Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist

Be Your Own School

So you want to become a jeweler and aren’t sure what to do next. You’ve probably learned how to do some things already. You’ve probably tried looking around the Net and found a lot of videos, but much less solid information and even less about what you need to know. You’re in need of a curriculum — a planned sequence of study to best build your understanding and skill sets.

The jewelry world is so huge and the possibilities so numerous it can be tricky just to figure out what it is you want to know, which is where you need to start. Happily, this is also one of the nice things about metals and jewelry: no one could ever learn it all, not a chance! Every day is a learning day, full of new thinking and questions to keep you bright, passionate, and interested. Here are some of my ideas, based on decades of teaching and practicing, about how you can create the jewelry program that’s best for you.

Skill Set Modules

There is a system for figuring out how to design a curriculum for any field (called a DACUM). This system is used by NASA and the U.S. Marines to determine what and how to teach a subject. I led the first jewelry one in North America in 1994, in which we derived a list of subjects and skills to consider. What follows is a distillation of this list. (You might also want to look at “Jewellery Career Options” at or

Basic Skill Set

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