Lapidary Journal

Congratulations to Charles Lewton-Brain for making the cover of
Lapidary Journal this month! I loved the article and the
instructional part too! Wendy Newman

Congratulations to Charles Lewton-Brain for making the cover of
Lapidary Journal this month! I loved the article and the
instructional part too! Wendy Newman

Thankyou, I havn’t seen it yet, the mail is slow coming here and
the anticipation is starting to get itchy. Charles

Brain Press
Box 1624, Ste M, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2L7, Canada
Tel: 403-263-3955 Fax: 403-283-9053 Email: @Charles_Lewton-Brain

Metals info download web site:
Product descriptions:
Links list hosted at the Metal Web News:

HI Charles, i do understand! seems like everyone has seen it
already and told me they love the silver amulet bag, but i still
haven’t seen it! very frustrating! congratulations on a cover,
that is wonderful. pat

Charles, It was really exciting to read your article in Lapidary
Journal- Congratulations! I bragged to everyone that I “know” the
extraordinary jeweler in the article!

Thanks for all your help on Orchid, etc.


Hi all.I have seen continously threads about how Lapidary
Journal has turned into a bead magazine.Well,I subscribe,but for
the last year I have been flying back and forth to Brazil almost
weekly,so only glance at it.Today a Bruce Kitchen from Lapidary
Journal called me up to solicit me to advertise.I told him about
the negative threads. And this is not just on this list but on
others.He seemed concerned and I offered to send him the E-mail
subscriptions.(Want a laugh,he gave me a Fax#).He plans to listen
in.If everyone wants the content to improve,start the discussion
again when they subscribe.Webmaster,you should advise all when
they sign up.Actually,you should send them the archived
discussions. Can I also make this announcement.I got my first
computer virus and in the process lost the last couple,few weeks
E-mail.So I lost an order or two,and a lot of people asked to
receive my E-mail advisements.Anyone that ordered or subscibed
recently please send me again the info.Or you can go up to my
site in the next few days to see the
newer goods,and updated site.

                                              Mark Liccini

Gemstone Rough Dealers since 1970 U.S.MAIL
E-Mail: 107 C.Columbus Dr.#1A Jersey City,N.J.07302
Voice Mail/Fax: 201-333-6332


I am writing in response to Mark’s email about Lapidary Journal
and I agree the content needs some improvement- too many bead!!
(no offense to anyone!!) Sometimes there are really great
articles that I get really jazzed about (like the recent fold
forming articles) and sometimes the work shown in the magazine is
really amazing (both technically and artistically)- however
sometimes I think the magazine borders on being an arts and craft
magazine instead of an informative source for people expanding on
their lapidary and jewerly skills.I love Metalsmiths for its
visuals except the articles aren’t as in depth as Lapidary
Journal. Hmmmm if we could only fuse the two!!!


Hi Mark,

I don’t recall such a discussion on Orchid, but I wholeheartedly
agree! I can see a lapidary magazine getting into jewelry (and
I’m glad they do) but I think beading is going a little too far!
Especially to dedicate a whole issue to the subject! I’m
certain beaders have their own magazines.

Before anyone jumps on me, let me mention that I do a fair
amount of stringing, and don’t look down on people who just do
beads. I just feel that every column-inch spent on beads
(glass) or polymer clay is taking away from what should be in
the magazine.

I’ve considered canceling my subscription in protest, but I get
too much value from the other 11 issues. Oh well… maybe
they’ll get sufficient feedback to refocus their attention in
the proper place. It looks to me as if they just want to
capitalize on the current beading trend. What’s next…leather

Okay, I’m done venting! Thanks for the release, Mark!

Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio
Charlotte, NC (USA)

I have belonged to LJ for many years and am like so many others
on Orchid feel like it is only for beaders anymore. LJ has
e-mail "" My subscription runs out in Dec 1998
and will not re-subscribe. Bob Goll

Hello, After lurking about I just had to say something in LJ’s
defense. I am a lampworker, rockhound and silversmith
craftsperson. Needless to say they have covered all my needs
especially when lampworking is sometimes hard to come
by and usually expensive. I wish someone would come up with a
lampworking mag but then I’d haveto spend more money on another
subscription. This computer infor is great too.

Thanks, Kathie

Hi I hope that LJ continues with the glass bead making articles.
My wife is a glass bead maker and I fabricate with silver, I just
wanted to let people know that we do like the articles on bead
making. In defends of bead makers I would say that it takes as
much skill and talent to produce tasteful and unique work in
glass ( to be used as jewelry ) as it dose in any other
materials. We also combined our work for one of a kind pieces,
they always sell first at shows. Dose any one know of a
magazine that is dedicated to Lamp Working. Jim Blumer

 I don't recall such a discussion on Orchid, but I
wholeheartedly agree!  I can see a lapidary magazine getting
into jewelry (and I'm glad they do) but I think beading is
going a little too far! Especially to dedicate a whole issue to
the subject!  I'm certain beaders have their own magazines.  


Beaders do have their own journal…except damn! lately their
has been a fierce arguement going on their because they are
showing too much metal work & fiber! I guess my thought is
this…many of us work in a variety of media including metals,
beads, fiber etc…

At the university I went to the departments were fierce about
compartmentalizing us and labeling us as jewelers, sculptors,
woodworkers, fibers. This unwillingness to share information
across the boundaries of departments left me feeling souring
about the department as a whole. I was denied knowledge of
computer design, photography, fiber arts, and woodworking based
on the fact that these disciplines were reserved for people with
an emphasis in that area. I am now a working artist with two
masters degrees going back to community college to learn skills I
was not allowed to learn during my 8+ yrs I paid big bucks to go
to the University. I realize this is a little off the subject,
but as long as their primary focus remains the same I appreciate
these publications straying off into related subjects. I feel
that efforts to help us explore and understand the other aspects
of the fine arts community should be encouraged, we face a large
enough task educating the public about our work, there shouldn’t
be a battle over educating each other.

Off MY high horse now…


P.S. There are some fantasic people out there lampworking their
own beads and creating original work (ie:Joyce Scott) with
beads…granted you see more of the bad, cliche stuff around, but
isn’t that true about fine jewelry as well.

   I would say that it takes as much skill and talent to
produce tasteful and unique work in glass ... as .. in any
other materials.  

Sure it does, but that’s not the point.

I buy LJ to learn more about lapidary. If LJ gives over half of
its pages to other topics, (no matter how interesting those
topics are in the abstract,) they are giving me half as much
for the same old price.

Don’t get me wrong – I would love to subscribe to every
magazine related to jewelry in any way, but I simply have
neither the time to read them all, nor the money to buy them
all. I think that there are probably many LJ subscribers in
similar circumstances.


Tom LaRussa


Sorry I have to disagree about the LJ. I am late for my
girlfriend’s son’s soccer game, but I feel so strongly about this
I have to speak up. LJ has been a fixture for years in the
lapidary field. I keep the old issues around because they were
so interesting. They tended to use some of the material which
might appear in club newsletters — I don’t mean the boring
reports of field trips by retired people — there were some of
those very forgettable articles — but material about the hows
and whys of cutting. When I expressed dissatisfaction with the
LJ on the Facetor’s Digest, I was surprised at how many people
responded negatively. I have no quarrel with satisfying other
customers needs or catering to the marketplace, but I would think
you should do this by having a magazine for beaders and those
interested in glitzy pictures of fine art jewelry together with
profiles of the artists. A lapidary journal should be for
lapidaries and they are interested in:

rough rocks and minerals, their charateristics and how to work
them. cabbing, faceting and carving the above. jewelry techniques,
some elementary, some advanced. lapidary equipment, how to
choose, use and make it. gemmology and technical articles about
heat treating, gem ID, etc.

One could do a fair lapidary journal by getting all the club
newsletters and facetor’s newsletters, monitoring the computer
lists for info, and keeping in touch with the likes of Marty
Haske, Ted Thelemis, Kurt Nassau, etc. When the eyeball method
of gem ID came about, LJ covered that. There used to be articles
on how to make your own laps. Once there was an article by a
fellow who made a wire saw to saw up large pieces of pertrified
wood. That’s lapidary. Beads are nice, just as nice, but they
are not lapidary.

If I were the LJ people I would do a marketing survey. I think
you would find room for different special interest publications.
Then I would probably change the title of my mag to “Lapidary and
Jewelry Arts Journal”. Then a little while later I would split
off the really serious lapidary stuff into another mag (“If you
like Lapidary and Jewelry Arts Journal, you’ll want to see
"Stonecutter” "). Then everyone could have what they want. If
I was really cagey I’d leave enough stuff in the LJJAJ so the
serious lapidaries would still need it and put the eavy duty
lapidary stuff in Stonecutter.

I hear that LJ is going to subscribe to these lists and monitor
what is said. I hope so. I doubt they’re smart enough to do

Good luck in your endeavors, which sound really interesting. I
just think a Lapidary journal ought to be for lapidaries.

 Especially to dedicate a whole issue to the subject!  I'm
certain beaders have their own magazines. 

Yes, there are many, various beading magazines. I could never
understand why an entire issue of Lapidary Journal should be
dedicated to beading, but it’s an art form and they do make
jewelry . . . so who am I to judge???

 Hi I hope that LJ continues with the glass bead making
articles. My wife is a glass bead maker and I fabricate with
silver, I just wanted to let people know that we do like the
articles on bead making.  In defends of bead makers I would say
that it takes as much skill and talent to produce tasteful and
unique work in glass ( to be used as jewelry ) as it dose in
any other materials.  We also combined our work for one of a
kind pieces, they always sell first at shows.	 Dose any one
know of a magazine that is dedicated to Lamp Working.

In my opinion, it’s much more difficult to get glass to do what
you want it to do (lampwork) than it is to get silver, copper,
or brass to do what it should! I do not doubt nor deny that
skill is necessay. I just think that we should have "technical"
magazines (trade?) which specialize in whatever we are
interested in. Any magazine which incorporates ALL specialties
is ok, but they don’t usually give enough in
whatever one may be truly interested in.

IE: The fold forming article about a month ago. I would have
rather read about the technique used (HOW TO DO IT!) rather than
the theology (mind set) of the artist. I read through, looked at
the pictures and still had no idea of what to do to get that
look! Perhaps, a video on it would help?

Hi all,

There have been several comments recently about how Lapidary Journal
has “slimmed down,” and I thought it might be of interest to know how
magazines determine how big the issue will be, how much editorial
content, etc.

The harsh reality is that advertising pays for magazines.
Subscription revenue is an important part of the puzzle, but
generally is about enough to pay for the paper the magazine is
printed on. It doesn’t cover the printing itself, staff salaries,
freelance fees, photography, and all the other expenses that go into
filling up the pages so subscribers get something other than a blank
tablet of paper each month.

Advertising is the main revenue stream at most publications, from
your local newspaper to TIME magazine. That means the amount of
advertising determines the number of pages in a particular issue. The
normal advertising/editorial ratio is between 60 percetn advertising,
40 percent editorial to a 50-50 split. If there’s more editorial than
advertising, someone else is footing the bill, either through very
high annual subscription costs (professional journals in other fields
can cost several hundred dollars per year for a subscription),
through membership dues in an association, or through a corporate
sponsor of some type. It might also be losing money, which may be
acceptable to the publisher in the short term, if he believes the
publication has strong potential. But like any other business, a
magazine or newspaper that continually loses money eventually goes
out of business. You can probably think of several that have
disappeared off newstands in the last couple of years – a lack of
advertising dollars is probably the reason why. Post September 11,
advertisers cut WAY back – the bottom just fell out. It’s only just
starting to come back now, but it’s been a very tentative, one step
forward, two steps back kind of thing.

Why do advertisers pay big bucks to advertise? This is where the
subscriber base comes in. The advertisers have products they want to
sell. They are hoping that the folks who subscribe to a magazine want
to buy them. Just as you carefully choose what trade shows to exhibit
your jewelry based on what type of attendance is anticipated,
advertisers choose the magazine they think the people who want their
products will read.

Because advertising pays the bills, editors do find themselves under
pressure to write articles that will sell the advertisers’ products.
But editors are an independent lot, whose first loyalty is to their
readers. And they understand that if the articles aren’t interesting
to the readers, or if the readers can’t trust the in the
articles, the readers will go away. And then the advertisers will go
away. And then the magazine goes away.

But sometimes there just aren’t enough readers in a particular
audience to keep the advertisers interested. Or they don’t respond to
the ads they see in the magazine, so advertisers feel that they’re
wasting their ad dollars. When that happens, no matter how beautiful,
how great, how award-winning the editorial content, the magazine goes
bankrupt. So sometimes, a magazine will change its focus to appeal to
a wider audience, or to a different audience with different spending
habits. It’s an economic decision, simple as that. Someone has to pay
the bills. We all love what we do, but very few of us are in a
position to do it for free.

You can help support the magazines that you enjoy by telling
suppliers you saw their ad in XYZ magazine. That tells the supplier
their advertising is working, and encourages him to continue
advertising. This is particularly true if you found a new supplier
through an ad.

I’d also like to say just a word or two in defense of editors.
Preparing articles that are interesting to ALL a magazine’s readers
is a little like preparing a cake that everybody will enjoy. Some
people like vanilla, others can’t stand it. Some like chocolate,
others are allergic to it. Some people are allergic to eggs, others
to wheat. Some hate cake, and would rather have pie. You get the
idea. So you try to appeal to as many readers as possible with a
variety of articles. Not everyone will enjoy every article, but
hopefully each reader will find enough of interest to keep reading
the magazine.

Some days the editor blows it. Editors are only human, after all,
and they make mistakes like the rest of us. The main difference
between their job and yours is that you can melt down your mistakes
before anyone sees them. :slight_smile:

There was also some criticism that LJ would hire an editor who isn’t
an expert in all facets of jewelry making. From my experience in
publishing, I think this is a bit unfair. How many people do you know
that are expert in all facets of jewelry making AND can take 2,000
words of barely comprehensible English and turn it into a clear,
concise, entertaining article? Without insulting the writer or
turning the article into something unrecognizable to said writer? And
do this a dozen times per issue, handling each ego with just the
right degree of deference and authority? AND be a fabulous copy
editor, who can pick up every typo and error in measurement, even if
the originator of the error was the writer? AND have the diplomatic
skills of an ambassador, so he/she can soothe all the ruffled
feathers that inevitably arise when a mistake does get through?

You know someone? Good. Ask them to move to the suburbs of
Philadelphia for a salary that’s probably less than what your plumber

I find my editors at LJ to be talented wordsmiths, who make my
writing even better. They catch my errors and keep me from looking
like a fool. They don’t know everything, but they’re honest about
their limitations, and willing to learn what they don’t know. Quite
often they teach me a thing or two. Some days we learn together.
Someone once said that a journalist’s job is to be educated in
public. That about sums it up, as far as I can tell.

I don’t know why the design that has inspired so much commentary
here was chosen. I agree, it’s ugly. But then, I’ve thought the same
thing of certain award winning designs. What do I know? Even after 10
years in the field, I wouldn’t claim to be an expert.

I encourage all of you who feel strongly about this issue to write
Merle White, Lapidary Journal’s editor, and Tammy Honaman, the
Step-by-Step editor. Fair criticism is what helps us to learn, and to
improve the publication in the future. But remember: they’re human
and they’re doing the best job they can, so try and keep it polite.
No one at Lapidary Journal – or any other jewelry industry
publication for that matter – is intentionally trying to undermine
the foundations of jewelry making in America. And it wouldn’t hurt to
acknowledge the things you like about the magazine. There must be
something, or this particular choice of project wouldn’t have
inspired so much passion!

Wishing you all a prosperous, joyful New Year.


Suzanne Wade
Phone: (508) 339-7366
Fax: (928) 563-8255

Re Suzanne Wade’s comments on the LJ: Well said Suzanne. I work
with editors all the time and wonder how they manage to keep both
their hair and sense of humor!! I look forward to LJ every month -
sometimes I’m disappointed, but then the next month’s issue reveals
a rich reward, like the recent article on Tim McCreight! Just my
US$.02 worth, Judy in Kansas

Judy M. Willingham, R.S.
Biological and Agricultural Engineering
237 Seaton Hall
Kansas State University
Manhattan KS 66506

Suzanne, I applaud your commentary in defense of Editors, and

The Internet and this forum are such great resources of
the vast majority positive, and well received.

There is unfortunately the negative side. As usual the content
majority are pleased within themselves and seldom comment positively

The negative side, or those with an agenda tend to be the most
verbal, unfortunately. Some of us, the “seasoned” participants know
from whom the “Coup de Grace” commentaries will post.

In recent times two very supportive companies have been the victims
of malicious commentary. Rio Grande and Lapidary Journal. Neither
deserve the venom cast upon them.

It is too bad, these individual’s 15 minutes of fame come from such
vindictive motivation. It is sad so many jump on the Bandwagon.

Again, thank you Suzanne. Teresa

I just read Suzanne’s post about the Lapidary Journal, and I have to
agree 100%. I had an article published in the Journal last spring.
It was a long piece, and was totally technical. I submitted the
piece in Aug. As it was my first attempt at being published, I
didn’t know what to expect. I found the staff at the Journal very
helpful, and easy to work with. I did some technical writing in the
corporate world, but it was by far not my strong point. As the
article was technical, it was sent out for a peer review before they
agreed to publish it. They had requests on the format of the
manuscript and the photos, but there was never a discussion on the
content. It published word for word from my manuscript. The photo
layout was not one I would have chosen, but I understood the
requirements of managing the page layout. The only artistic license
the staff of the Journal took was to give the article a title as I
had failed to give may manuscript one. Mistake.

As to the artistic content of the Journal, I don’t necessarily like
every article I see, and sometimes I don’t like most of them…
However, there were without a doubt a number of people who were not
happy to see my article, as it didn’t have much to do with their
interest either. I have found that even the articles I don’t like
will sometimes provide an idea or a technique that was new, and
therefore was worth reading.



With all due respect…I have to disagree with you concerning the
comments many, including myself, have made concerning Rio’s customer
service issues. I can only speak for myself but none of the comments
I 've made were motivated by a desire to have my “15 minutes” nor to
jump on any “bandwagons”. I have related nothing more than the facts
of the experiences my wife and I have had with Rio since they
implemented their new system in July last year.

Prior to then, we were loyal, true blue, very happy Rio customers
and we recommended them to many others who needed a reliable
supplier. I think the people who know us would describe us as kind,
generous, patient and compassionate people. However, in our efforts
to be understanding and patient with Rio’s situation and remain loyal
to the one who “brung us to the dance”, we were put in a bind
numerous times in terms of filling our own customer’s orders.

Our business is what pays our bills, feeds us, 2 dogs and 3 horses.
Although we have been fortunate to see substantial growth in our
sales this past year, we cannot afford to alienate new or existing
customers by making them wait unnecessarily for their orders to be
filled because our primary supplier has been derailed by a new
software disaster. We are not hobbyists or part-timers and we can’t
operate our business waiting months for backordered supplies or
findings to arrive, spend 20-30 minutes on hold, etc. There are only
2 of us and there are simply not enough hours in the day. Maybe next
year we can afford to hire someone part time and relieve some of the
time constraints in our production schedule. Rio’s service seems to
be improving slowly but we have been forced to move a lot of our
business to other suppliers who are hungry for the business.

Like so many others, I have always appreciated Rio’s efforts to
provide and continuing education opportunities. However,
I think it is also worthwhile to keep in mind that the accountants
make sure these expenses are recorded in the appropriate columns.

I have read many of your posts both on Orchid and Artmetal. This
particular post surprised me in that it seems a little out of
character for your normally compassionate, upbeat and insightful
comments. I never realized there was a “seasoned participants” club
on either of these lists.

As one of the unseasoned participants, I will continue to offer my
insight and experiences where appropriate and hope that others will
do the same.

Best regards,

Mike Dibble

Black Horse Design