Jewellery Making - Getting Started

Jewellery making can be a fun, relaxing hobby. Grab some gemstones, beads, hardware, and a little string, and voila!: a wearable masterpiece. The best part is you now have a completely original piece, and often for significantly less money than you would spend on jewellery from a shop. Who knows, eventually you may even be able to make a little money on the side to finance your new hobby!

Equipment

Some essential pieces of equipment that every jewellery hobbyist needs to get started.

Pliers

Round-nose: incredibly versatile, use for metalwork, wire-wrapping, etc.

Chain-nose: quite a multitasker, similar to typical needle-nose pliers you might find in an everyday toolbox.

Crimping: these pliers are a necessity if you plan on doing beading projects, as they secure the crimp tubes that essentially hold your project together.

Others: there are several others worth considering: cutting, gem-setting, split-ring (absolutely essential for working with split-rings, but not of much use for anything else), etc. Many jewellery supply sites offer sets of basic pliers, and are a great place to start.

Beading Board

An inexpensive piece of equipment for beading projects, a beading board allows you to design a piece without actually having to string it, giving you the flexibility to change your design as needed. (If you plan to focus mostly on rings, post earrings, or pendants, this may not be necessary).

Hardware

Your supplies can be as varied as the designs you create. Depending on what kind of projects you want to do, there are several websites and books on the market to give you specific advice on what materials to purchase for your projects.

Things to consider

Budget: Like any new hobby, try to avoid investing too much money right in the beginning. Start with some smaller projects, with less expensive materials at first, until you've mastered a skill. There's nothing worse than shelling out a load of cash for that gorgeous gold wire, only to realize you cut it too short, and rendered it useless!

Take a class: Many local crafts stores offer evening workshops for small fees. Take advantage of these classes if you can. They're a great learning experience, and can give you new ideas you haven't considered!

Have a goal: New hobbies are exciting, but can become overwhelming! Choose a few specific goals to keep yourself focused. Don't expect to make new earrings for all of your best friends for Christmas, and then only give yourself 2 weeks to do it! Be realistic with your goals, and set aside plenty of time so you don't become overwhelmed, making your new hobby a chore instead of leisure.

Be nice to yourself!: If this is a new activity for you, make sure to give yourself a break. Your first few projects may not turn out the way you expect, but don't allow yourself to become frustrated; it's supposed to be fun! Learn from your mistakes; this will make you a better artist.