One of my all-time favorite quotes is from a story Lapidary Journal ran many years ago about the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts. A student interviewed was describing how helpful his education there had been, and one remark has stuck with me for decades. “Trial and error,” the student said drily, “is greatly overrated.” Indeed! […]

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When you’re cabochon shopping, chances are you start just by eyeing the goods. Color? My favorite! Pattern? So dramatic! Maybe some thought to size and weight next. Is this stone big enough for a statement pendant? Light enough for earrings? How about shape: would the outline work in a bracelet link? Yes, yes, yes, and […]

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How many new metalsmithing techniques could possibly be developed in a craft as ancient as this one? Not many — and yet, in the 1980s, Charles Lewton-Brain did just that. He invented foldforming. Score, fold, forge, and anneal in various combinations, and then unfold metal sheet to reveal a new form. ABOVE: Jurors’ Choice, Amir […]

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Celebrate with Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist and Win We’re celebrating a major milestone! Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist Volume 1, Number 1, appeared in April, 1947 — and more than 70 years later, we’re still going strong. All during the month of September, 2017, we’re celebrating with a special Milestones Giveaway. You can win prizes worth […]

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When you run a finger along a hand-hammered metal surface, you can almost feel the hammer blow come down and leave its impression. Just seeing a hammered surface like that gives you a sense of the handmade quality of the piece, and sets it apart from all the machine and computer-aided production work out there. […]

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I’ll let you in on a little secret: Jim Lawson’s ability to make jewelry look great in a photo is so good, sometimes I’ve changed my mind about what should be on the cover of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist based on how he’s shot a piece. Really. It’s not the only consideration by far, but […]

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When I say I’m old school, I’m not kidding. I like books that were printed with hot type, meaning you can feel the impressions of the letters on the backs of the pages. But I also like convenience in technology, which is why I prefer video downloads to DVDs. I am tired of crawling around […]

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3 Jewelry-Making Books I Love

Oh, I definitely love books. My bookcases are overflowing, and there’s usually a stack or two on the floor. For jewelry-making books, as for most ideas in general, my feeling is the bigger, the better. ABOVE: Enameling with stencils, glass threads, and foil can all be done by sifting dry enamel powder into place; from […]

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