Help! I Need a Jewelry Expert!

Do you ever wish there was a “Dial an Expert Jeweler” 1-800 telephone number?  Like the time your epoxy wouldn’t set when you tried to glue sterling silver grommets into large-hole beads? Or you needed a faster way to make 24 tiny ants out of sterling silver wire and casting shot? We all need a jewelry expert, from time to time.

“Experts” like me need jewelry experts too. And despite being in a remote area, I have a couple of them. Live in a bigger community? You probably have tons of businesses, teachers, and classmates you can call for help when you need it.

Nancy Capers is the newest member of my EXPERTS team. She lives 75 miles away from me in the Michigan woods. Her four-story house climbs into the trees at the end of a teeth-rattling jeep trail, and she has a small studio in her basement. She’s a pearl expert, sells her jewelry through retailers all over the country and shops at Hong Kong gem shows. I met her two years ago when we were both showing our jewelry at the same gallery.

In one 45 minute visit to her studio, she:

  • Suggested I use Devcon 5-minute epoxy so I can finish a huge pearl project for a client.
  • Told me how to prepare original silversmithing designs so she can make vulcanized molds at $15 a pop and cast multiples for me. Big time saver.
  • Gave me tips on setting diamonds in wax for a secret project to appear in Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist later this year. Hint: For my inspiration, google Polly Wales.

These working relationships are based on trust. So get away from the drudgery of the bench. Get together with a couple creative minds, have fun and grow!

Betsy Lehndorff has been writing for Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist since 2010. To contact her, go to her website at

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