The former Lapidary Journal seems to be doing well since its recent name change to Jewelry Artist. This blog-post begins a series of summaries of some of the highlights of each issue. I hope you’ll find them useful for deciding whether to pick up a copy, or for locating particular back issues.

Watermelon tourmaline is this month’s featured gemstone in Smokin’ Stones. This is a gorgeous stone with bands or gradients of pink and green hues that occur from the center of the stone outward. The colors of higher-quality specimens look most striking when sliced and bezel-set or drilled to make simple pendants.

The watermelon tourmaline project is a bold, sliced-stone and metal fabrication pendant with a briolette drop, by Helen Blythe-Hart. It involves bezel-setting the stones, sawing out a base plate, and sweat-soldering coiled wire embellishments. You will learn how setting a stone slice requires a slightly different technique than setting a cabochon with curved edges.

This month’s Trends discusses what a few contemporary metalsmiths are doing with pearls. The adjoining project, by Rachel Savane’, are Scandinavian-inspired, stylized earwires with mounted white pearls. (Rachel Savane’s creative earrings incorporate the earwire [normally a finding] into the earring design.) Learn how to create pins for mounting pearls onto heavy-gauge wire – and the trick to work-hardening the wire without hammering.

This issue goes on to cover the different types of pre-made ear findings available (see photo chart on page 30) and follows up with a simple earring project involving soldered fishhook wires with pearl drops. Learn how to use tweezers to hold interlaced rings for soldering without crushing the rings as they heat under the flame.

The main-feature technique in this issue is anticlastic raising, or forming sheet metal into curves that have opposite directions. Author Michael Good advises how to select a sinusoidal stakes and hammers, how to properly form the metal, and which gauges and widths of sheet are best to use by type of metal.

Also in the July issue:

  • This month’s Faceting Design piece is a compass points square cushion cut requiring basic faceting skills, by Douglas M. Turet.
  • Helen Serras-Herman writes about carving chalcedony stones.
  • Learn how to make a large, hollow metal clay “tower” ring, by Hattie Sanderson.
  • In Rock Corner, Claus Hedegaard examines the mysterious, crystallizing mineral cerussite.

Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist annual subscriptions are available through Amazon.com.