Deciding to Teach Jewelry Making Classes

By on September 25, 2015
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by Judy Ellis,

Wire Jewelry Article for September 25th, 2015

Deciding to Teach Jewelry Making Classes

By Dale “Cougar” Armstrong ©2015

Having been a professional international jewelry making instructor for no less than 20 years, I love it when one of my students decides to share their passion of an art form by becoming a teacher!

Please understand that I’ve personally mentored many of my students for several years, so when they ask me about teaching…our conversation includes at least the following questions, information, suggestions, and my personal opinions; all based on my own personal experiences.


Teaching a group at a gem show.

WHY do you think you’d like to become an instructor?
a. To learn even more about your own art form?
b. So you can travel and explore your country or the world as a “working vacation”?
c. To make more money?
d. Because you enjoy sharing your passion while helping others learn to make jewelry, perhaps begin their own business, or supplement their own income?

WHERE will you be teaching?
a. In your own or someone else’s home?
b. At a rent free public building or location?
c. For a bead store?
d. At a national jewelry making event or gem show?

Teaching a class at an event or gem show.

Teaching a class at an event or gem show.

WHAT will you be teaching?
a. Your very own copyrighted designs?
b. Projects and/or techniques that you learned from classes you’ve personally taken with the designer?
c. Your own variations of other designer’s projects?
d. Things you learned from the Internet, a book, a tutorial you purchased, or a DVD?


Teaching a class in a store.

HOW will you teach?
a. Will you provide kits for each student in your class?
b. Who is responsible for providing the proper tools?
c. How do you propose to advertise your classes?
d. Who will collect the money due from each student?
e. Do you have a cancellation procedure?

Do You Have…
a. A full time job outside of your home?
b. A family? Husband, significant other, children under the age of 16?
c. Reliable transportation?
d. A business license?
e. A credit card just for your jewelry making ventures?
f. A really great sense of humor?
g. Lots and LOTS of patience?

Humm… I’ll bet you hadn’t thought about many of the things I’ve listed above. Watch for Part 2 of this article, where we will take a look at why I ask each question, how each could be answered, and why.

Thanks for reading  – and I hope you’ve enjoyed this great article by Dale!

Happy Wrapping!

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  1. avatar

    Lynda Ryan

    September 26, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    I have been teaching wire-wrapping classes for about 8 years. My classes are small because students who have never done any wire work before may borrow my tools to see if they like it. The classes definitely help bring in income. My classes (except some of the summer months) fill and sometimes have a waiting list. I love teaching, and we all have a good time. My students tell me I have unbelievable patience. I live in a more rural, retirement area and teach in a gallery, making the money end of it easier. Dale has been my mentor since 2008 and is a great inspiration. She is a wonderful role model.

  2. avatar


    September 28, 2015 at 10:57 am

    Hi Lynda,
    Thanks so much for helping to promote my NEW article series; meant to help folks decide and prepare for what (if any) style of jewelry making teaching is right for them.