Yes, I kind of skipped my blog post last week. I was in Denver for a 5 day, one-on-one workshop with the wonderful Lexi Erickson
, a contributing editor for Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist magazine. Her work has graced the cover five times, and she is a regular writer for Jewelry Making Daily. Originally an archaeologist, Lexi's pieces are influenced by her love for those artifacts, making her pieces interesting as well as beautiful.
I began learning from Lexi via her popular how-to videos.
I started with the set about soldering jewelry and instantly loved her. Not only was it full of great tips, but watching Lexi was like meeting a friend. Her personality comes through along with her infinite patience and insight. And in person, Lexi was an absolute delight.
These are the pieces I made last week under Lexi's most enjoyable supervision:
And now I'll tell you the real reason my post is late. I didn't want to post photos until after I proved to myself that I brought more than jewelry back to Ohio -- that I brought the ability to create it independently, too. So I made this onyx and aventurine pendant at home yesterday (yay!):
It's all hand cut, soldered, and set... and between you and me, it was pretty exciting to use Lexi's tips and tricks in my own studio, successfully. The only piece I still wonder about is the large two-stone copper pendant. I'll try setting stones on copper soon, once I buy the right flux (Prips).
Tips from Lexi
Lexi's workshop was packed with great jewelry-making tips. Here are some of my favs:
1. Roll your wire solder at the tightest setting of your rolling mill before using it. It will stay in place better, flow faster, and you'll be less likely to cut too much for the join.
2. Cut a long thin strip of sandpaper, attach it in your jeweler's saw in place of the blade, and use it to sand tiny inaccessible areas like the inside of your pierced shapes.
3. Cut the handle off a plastic tooth brush and use it as a bezel pusher. It's solid enough to push the bezel over, but can't scratch your stones.
4. Buy your supplies at Allcaft Tools (and by the way, Charles Lewton-Brain had the same advice.) You have to know what you want, but it's the go-to place for quality products at competitive prices. Call 800-645-7124.
Sue Lacy and Lexi Erickson
What a fast and fun week!