Jewelry Projects, Tools & More: Editors’ Favorite Parts of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist
Inspiration, jewelry tutorials, gemstones, jewelry tools, and other sparkly stuff. You can find all of that and more inside each issue of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist. Who can pick ONE favorite part?
I love learning about new jewelry tools and supplies, and I learn a lot from seeing how different jewelry artists do things. Not everyone solders, sets stones, etc. the same way, and seeing multiple ways to do a metalsmithing task is helpful and wise. There’s also good jewelry business advice in each issue, and profiles of gemstones, which excites the gem geek in me! It’s nearly impossible for me to pick a favorite part of LJJA, so here are some of my coworkers’ favorite parts!
Lexi Loves the Jewelry-Making Tutorials
As many of you know, I’ve been a Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist reader ALL my life, having gone to bed many a night with my dad’s copy of Lapidary Journal (as it was known then), reading about stones, artifacts, fossils, and exotic places in which to find all kinds of treasures. With these “sugarplums dancing in my head,” is there any doubt why I became an archaeologist and jeweler? Never doubt the power of the printed word.
As Richard Sweetman and I were saying to students recently, we both learned more techniques after we left university. We each earned a Master’s Degree in Jewelry, but have learned more since then than we learned in college. Remember, there is always more than one way to do a technique. I’ve learned so much from other teachers and students (sometimes by accident) than I learned 30+ years ago at the university.
So I love the projects in the magazine. I read each project in LJJA and find them enlightening and informative. Sometimes I add that technique to my repertoire, sometimes find an easier way to do something, and sometimes I stick with what I know and have developed myself. Just always keep an open mind and use the technique that works for you.
When a teacher says there is only ONE way to do a technique, run from that teacher like a puppy on RedBull. Develop your own way! Of course there are specific rules to follow in casting, soldering, etc., to be successful. Each of those techniques has shortcuts and variables, too. But you must know the rules in order to successfully break them! Have fun, experiment, and always be safe. When you quit learning and experimenting, you quit growing as an artist.
Contributing Editor, Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist and Interweave Jewelry
Merle Loves Smokin’ Stones and Your Turn
Who doesn’t like a two-fer? As in, one, learn about some cool gem and, two, see how to use it, in Smokin’ Stones.
Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist’s Smokin’ Stones is a regular part of every issue, featuring a different kind of gem. If it’s a stone I’m familiar with, I enjoy learning a little bit about its history or lore, discovering a tip on where to buy one or how to take care of it–or just being reminded that it exists.
If it’s a gem I’ve never heard of, even better: I love discovering something new.
What I also love about this column is that it’s always paired with a project, demo, or feature story that shows you more. Mostly that’s setting this material in jewelry, but it could be how to cut the stone, going on an armchair field trip to see where it’s mined, or exploring ways to use its colors and patterns in jewelry design.
My other favorite department? That would be Your Turn.
Learning what interests you, what you like and don’t like, is always important to me. And seeing your design ideas based on gems and jewelry shown in a recent issue? That’s just pure fun. Thanks!
Editor-in-Chief, Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist
Maddie Loves the Inspiring Jewelry Designs
As someone that is fairly new the jewelry-making world, I find Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist to be a fascinating resource full of tips, tricks, and some awesome projects (all of which I would love to try, someday!). One of my favorite ways to enjoy the magazine is to look through it and see what sparks my creative juices.
As a painter, many times the photos on the cover and projects inside cause me to see endless possibilities to play. Take the cover of the December 2017 issue (above) for instance. The enamel and silver clay pendant by Lara Ginzburg just dazzles me. I want to sit down with my paint brush and just go! Hopefully, given some time, I could even attempt to make that lovely pendant. 🙂
Marketing Specialist, Interweave Bead and Jewelry Group
Tammy Honaman Loves Cool Tools & Hip Tips
It’s likely no surprise that my favorite sections of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist are Cool Tools & Hip Tips and the projects. Today, I’ll share why I love Helen Driggs’ take on all the Cool Tools & Hip Tips out there.
In each issue, you can read about new tools and best tips for jewelry makers. Being a jewelry maker myself, I love all the details Helen packs into her latest finds. The information inevitably intrigues me, and then I find myself balancing the intrigue with adding each item to my wish list or purchasing right then and there!
In the December 2017 issue, I fell in love with the Versa light magnetic flexible light. This light will attach anywhere a magnet can. The three LED settings make it ideal for providing light in any situation. As for the bench pin also found in this issue, well, this bench pin takes things to a new level. In Helen’s words: “The StudioFlux bench pin (BPN-200.00) designed by Thomas Mann provides maximum support for successful sawing, and unlike a standard bench pin, you can either mount this pin on top of the bench to create a flat, continuous surface, or use the C-clamp to mount it on the edge of the work top. Featuring round and oblong sawing slots, square and half-round filing supports, this bench pin comes already to go–no customizations needed.” You can learn more at JewelryTools.com.
Be sure to check out the Cool Tools & Hip Tips section in each issue to keep up with the latest goings-on with new tools and jewelry making.
Editor, Beadwork magazine and Editorial Director, Bead & Jewelry Group