Yes, I agree I am a craftsman (or crafts woman). And I meet a lot of "jewelers" in my profession. And, I am sometimes offended by the occasional comment from someone who thinks my work is "crafty" or "cute", or when they ask me to make something for them, then balking at the price quoted to them, say, "Oh, I'll just make it myself, it can't be that hard!" Would you perform your own open heart surgery if you were not a cardiac surgeon? I think not. All I request is that I am respected for my expertise in jewelry making, and that my customers understand I am a professional, have spent lots of money and time learning my craft, and that I am entitled to compensation for providing them with professional product and service. This is my profession, my job, the way I feed my family, not a hobby!
Becoming a professional jewelry artisan takes time and patience. It is something that definitely requires major planning. With money, plenty of training, motivation, knowledge, and business skills, you can become a jeweler and a business owner.
Stringing a few beads on elastic string does not make you a jeweler. Buying mountings and dropping stones in them does not make you a jeweler. Getting a thorough education in jewelry making, practice and perseverance, and an eye for detail along with a creative streak can make you a real jeweler if your work really hard.
So, if you are thinking about becoming a professional jewelry artisan, ask yourself if you are detail oriented, have the time and money to invest in attending a professional jewelry school, and have the patience to practice, practice, practice to hone your jewelry making skills. If not, then this profession is not for you.
On the other hand, if you just want to have some fun, make some simple jewelry for yourself and friends then you should consider taking a basic beading class or other beginner classes offered at your local bead store, senior center or community college. That way you can learn to assemble your pieces properly and impress your friends and family with your creative projects. And you can feel free to refer to yourself as a beader or crafter, but, I'm sorry, not a jeweler.
Sorry for the soapbox folks! Just sharing a little about my life! And by the way, I love being a jeweler.......I'd like to be your jeweler... Call me or stop in to visit anytime!