This week’s article is a spotlight on DIY jewelry making and some tips to get you started…
Jewelry making tools and jewelry-making equipments are the most important purchase you will make as you enter the fascinating world of handmade jewelry design.
For the beginner jewelry artist, the decision can be daunting.
I remember taking my first class and wanting to purchase every gizmo they had in the classroom. Unfortunately, for my personal finances, I did. Needless to say my budget took a big hit!
On the other hand, I have an incredible shop with many jewelry making tools to work with, and where I am free to create my handmade jewelry!
In retrospect, I would have started small and purchased better quality jewelry tool and equipment.
That is the reason for this article. It is meant to give you some basic information on what you need to start, and also the $$ investment you will have to make.
Many of the jewelry making supply companies sell pre-made beginner kits. They do contain the basic gadgets you need, yet they have others that you may not need until later. The other disadvantage is that you do not have the flexibility to add other jewelry equipment that you may need more.
When in a budget, you may be better off buying the different items separately. It really pays to shop around.
Rio Grande jewelry supply is one of my favorite places to buy both jewelry making tool and jewelry supplies.
Here are some examples of beginner jewelry making tool that you can purchase. I have also divided the information into the different jewelry making processes – from metalsmithing, to beading, to using metal-clay.
Interested in metalsmith? Here is the information on Jewelry-making equipment that you need to start.
Click on the pictures to visit the individual suppliers site.
Rio Grande jewelry Supply Company offers a jewelry apprentice kit for 1375.00
Otto Frei offers a basic jewelry making kit for $240.00
Contenti offers a basic jewelery kit for $216.75
Before you make a decision as whether to buy a kit or not, do some research. You may decide that buying a less expensive starter kit and adding separate tools can be your best bet.
I bought my first Jewelry kit from the college bookstore where I took my first class. It cost me $80.00 and it had all the basic tools I needed to start. It also had some copper to practice with. I still use everything it included. Aleris Hart my teacher and mentor took the time to create a wonderful kit for her students.
The following is a simple list to get you started on your jewelry tools collection:
Jeweler’s saw frame
saw blades – you can find sets of different sizes
Bee’s was (a wax candle would also do the trick)
Safety Glasses (a must)
Copper to practice with
brushes for flux
Fire-Resistant surface – firebrick, pad or charcoal brick
Pickle Pot and pickle – I use a crock pot from a thrift shop
Heat resistant tweezers
Solder: hard, medium and easy
Another costly investment
bench block or anvil
Ball Peen Hammer
Cross Peen hammer
Dead blow hammer
Utility mallet- rawhide or plastic
Jewelry-making supply and equipment companies also sell hammer kits. I found that the kits got me started and I kept on adding hammers as I felt I needed them.
Dental Floss (prevents stones from getting stock when testing the bezel)
Painter tape (to protect the stone while setting it)
Different size files
Tooth brush – yes, a tooth brush
Flex shaft (another big investment)
Jewelry supply companies also sell flex shaft tool kits. Look for their sales and you will save money.
To save money, keep your eyes open for jewelers going out of business or retiring. I have bought some really great jewelry-making equipment from Craig’s list or e-bay. Again, buyers beware, always check who you buy from.