Daily Wire Tip July 22: Free Jewelry Education

By on July 21, 2010
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
July 22, 2010


I want a free e-course on jewelry making for beginners which covers the basics for making a necklace, chain, bracelet, earring etc. Your help in this regard would be highly appreciated.

-Sumy in Chennai, India


Wow! Who wouldn’t want something like that, an entire jewelry making course that is 100% free! Unfortunately I do not know of any such thing currently available, as everyone has bills to pay, including the fees to host such a course. However, I can provide you with links to the valuable information Wire-Sculpture does provide for free:

You could also spend some time searching the Internet for all of the great free tutorials, patterns and information available, and then organize your own course.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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  1. avatar

    Badea Gabriela

    July 22, 2010 at 6:35 am

    Dear Dale, your answers and helps are great, I have a big admiration for you and for your succesful jewelry story! Love, Gabi

  2. avatar

    Val Bogdan

    July 22, 2010 at 11:00 am

    I found that too much new information all at once is not as beneficial as practicing one, say earrings, at first to make it easier to process. That may just be my way to learn. I have been producing dichroic glass jewelry for about 5 years and just recently received your free DVD which even after 5 years was very informative. I have watched it a number of times and get something new out of it each time. There are also countless tutorials on-line to watch.

  3. avatar


    July 22, 2010 at 11:02 am

    There are lots of instructional videos on You Tube, you might try there.

  4. avatar


    July 22, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Ms. Armstrong, I don’t know if it so much the 100% free that she is looking for. I would bet there’s some frustration there. I used to make jewelry before I became a divorced single mom. Now I want to do it again and “for real” this time. I was really excited. I bought a new set of tools, found my old ones made a couple of basic things and then found out about wire jewelry. So I started reading, including wire-sculpture.com and their emails. I figured that while I’m home recuperating from this hysterectomy, I could really get busy. However, I was soon overwhelmed instead. Everything says I need this or that. I need a crimping tool (What did I do before?), I need a polishing cloth, I need to pay for this tutorial or it’s not going to be correct. I had to go to home depot to get dowels that my son cut to a usable length because they are in the instructions in the book I bought but I can’t find them for sale anywhere. Oh then there’s a mandrel for everything.

    I’m not complaining or whining. I’m just trying to say it’s frustrating. I know one of your latest blogs says you can start this business for under $500, but we don’t all have it right now as badly as we might need to have it. Be a little understanding. When we beginners with under financed dreams get moving in the ‘right direction,’ I bet we’ll be great customers of everything you and wire-sculpture have for sale.



    • avatar


      July 23, 2010 at 2:29 am

      Hi Sonja, believe me when I tell you that I do understand. I once was a beginner as well, and it took me 4 1/2 years of making jewelry in my ‘spare’ time and doing every show I could find/afford, while still working a full time job, managing a household and a family and being the mother of a special needs child. The reason it took so long to quit my real job is because I could not take out of the household budget to pay for my supplies, show fees, displays, etc. I actually began with $300 (rolled change) spread over tools and wire (1989). Supplies were very difficult to come by, so I improvised and hand made a lot of my own tools, displays, etc. (I still do not own a bracelet mandrel and never will, instead I like an old medicine bottle; a coffee can makes a basic neck mandrel and a piece of antenna from a broken radio and round pencils are good for coiling.) As a rockhound and basic lapidary, I worked with cabochons only (which is why I began making wire jewelry to begin with) beads did not even enter my world until about 1994 (and really, I had no idea that headpins were a product you could purchase!). Self-motivation, self discipline, self-promotion, strict budgeting and the desire to succeed are what I credit for my current position. There was no Internet and very few jewelry making books, magazines or classes available when I began (and certainly no tutuorials!).

      Today, it is so much easier for people to begin about any new venture; with the Internet at one’s fingertips, the resources are amazing!

      Like you, today I am a normal, extremely hard working mom, who still has to run a household and a family, as well as a career (and I haven’t won the lottery yet, so everything is still tightly budgeted). I still have and use my very first $5.00 tools. And Wire-Sculpture and I DO understand, which is why we offer so much information free of charge.

      My sincere best wishes for your renewed interest in jewelry making. May it bring you peace, joy and balance.

  5. avatar


    July 22, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Wow…hmmm, gee, wish you luck on that one, for sure. You could probably spend a good amount of time searching the internet and eventually grab stuff from a couple of hundred different sites or more and manage that. Have fun surfing.

    Realistically speaking, any endeavor of any type is going to involve paying for the time and experience of the person teaching it. So be prepared to bite the bullet and invest in your future instead of trying to borrow it.

  6. avatar


    July 22, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    Also can I suggest searching YouTube for video’s on making jewellery. You can really be specific on exactly what type and medium you are interested in.

  7. avatar


    July 23, 2010 at 1:16 am

    I have taken several classes at a local bead store (fee for the course and supplies) to get started. Now that I have learned the basics, I surf the net for ideas and patterns. Many of the bead websites have tutorials and even videos showing how to do different types of jewelry making. My sister and I have started teaching classes at a local Art Center, at home, and at a local high school continuing education evening classes. We still take classes at our favorite bead store and pay for them. The time, supplies, effort and talent that has gone into learning jewelry making is worth the fee we charge and more. Besides, getting together with a group and learning a skill is worth more than the fee! Meeting new friends, having an evening out away from a busy schedule, children, house, family and job obligations….. PRICELESS!!

  8. avatar

    Billie Andrews

    July 26, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Please try your local public library – what a wonderful source for ALL types of educational materials! On-line, you can search for books covering specifically what you’re interested in. They can be ordered from other branches if not available near you. Then just block out a couple of hours and peruse the books of your choice, checking out any that really interest you. You can always go back and get other books later. You may also find that you like the work of certain authors, which can be used in future ‘searches’. But I agree that too much information all at once is mind-boggling, so take it slowly, at least at first. Enjoy!!

  9. avatar

    Carol Penry

    July 27, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Great Answers! Here is another idea, which nobody mentioned, Your Local Gem Club !!! I belong to Western South Carolina Gem & Mineral Society, WESCAGEM, which is easier to say…But we are very minimal in charges, usually for materials used, such as wire. I am the Wire Wrapper in the club. Now looking one up and finding it may be a little difficult and naturally I have come up blank on the website to utilize to find your local club. Google American Society of Gem and Mineral Societies and with a little searching you will find it. Good Luck.

    • avatar

      Shirley Stieb

      September 4, 2012 at 3:22 pm

      I also belong to a local gem club: Toledo Gem and Rockhound Club. It is great for the hobbyist, and a great start for people who want to sell their jewelry. We have the equipment and pay a minimal studio fee. I have learned to make cabs, metal jewelry, and beaded embroidery. We have two bead groups.
      I recently taught a class on shaping and hammering copper wire for earrings, pendants, & more.
      What a joy learning many aspects of this art!

  10. avatar


    July 27, 2010 at 2:33 pm


    I wanted to tell you that your response to my comment was nothing less than perfect. You gave me inspiration and great accessible ideas. I became really excited and found a perfect bracelet mandrel within 3 feet – the purple Aqua Net hairspray can! Yesterday, I used it for a birthday present – My first ever twisted wire (copper) bracelet.

    I also felt a crazy connection because you also reminded me that when I made jewelry before, I made it with my son by my side. At that time, one of our favorite bead stores used to let him work at the demo table. Seeing him work and his unique color choice seemed to make others feel they could do it, too. What they didn’t know was that it was so good for him and his then raging disabilities. (transparent to other, difficult to have.) This is the same son who helped me with that bracelet yesterday. “Mom, I know how to twist wire. Listen to me.” (Seems he twists wire at his pt job – he’s a certified framer.)

    We’ve never stopped crafting and now I want to make it a business featuring wire jewelry. I find wire-sculpture.com, the emails, and you, Dale, to be a welcome resource.

    Thanks for everything you do.