Where Is A Good Place To Start In The Craft Of Jewelry Making?

Defining Your Interest In Making Jewelry

The first thing I want to write about here is what warrants the label as Jewelry. I am going to take a look at Wikipedia and get a complete definition for Jewelry. The definition there says it is any item worn as a personal adornment. It does include the wearing of earrings, and other body piercings and brooches attached to your clothing but, it does not include buttons on a garment. There is a long history included at that link, which might also be interesting for you to read but, I will let the definition stand alone. I do not intend to get into the history of jewelry but would rather investigate the various materials that are involved in jewelry making. My purpose is to better define what may be interesting for each, individual enthusiast and, to help you explore the various ways you can become enlisted in this craft for fun or as a hobby.

The Perfect Example, this piece was recently discovered and dates back to the time of Christ
The Perfect Example, this piece was recently discovered and dates back to the time of Christ

The Beauty Photographed Above

The earring in this photo dates back some 2,000 years ago. What a timeless work and stands as a class act even in todays high tech standards. This was most recently found just last year(2008) near a parking lot in Jerusilum. It makes my skin creep to think about where this beautiful piece of work came from and who it has adorned..... A magnificent example of timeless creation.

You can read all about it, in this National Geographic article. It has to be one of the most amazing stories depicting jewelry from ancient times.

Materials, Traditions And Customs In Relationship To Jewelry Making

The mediums applied to this craft almost seem endless. Traditionally we think of gems and precious metals when we think of jewelry but, there are so many other forms of jewelry made that the array of materials is seemingly endless. I personally like the jewelry that was fashioned by natives, from all parts of the world, dating back as far as we can go.

Much of these types of adornments were made from the materials common to the time. Bones, shells, animal hide, seeds and feathers, were all utilized across the globe. Using what they had available, craftsmen from different parts of the world, created magnificent works of art. These same jewelry ideas are often mimicked today. Many archaeological pieces have been preserved and serve as wonderful depictions of cultural customs and traditions.

In fact, jewelry was often adapted to certain traditions and customs as a gesture in celebrations in all parts of the world. To honor and celebrate special traditions and events within different groups of people, jewelry became recognized as a symbol of status and achievement. The best example I can think of is the wedding ring and others would be the crowns of kings and queens. Jesus was said to have worn a crown of thorns during the Crucifixion.

What Holds The Stone In Place?

Finding The Right Materials For Your Goals In This Craft

The materials for jewelry making, being so diverse and extreme in comparison, could leave anyone overwhelmed when trying to decide which one to try their hand at crafting. It is best to keep in mind that many of the oldest forms of jewelry were produced by people who were masters at what they did. Just by viewing some of the photos I have placed here, it is easy enough to see that these works are quite involved.

It is also important to note that much practice could put you at a level where producing fine pieces, is only a matter of time spent. With that said, I suggest that anyone wanting to create their own jewelry start with materials that are readily available. Play around with the materials that are easily attainable before spending a great deal of money on expensive supplies.

Relatively inexpensive materials and a few simple tools can be purchased as needed to begin exploring this craft. There are also kits available for those who are not quite ready to go all out, without a little, test of the water, so to speak. Start simple and if the idea of making your own adornments keeps your attention, then by all means, go with it and, grow into this craft as you learn.

Go on line and shop around for materials to work with. Make sure to hit the hobby and craft stores in your area as well. I feel that actually seeing the physical supplies and materials helps more than looking through catalogs and websites. My reasoning here, there is something to that close up and personal encounter with the beads, feathers, metals, seeds, wires, cords and clasps and, all the other elements that will create a spontaneity in your choice of supplies. The visual, as well as the touch, will provide a certain inspiration of it's own. This is important to me because I find a certain sort of inspiration with the physical encounter.

Research The Available Materials Before You Get Started

Jade Earrings from Ancient S. E. Asian Culture      Photograph Courtesy PNSA/National Academy of Sciences@2007
Jade Earrings from Ancient S. E. Asian Culture Photograph Courtesy PNSA/National Academy of Sciences@2007
wires of various kinds, are just some of the examples for materials used to produce many kinds of jewelry today.
wires of various kinds, are just some of the examples for materials used to produce many kinds of jewelry today.
This Egyption Crown is a classic example of the detail and craftsmanship as well as the materials involved in creating elegant jewelry
This Egyption Crown is a classic example of the detail and craftsmanship as well as the materials involved in creating elegant jewelry
shells have always been popular and are available already sliced up as this one is shown in the photo above
shells have always been popular and are available already sliced up as this one is shown in the photo above
diamonds: are often called" a girl's best friend" The art of setting precious gem stones requires skill and practice
diamonds: are often called" a girl's best friend" The art of setting precious gem stones requires skill and practice
wooden beads are popular today and can be used in many methods of making jewelry
wooden beads are popular today and can be used in many methods of making jewelry

Beads And Bones, Diamonds And Gold

Precious metals and gems are certainly a mainstay when it comes to creating fine pieces of jeweled adornments. These can be very costly for the novice enthusiast. Not to worry, there is also an abundance of lesser valued materials available to make your own necklaces, bracelets, earrings and other miscellaneous embellishments. One has to look no further than the local discount store in order to find these materials.

Shop around. Garage sales and flea markets are also good places to keep your eyes peeled for jewelry supplies that got tossed to the side. Often times, people think they will get involved with this craft and then give it up. That is where you can come behind and pick up the left overs for a big savings. You can also try collecting natural items such as feathers and stones. These are available from many different locations. I use to gather nice feathers from friends who raised exotic birds. Keep that in mind too.

What ever materials you decide to start with, be sure to start out small and grow in to the craft. You will find much more fun and satisfaction from your adventure in to jewelry making if you take your time and explore all avenues carefully. The newest fashion features items made for beginners to produce lovely works, as evident in the video below. This makes for more fun when you are just starting out in this craft.

Read These Helpful Hubs On Making Your Own Jewelry

My fellow hubber, SweetiePie has a knack for making some nice jewelry and has written several hubs to help anyone interested in making their own pieces. please be sure to take a look at what she has to offer.The first one I would suggest reading is SweetiePie's, Creating Fashionable Homemade Jewelry.

SweetiePie also wrote a "how to" on designing with heart pendants that is very informative. Read that one for additional ideas on this subject.


Simple findings

More by this Author


Comments 6 comments

SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA

I love what you have done with that shell in the third picture to the bottom. I have a few shells like those and I had been wondering what to do with those pieces, but seeing the way you position it has given me a few ideas.


C.S.Alexis profile image

C.S.Alexis 7 years ago from NW Indiana Author

Thank each of you for commenting. I have been so busy between a new business start up, writing, an establish business to operate and life in general I have been soooooo busy. I am trying to get on a routine to reply to all the comments, it is not because I do not care just overwhelmed with so much to do. Please keep reading and leaving your thoughts and opinions. C.S.


Netters profile image

Netters 7 years ago from Land of Enchantment - NM

Wow, very interesting. I love the jewelry the native americans make here in the southwest.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

Some of my favorite earrings still worn today came from craft shows where artists created each piece individually. Nice hub!


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 7 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

I totally agree with seeing what you're buying as opposed to sifting through catalogue and internet sites. It's such a hands on craft anyway that having them physically in front of you get's your ideas flowing better. Not to mention, not all beads are created equal. If you're lucky enough to pick and chose the specific ones you want, you can chose a bead or gem based on nuance.

Great hub. Thanks for sharing.


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

Very interesting indeed. I used to make my own necklaces, but only because I knew someone who imported various beads from all over the world, so it was easy to string them. This is a great hub, thanks.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working