So you have seen the creations of the fabulous artists here at JL and are just drooling wanting to make your own. You go into a frenzy downloading free tutorials, buying lessons, purchasing tools, and then suddenly realize that you are completely overwhelmed, not knowing where to start. Here is a little game plan that can help you to figure out where to start and what to do, before you start spending too much time and money on lessons and tools that you will never use.

1. Find out what you like

Sounds almost silly when it comes to jewelry: we all like EVERYTHING that shines, right! Well, taking some time to select one or two styles of jewelry making might save you a lot of money on the long run.

Start with this small test: go into the Gallery and take a really good look at the pieces there. Add some pieces to your "Favorites". Don't be concerned if they are appear too difficult to execute, this exercise is just to find out what you like.

2. Isolate a single technique to learn first

After you have added some 20 or 30 pieces into your "Favorites", go into your Profile/Favorites and remove half. Then remove half of that. When you are left with a handful of designs, stop for a second and evaluate: what is it that you like about your selection? And what do they share in common? Is it a particular style or a technique that drew you in?

Evaluate your selection and find out what particular technique the designs all share: are they all bead woven, or wire woven, or silversmith? If you are not familiar with the different jewelry making techniques, then use this useful tip: visit the page to find a basic general listing of the various jewelry making techniques existent.

Don't worry if you find multiple techniques used in pieces -- that's the way it is -- most artists are multi-faceted and will combine different techniques to produce interesting results. The important thing here is to isolate ONE technique so that you can start somewhere.

3. Use the Tutorial Filter to find the basics

Once you have isolated a single technique, go to the Tutorials page and use the "Tutorial Filter" to isolate lessons in a specific technique. Make sure to also set the Difficulty Level at "Beginner".

Keep in mind that Difficulty level is assigned by the Teacher, so experiment with the Tutorial Filter, using other alternatives such as Difficulty Level set to "Easy".

Start by getting some of the free tutorials first. If you find that the technique is not exactly what you are looking for, then you haven't spent too much effort on it!

This discovery process is also very useful even if you ARE a seasoned jewelry maker, but interested in finding out a new venue or technique to work on.

Remember, the most important thing is to have fun!