The journey of becoming a jewelry designer will ultimately be determined by your expectations and the efforts you put in to achieve your goals. The jewelry design industry is an artistic path that as you know requires creativity, followed by determination that will eventually help share your passion and inspiration with the world.
Great jewelers were once young and all they had was a dream and creativity. Add a little experience and gift for crafting precious metals, and this is how many world renowned jewelers of the past century became famous. From Louis Cartier to Charles Tiffany and everyone in between, all these sought after jewelers were once young with nothing in their pockets but big dreams and a vision. So let us cut to the chase and start aligning the basic tips every jewelry designer must know. The jewelry design tips we have aligned below include the following topics:
- Getting Started
- Designing Jewelry
- Propelling your Craft
- Jewelry Making Techniques
- Jewelry Making Tools
- Selling Jewelry Online
Choose an Area of Focus
When getting started with jewelry design it is important to focus on one niche. As you may know there are many jewelry making techniques. Metalworking, beading, working with precious gems, making settings, enamel jewelry – all these fields include many materials and crafts you have to perfect.
Although it is better to know them all, you can start by focusing, for example, on one material type (gold, silver, platinum, titanium, ceramic, semi-precious gems, precious gems, crystals) and work your way to the top as time passes. This way, you can branch out easier into other materials and jewelry-making techniques.
Learn How to Design Jewelry
Many schools, including online courses, will help you learn the ABC of jewelry design. Through jewelry design courses you can learn about the theory, history, colors, materials, and everything related to the jewelry industry. But you have to know that all world-renowned jewelry designers are self-taught. Although we are not suggesting to not follow jewelry design courses, it is worth being noted that nothing can surpass hands-on experience.
Creating pieces, playing with materials, doing the finishing process, or designing a new setting, are all invaluable pieces of learning that will make you a great jewelry designer. However, formal education is important. Especially if you want to apply for a job position in the jewelry-making industry, whatever it may be. If you’re a freelancer and starting your own venture, understandably, formal education may not be an obstacle.
The part where you should focus the most is learning how to use graphic design programs, 3D printers, microscopes and other lenses for gem work, and other high-tech equipment. If you will be working in a design studio, part of your responsibilities will be assisting with testing prototypes, providing finishing touches (polishing, engraving, sizing), and more.
The top jewelry design software you should consider include: Adobe Illustrator, 3Design, Jewelry CAD Dream, RhinoGold 6, WizeGem, and MatrixGold.
Hone Your Craft
If you have already been introduced with the basics of jewelry making, and already have a specific skill set that is applicable in this industry, you should consider making the next step. As always, learning a new craft will draw inspiration within you, bring you closer to making your ideas come true, and eventually master a new technique.
Some of the common jewelry making techniques used by goldsmiths include casting, cutting, cold-joining, soldering or welding, etc. These and more should be on your techniques portfolio. But if you don’t have access to tools, materials and a special environment yet, you can start at home by learning these simple techniques…
Learn Simple Jewelry Making Techniques
Ancient civilizations inherited us a beautiful culture of adorning ourselves with different types of jewelry. They made bedazzling pieces of jewelry from different methods. Including pounding metal into thin sheets, stringing beads together, wrapping thin wires into shapes, and pouring molten metal into sand molds and creating shining rings or pins by polishing and finishing as a piece of jewelry. But you don’t necessarily have to be a metal casting expert to make great pieces of jewelry.
Jewelry making techniques:
- Jewelry Gluing
- Welding and soldering
- Engraving Metal
- Carving Wax
- Making Molds
- Cutting & Setting Gems
- Finishing & Polishing
With DIY jewelry, you can start testing your skills by selling your pieces and exposing yourself online. As a beginner jeweler with unique and creative ideas that can make a difference from the fashion jewelry industry, you can soon find a supportive and heartwarming audience.
Don’t think people won’t appreciate your designs. It is quite the opposite. Jewelry is a way of uniquely expressing ourselves and everyone wants to accessorize and complement their outfit from an independent jewelry maker.
Learn to Use Basic Jewelry Making Tools
You can use general tools or opt for specific jewelry tools that are specialized and smaller. These tools, specifically made to help beginner jewelers experiment and also create their first pieces, will help you hone your craft, make your first designs, and continue your path in jewelry making. You can then sell them online, let your audience know how you made them, and find inspiration for your next works.
A jewelry making toolkit includes the following:
A pair of wire cutters. Much like scissors, jewelry wire cutters have two short sharp blades that can slice thin metal.
Pliers. These tools with two surfaces come together to grip small edges and pieces. They allow you to work with delicate materials like gold and silver, and get into areas that fingers can not reach.
Butane torch and solder. If you will be working with metals, a heat source like a solder or butane torch is necessary. This tool is a soft metal that is melted to form seams that hold elements together.
Findings. You will need small articles and equipment for attaching jewelry pieces and connecting them together. Many kinds of findings include parts like bead caps, those small tops glued to beds and used in dangling jewelry (earrings, necklaces & pendants). You will also need or create clasps that connect two sides of a piece of jewelry (necklaces and bracelets). And not to forget about bezels – the settings with metal rims where you will mount crystals, gems, or stones. With a touch of creativity, you can make most of your findings, or surf the net for the ones that fit your budget and preferences.
A bead board. To measure the size of necklaces, bracelets, and other pieces of jewelry. It supports Imperial and U.S. measuring systems. The standard size bracelet for example, is about 6 inch (15cm) and the clasp adds ¾ of an inch. You will need a bead board to accelerate the process, if you will be making huge amounts of jewelry.
Selling Jewelry Online
With the jewelry and accessories industry holding a 30% share of global internet purchases, having an online audience can not pass unnoticed. All you need is creativity to grab people’s attention. There are different ways to sell jewelry online and you can include all of them to your marketing arsenal, or start with the one you find more convenient.
Sell Jewelry through a website
A website serves as a 24/7 shop for your precious designs. People from all around the world can find your jewelry pieces in one place and buy from you. It is easier to say it than do it though. You will first need to consult with a professional digital marketing and web development agency. With some professional help, you can start a website with a blog page where you can write about your craft, and an e-commerce platform to list and sell your pieces.
Social media platforms altogether are home to over 5 billion global active users. With traffic of this magnitude, you should consider jumping in and getting your piece of share. By posting regularly, doing hashtag research, and offering quality content, you can soon create a following that finds inspiration in your works, and why not, buy from your brand.
Sell Jewelry on online marketplaces
With the rise of online marketplaces, you can now expose your products to a large audience that is specifically interested in your type of product. List on Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and other specific sites dedicated to selling jewelry online. All you have to do to succeed is make sure to market your pieces as better as you can: write a captivating description, come up with a catchy title, and take pictures that pay justice to your bedazzling jewelry.
FAQ about Jewelry Designer
What is a Jewelry Designer?
A jewelry designer is a professional that creates and plans the patterns for different types of jewelry. From generating the prototype to testing the models for durability, style, and comfort – a jewelry designer must work in a variety of environments.
What does a Jewelry Designer do?
Based on the work environment, the responsibilities of a jewelry designer are as follows:
- Drafting a design on paper or software.
- Selecting the quality of gemstones, precious metals, and other materials.
- Assessing and improving wax models.
- Casting new pieces in metal with wax models as a guide.
- Polishing and cleaning jewelry before distribution.
- Ensuring the jewelry is comfortable to the wearer.
What Education does a Jewelry Designer Need?
Many novice jewelry designers take a traditional path to learn the craft. A degree isn’t strictly required however, you can earn an associate or bachelor’s degree in jewelry design, gemology, accessories design, or another associated subject.