For many, jewelry making is a process of trial and error; for others, it’s passion, and for the commercialization expert, it keeps them afloat on the side. Regardless of the reason you choose to be a jeweler, you will eventually run into the same problem: how do you get good at making jewelry? In the long run, survival depends on your abilities to bring out new and unique pieces that are sure to garner the attention of the common people. A lot goes behind making jewelry, and even after years in the business, there aren’t many people who can call themselves complete experts in the field. Making jewelry is constantly learning; learning the techniques to the customer’s taste takes time and effort. So, how do you become a top-notch jeweler who can stay afloat in the market?
Getting a university degree: Of late, many universities have started offering degrees in jewelry design and making. This is a great way to start your journey to becoming a professional jeweler. The course will provide you with the theoretical knowledge you need to get started and some hands-on experience. After getting a degree, you can apply for apprenticeships under established jewelers to gain more experience.
Work as an apprentice: One of the best ways to learn anything is by working under somebody who already knows everything. This gives you first-hand experience of what goes into making a piece of jewelry and also helps you understand the customer’s point of view. Apprenticeships are available in many jewelry stores, one of the most common ways people start their careers in this field. Not every jewelry store is created equal, and while beggars can’t be choosers, there are a few things you might want to consider when selecting a store for your apprenticeship:
The type of jewelry they make: From Carats to Cubic Zirconia, if you want to specialize in a certain type of jewelry, it is best to learn from somebody who makes similar pieces. Ask yourself the question. What sort of jewelry entices you the most start seeking stores that work in the same type.
The working environment: since you will be spending a lot of time at the store, it is important to ensure that the environment is conducive to your learning. And while this can be a hit or miss at times, you will probably get an idea when you go in for an interview or a trial day.
The workload: Some stores might have you do all the menial tasks while others will let you get your hands dirty with the actual designing and making process. It is best to choose a store where you can get a good mix of both.
Read books and other resources: While there’s no substitute for experience, reading up on the subject can give you a significant advantage. Not only will it help improve your understanding of the techniques but
Using online courses to your advantage: Technology has come a long way, and nowadays, you can find many online courses that offer great insights into jewelry making. These are not a replacement for real-world experience, but they can help better understand the process. Some paid-online courses might even offer certification, which can help you get a leg up in the competition.
Joining clubs and other groups: Many clubs and groups are designed for people with a shared interest in jewelry making. Joining such a group can help you network with like-minded individuals and be a great source of motivation. These groups often organize events and workshops where members can learn new techniques and skills.
Competitions: Participating in competitions is a great way to test your mettle against some of the best jewelers in the business. It also allows you to showcase your work to a wider audience and potentially land big clients.
Start your own business: This is probably the hardest route to becoming a jeweler but also the most rewarding. If you have the passion and drive to start your own business, nothing stops you. However, starting your own business comes with its own set of difficulties. First and foremost, you need to clearly understand what goes into making a piece of jewelry. You also need to be aware of all the different techniques that are available so that you can offer something unique to your customers. Additionally, you need to have a good marketing strategy in place so that people know your brand and what you offer.
No matter which route you choose, becoming a jeweler takes a lot of time and effort. There is no shortcut to success, and working hard is the only way to become a top-notch jeweler. It is also important to get certified so that you can prove your skills to potential employers. The best way to do this is to join a professional organization such as the Jewelers of America or the American Gem Society. These organizations offer certification programs to help jewelers hone their skills and show they are serious about their craft.