So, how did you start making jewelry?
Everybody always wants to know how & why I got started making jewelry. The why is easy – to never work in a cube again and because I could never find anything I liked within my budget. The how is a little longer story. As many of you know I studied art in college, and worked as a graphic designer for years. I honestly never thought the two would meet until print design began to die in front of me. So I moved to web like everyone else and found it didn’t suit me at all.
I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do while doing what I didn’t want to do as my day job. I found a metalsmithing class at this place, Lapidary Arts . It was perfect!
They also sell plenty of gemstones, and they even teach classes on how to properly cut those stones. Ruby teaches those classes.
Here’s a student cutting a stone (I don’t cut stones-I only purchase them here).
They even have plating machines so I can go plate larger items like my bangle bracelets in bulk amounts. They have a small pen plater there as well. Here’s the larger plating machine. I’m plating 24k gold over silver here.
I liked Joe’s small pen plating device so much I bought one for myself! I’m trying to talk his sister Ruby into selling me this big one. I’m being patient since I just bought the plater and a steamer.
Together, they taught me everything I needed to know about working silver, gold and rose gold. They also have wax carving, casting classes, wire wrapping classes, soldering, gemstone cutting, grinding and much, much more.
It’s a little building in a strip mall off a freeway, so don’t expect fancy. Do expect to learn in a very casual setting with Jerry Springer playing in the background. Joe loves trashy reality TV on a huge 47 inch TV set right in front of his station, where he teaches. I always giggle a little when I hear “My husband is sc@e#ing my brother while I’m pregnant!” while learning to set gemstones.
Here’s a complete listing of their classes:
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