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Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist

Fall 2021

In every issue of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist you’ll get hands-on expertise, illustrated demos, and projects loaded with valuable tips and design ideas to inspire your own metal jewelry designs. Plus our experts answer all your technical questions, and you’ll learn the pros’ favorite tools and how to use them.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Peak Media Properties, LLC
Frequency:
Back issues only
$9.40

in this issue

2 min
welcome to our newest era

THE LAUNCH of Lapidary Journal nearly 75 years ago was part of an historic burst of activity following World War II’s end less than two years earlier. That boom gradually gave rise in the U.S. to greater leisure time and more disposable income for many, among them veterans introduced to craftwork while awaiting action. Massive wartime development led to prolific peacetime innovation, with improved lapidary equipment that made gem cutting faster and easier just one result. As the Cold War crept in, the Interstate Highway System, built for better military logistics, also gave anyone with a motor vehicle access to destinations far and wide. Collectors could visit distant localities to dig for mineral specimens or gem rough. They could swing by gem and mineral shows springing up around the country, creating…

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1 min
design challenges

Your Design Riffs Designs based on projects and jewelry shown in previous issues of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist. Your Settings…

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1 min
their turn

Kieu Pham Gray’s Blue and Yellow Lab Pendant Labradorite, shell, blue topaz ➝“SEASHORE SETTING,” p.74 ➝“KEEP YOUR SHAWL ON,” p.40 Roger Halas’s Adorn Your Inner Pirate Earrings Brass, Sterling silver, alligator leather ➝”BUCKLE WITH A BITE,” p.36 Janet Alexander’s Pendant ➝“THE GOLD YOU SEE,” p.52 Doug Mulling’s Oregon sunstone, 4.72 cts. ➝“TRAVELS OF A TSAVORITE,” p.60 Charles Lewton-Brain’s Painted Sheet Pin ➝“THE GOLD YOU SEE,” p.52 Julie Sanford’s Pendant Sterling silver, Bruneau jasper, citrine ➝“EVER CHANGING VIEW,” p.44 Naomi Sarna’s Confetti Heart Ring 18K white gold, colored stones ➝“CARVING A NICHE,” p.14 PHOTO: LARRY SANDERS, COURTESY JULIE SANFORD DESIGN…

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1 min
rock crystal

WHILE THE WORLD IS BESOTTED WITH COLOR, there is one colorless gemstone that has never lost its appeal: colorless quartz, often called rock crystal or crystal quartz. When high quality, rock crystal can be so pure it looks like solidified light. No wonder it has fascinated cutters for millennia. Although it has been used as a diamond simulant, colorless quartz comes into its own when carved into intaglios, or carved, sandblasted, and set with diamonds. It’s also the perfect medium for gem carvers like Naomi Sarna or Howard Friedler. And of course, there’s the classic “crystal ball” of diviners. When shopping for crystal quartz, be aware that the incredible limpid appearance of natural colorless quartz has been imitated through the years by leaded glass, the kind used in antique “cut crystal”…

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2 min
just the facts

How much does it cost? This is almost a trick question. Caliber-cut cabochons and faceted stones are a few dollars each. Single beads and bead strands run from a few dollars a strand up to $20 or so, depending on clarity, size, and quality of cutting. Large, reasonably clear quartz crystal balls cost hundreds of dollars. Custom carved pieces, like the bracelet by Naomi Sarna, cost tens of thousands of dollars. It’s all in what’s been done with the quartz and its clarity. How hard is it to find? Cabs and faceted stones, round and faceted beads, and naturally formed crystals and quartz cut into crystal-like shapes (often also called crystals) are available online. You’ll find them at gem and jewelry shows, too. What kind of jewelry can I put this in? Pretty much anything,…

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14 min
carving a niche

When I started writing for this magazine in 1992, it was known as the rockhound bible, but it was also becoming something more: a glossy showcase for the booming gem carving renaissance. The lapidary arts were taking off. The 1980s trend for bold statement jewelry was still in play and jewelers were exploring the vast array of colored stones hitting the market. Gem rough was abundant and accessible, and cutters could afford to cherry-pick the finest — and see what they could do with it. Some looked to the gem carving coming out of Germany. Many were self-taught. I profiled dozens of gem carvers and studio jewelers over the next decade. Many of these profiles ran as cover stories. By 1996, I had to flip my credentials to hide them so I could…

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