Jewelry has been used to adorn people since the dawn of time.
While the creations of tribal people might differ significantly in
appearance from today's creations of New York City jewelers, they
both have a similar purpose. Jewelry has been used to express
its wearers' individuality and personality, as well as a
public display of wealth and culture.
Throughout the world there are thousands and thousands of people involved
in the art of making jewelry, whether this jewelry is being displayed
behind plate-glass windows of fashionable stores, or whether it is being
given to friends and family. Making jewelry, like other art forms,
is a wonderful way to express yourself and give an outlet to your
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While technology has changed jewelry making, the methods themselves have
changed little over the centuries. It is still possible today to
make jewelry using just a block of wood held in sand and a few simple
tools. While machines that produce lengths of chains, mills and
presses that make sheets of fine metal, and electroplating and
photoetching systems make the world of jewelry making more competitive,
there is still a place for those artisans who hand-craft their jewelry.
Jewelry making is perfect for those who want to sell their wares, those
who want to pursue it on a part-time basis, or those who want to make
jewelry as a hobby. Today, there are many places to learn the art
of making jewelry, including classes at local community centers, colleges
and universities, and art schools. As jewelry makers become more
familiar with the techniques and processes involved in jewelry making,
their personal jewelry making styles will develop.
Jewelry-Making Techniques (Collage)
Jewelry Making Supplies
In addition to a collection of jewelry making tools, you will also need a variety of components to
build your jewelry creations.
- Beads. Many types, sizes, and colors of beads are available,
both in bead shops and from online jewelry supply websites. Choose
the types of beads you like best, whether gemstone, glass, clay, pearl,
- Findings. Findings are things like jump rings, ear hooks, and
clasps. They come in different kinds of designs and metals.
- Stringing material. The stringing material you choose will
depend on the project you are making. For necklaces, you can buy
nylon thread and coated beading wire in a variety of colors. Look
for nylon thread with an attached needle, and wrapped around a card so
it won't tangle. For bracelets, you may want a stretch cord.
- Wire. If you are making wire wrap jewelry, you will need wire
to work with. Wire comes in different sizes, shapes, colors, types
of metals, and hardnesses. Beginners should start with thin, soft,
and inexpensive wire, such as copper and brass.
You will also need some way to organize all your jewelry making supplies
and equipment. A tackle box or tool chest may work, as long as it
has lots of drawers for your beads and findings.
Once you have your tools and supplies, you are ready to start making
beautiful necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and more. Many web sites
are available where you can purchase tools and supplies, learn jewelry
making techniques, and download jewelry patterns. For example,
visit WigJig, where
you can find designs and tips for making jewelry with beads and wire.
Jewelry Making Products
- Fire Mountain Gems
Offers an extensive selection of beads, jewelry supplies, and jewelry
- Rio Grande
Since 1944, this New Mexico firm has been providing jewelry tools and
equipment, as well as gems and findings, to jewelers and craftsmen.
Website features assorted jewelry making tips plus information about
their hands-on jewelry making classes.
Offers a selection of jewelers' tools, metal working tools,
and beading supplies.
Related Jewelry Links
Jewelry Making Supplies and Techniques