How to become a silversmith and design custom jewelry – Week 1

After selling my first couple of jewelry designs, I decided I might actually have a chance at turning my hobby into a small business. But to do that I need to step out of the playground and into the classroom.

I took the plunge and enrolled at a 10 week workshop at a local college (for locals, that’s Algonquin College in Ottawa, Canada). For 3 hours every Thursday evening myself, and 8 others, are learning the art of traditional jewelry design.

Tonight’s first class was nearly overwhelming. So many processes, tools, techniques, and possibilities. I have my first supplies – a clamp and a jeweler’s saw.

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There will be so much more to come and it’s quite the investment in time and tools, but it’ll be worth it. For anyone interested, I’ll update you on what I learn in the next 9 weeks. Sawing, texturizing, shaping, polishing, soldering, designing, gem setting and finishing, oh my!

Update: Okay, my bad. I totally didn’t keep up with this series. I spent a lot of time on just a few projects in that class and didn’t really learn as many techniques I had expected. But, the experience was worth it. I caught the bug and started equipping my own home workshop before the classes were even done. It’s a slow process of experimenting, finding affordable supplies and building up a small business. It’s sometimes frustrating but mostly incredibly fun.

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