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What are YOUR TOP 3 Tools and Books for Jewelry Making?

Alina, a student at the Academy of Art, San Francisco, CA asks, "What are your top 3 can't live without tools and books for jewelry making?"*There are so many possibilities, but as an advocate for business development, I think the practical information in the Professional Guidelines is a # 1 tool for survival in the real world outside of school.

Next, consider looking at the resources from the Professional Development Seminar available on the SNAG website. Many years of collective experience, wisdom learned, handouts, and lectures can be found online for free.

Professional Development Seminar



Making & Marketing Better ARtworkOne of my favorite books is Making and Marketing Better Artwork by Milon Townsend. " While Townsend is a glass artist, the information in the book is practical and relevant to all media. There are "11 chapters including information on working with galleries; pricing your artwork; wholesaling vs. retailing, wholesale vs. consignment; literature and advertising; photography;...and practical answers to many of the questions that both the novice and the seasoned professional will encounter during their working lives."

Drilland WireGaugeAlina also asked about tools for jewelry making. This is much more specific. It really depends on the kind of work you make. I would keep your first tool purchases fundamental but would also advise going for quality.  For me, as a metalsmith:

  • The best quality (e.g. German) flush cutters;
  • Drill and Wire gauge 1-60 (buy it from a hardware store to save money);
  • Complete set of drill bits 1-60 and 61-80.


Harriete Estel Berman image of the thinking and creativity from her Judaica Spice Books Besamin  b
And There Was Light  ©  2004
Recycled tin cans, 10k gold, ss rivets.
Artist: Harriete Estel Berman
Photo Credit: Philip Cohen



Keep in mind that your most creative tool is your brain, regardless of the specific media or craft.


*This question came from a Professional Development program co-sponsored by the Academy of Art and the Metal Arts Guild in San Francisco, CA with Andy Cooperman and myself, Harriete Estel Berman.


This post was updated on March 17, 2022, to provide current links.