Jewelry Making Instructions: What Method Is Best?

As we start out with a new year, my thoughts turn to jewelry making instructions and what's the best method of delivery. We all learn differently but as artists we are naturally visual and share that essential characteristic. Even given that though, we still are all different kinds of artists and still learn somewhat differently.

I constantly marvel at the way my children learn and how different it is from my own preferred style of learning. My kids have grown up with computers and seldom, if ever, did they have books in their classrooms. Rather, they were often just handed printed copies of homework assignments. I remember tearing my hair out more than once when trying to help them with their homework. Certainly a combination of living in the computer generation and going to school in a time when school funds are in a disastrous state, facilitated this problem. In any event, my kids just get on the computer when they want answers to anything and more signifcantly, they learn new software by hacking thru it! What?? Where's the manual?? ACKK, how am I supposed to learn without a book or manual for reference?

Well, as time goes on and I promote and manage this website, I've also found myself just hacking thru, or trying to hack thru new software as well. Interesting transition here.

So, what does all this have to do with jewelry making instructions? Well, I write and sell wire jewelry making instructions, projects and tutorials and wire jewelry books. It's all about hardcopy lessons...having the paper for reference. I've had to ask myself as I think about this whether the hardcopy instruction is still the best way to learn about wire jewelry making.

Certainly making jewelry or any fine craft for that matter, is very different from learning math, say, or researching a subject. How-to is a category all its' own and as such, requires more visual assistance. Hence, the popularity of DVD's in making jewelry of all types. Like my YouTube video on How To Make A Hollow Wire Bead. While there's the free pdf on that as well, the video allows someone to more easily grasp the technique more quickly. I don't know about you, but when I'm learning a new technque just from hardcopy, I have to read it at least a few times to get it right. If I'm learning from a video, I get it immediately. But then, of course, I have to keep going back to the video if the technique is involved in any way. Sometimes, even if the wire jewelry making technique is simple, I still may need to go back and forth to the DVD.

So, the whole point here is how do I teach you wire jewelry making instructions the most effective way? How do I teach you how to make wire jewelry in the most helpful and quickest way possible? As a visual art, wire jewelry seems to me to be best taught with a combination of both DVD and hardcopy. The best of both worlds and the most efficient learning. Clearly, for 2012, I'll be working on putting out some DVD's along with continuing to publish the pdf hardcopy. Tell me, how do you learn best?