand you in good stead in the future.
In the beginning try to keep your designs simple and create them well. Grand ideas should be saved until you have mastered basic techniques otherwise you may find yourself going from one disaster to another which could affect your confidence.
Before undertaking any tuition for Jewellery Making, this blog from The Bespoke Jewellery Training Company may be of assistance.
About the author
Dawn Meaden-Johnson has over 30 years’ experience working in customer facing Creative and Commercial Industries and in Further Education, including at Birmingham City University School of Jewellery, during which time she has worked extensively with external national and international clients.
Dawn is a creative business development consultant and the founder of The Bespoke Jewellery Training Company which provides national one-to-one practical tuition for Jewellers and business enterprise skills training and enterprise mentoring for young makers in the West Midlands.
A Silversmith graduate of Birmingham City University School of Jewellery, Dawn still creates jewellery under the brand Dawnstorm.co.uk which specialises in limited edition contemporary jewellery.