They may use chemicals for cleaning and treating metal.
Chain makers work in a studio. This may be at home or elsewhere, and they may share the studio with other makers.
Many chain makers are self-employed. They may combine chain making with other types of jewellery making.
Customers may come to the studio to discuss designs and buy jewellery.
Chain makers may go to craft fairs and events in the UK and overseas, so they can meet other makers and suppliers and promote their work.
Many chain makers have websites and social media accounts to promote and sell their work.
You need to be:
- interested in working with metals
- able to pay attention to detail
- good with your hands and able to handle tools
As well as being creative, you need to be able to do routine repetitive work to create the rings to form a chain.
If you are dealing with the public, you need to have customer service skills. If you are designing bespoke pieces, you need to be able to explain your creative ideas to customers.
If you are self-employed, you need business skills so you can market your goods and services, deal with finances and develop your business.
There are short courses in chain making and soldering. Providers include:
Other courses are run by practising craft workers in their own studios.
Some of the providers of chain making courses also offer longer metalworking and jewellery courses, so that you can learn more about jewellery design.
Providers of BA and MA Degree courses in Jewellery, Gold/Silversmithing and Jewellery Design, which may include chain making, include:
British Academy of Jewellery offers Diplomas in Jewellery Manufacture at Levels 2, 3 and 4 which may also be available through an apprenticeship.
Some courses have entry requirements, such as two A levels (or equivalent) for degree courses. You will also need to show a portfolio of your work.
As well as English and maths, art and design or design and technology are useful subjects. Business studies or enterprise are useful if you want to run your own business.
What can I earn?
As a self-employed chain maker, earnings vary a lot depending on how you develop your business. Craft work can be very competitive.
Many people combine chain making and jewellery making with other paid work, especially while they are getting established.