Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist Editors' Picks from 2009

When I was an illustration student at the University of the Arts, one of my pals was a jewelry major. She always had copies of Lapidary Journal around, and they were a great reference for me when I painted anything with jewelry in it. Later, my rendering skills came in handy as a product designer for The Franklin Mint. where I mastered the art of painting a sparkling glint on jewelry illustrations. At the time I never dreamed I'd ever make jewelry. Now, as an Interweave editor, I am surrounded by decades of amazing Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist issues and actually do use metal in my jewelry. Most of my metal pieces don't have a sparkling glint––but I can always paint that on. –Leslie, editor, Beading Daily

Beading Daily welcomes today's guest editors from Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist––Editor in Chief Merle White and Managing Editor Helen Driggs, sharing the shining features from the past year that most inspired them.  


Merle White, editor in chief, Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist:

Brass Mobius Circle Pendant by William Fretz
August 2009

When I was in elementary school, I used to wear those stretchy hairbands to keep my hair out of my face. They always became twisted and wouldn't lie flat and smooth. "That looks like a Mobius strip," my father told me, "a circle with no inside or outside." Intrigued by the new word and the paradoxical concept, I ran my finger around the band's in-and-out contour over and over again, amazed that such a thing could exist.

I've been fascinated by this form ever since. When we received William Fretz's Brass Mobius Circle Pendant project for the August 2009 issue of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist, of course it became an instant favorite: now I know how you can make a mobius strip on purpose! There's also a variation with a beautiful, green-and-brown patina as well as a polished, Rich-yellow brass finish. And while the design is compelling exactly as shown, the project is really an exploration of constantly creating new forms from a flat sheet.

Beaded Cab earrings

Merle White, editor in chief, Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist:

Setting Big Gems by Mo Ying Chan
April 2009

The cover of the April 2009 issue of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist features a pendant I just adore. The focal is a large, gently sculpted matte-finish agate cut by the master of agate cabochons, Dieter Lorenz. Like me, goldsmith Mo Ying Chan is a big fan of large gems, and in "Setting Big Gems" she describes how she designed four large special stones. 

Each one presented challenges of irregular shapes as well as significant sizes which had to be accommodated. She had to make jewelry that would lie comfortably when worn and create a beautiful original setting that would adequately secure the stone without overpowering it. The agate on the cover was beautifully carved on both sides, so she created a two-sided pendant.

I needed to get it to her at the Tucson shows, and mailing wasn't a convenient option.  Rather than pack it, I had the treat of being able to wear it on the trip, to bring it to her!

Helen Driggs, managing editor, Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist:

Cab/Bead Earrings by Michael Boyd
September 2009

I’m a huge fan of Michael Boyd because he taught me how to cut stone. We became fast friends during his advanced lapidary workshop at Metalwerx, probably because we are both happy geeks who love rock and metal with equal passion. His earring project is brilliant: most jewelry makers have stone beads they’ll never use.

Once you get into metals, you’ve typically got lots of leftover stone beads just sitting there, unused. Michael’s solution? Cut those buggers in half and make cabs out of them. Heck, most of the work’s already been done anyway. You just saw those beads in half, set them, and forget them. You don’t even have to grind and polish!

Cab/Bead earring by MIchael Boyd

Helen Driggs, managing editor, Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist:

The Illustrated Cool Tool Guide by Sharon Elaine Thompson
May 2009

The thing I love about this feature is the glorious shots by our photographer Jim Lawson. Those are my tools, and he made them look fabulous. It took us three long days of setup and lighting to get all of those shots, but the results were well worth it.

There is a ton of good information in this feature about tool categories, names, and uses. Sharon’s writing style is informative and fun, and I love the quotes from the pros about specific tools they use in their own work. If you are new to the craft, this feature will help you learn the names and uses of most of the basic metalworking tools you need to make jewelry.  

There's no question that Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist has everything you need to learn how to make the jewelry designs you dream of! Don't miss a single issue of instruction and inspiration–subscribe today!

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