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  • Writer's pictureLesley Aine McKeown

On the Road Again - Fall 2021

It's been a beautiful summer here in the high country of Arizona. I've enjoyed some long-needed quiet time, which has proved beneficial to my creativity. My sketchbook is filled with new ideas and I am very excited to explore them! But they will have to wait, because I'm off next week to visit old family friends in the city of my birth, Kansas City, MO. Then it's back to Texas and The Makery to teach an eleven-day retreat. The opportunity to spend so much time with my students is exciting. We'll begin with a deep dive into the fundamentals of design, followed with a day exploring San Antonio and discussing design concepts, then back to the studio to start the work. The extended studio time will allow the students to really explore their creative processes and technical skills. More about the class in the next edition. Many of you have expressed interest in a tutorial I'm authoring, Patina on Metal. This will be ready shortly after I return in November. I'll also be publishing the Introduction to Design course for download! Look for an announcement later this month. Also check out my newly updated website!

No Stone Left Unturned. Three months ago I began a new Facebook group called Addiction - Stone Exchange, which now boasts over 970 members! I started this group out of a desire to share my love of geology and all things stone-related. My focus with it is to publish accurate educational pieces, share links to the very best lapidary artists in the US and abroad, and provide a place for members to share and de-stash their stones. The site just hosted a huge cabochon sale featuring the work of award-winning lapidary artist Greg Genovese. The first of a three-part series on Agates and Jasper, coauthored by GIA certified geologist John Heusler and myself, is available now! So if you love rocks, join us. There is something for everyone!

Celebrating my 35th year as a professional jeweler has led me to reflect on my work and career, look back at old work and revisit techniques that I've shelved. I was lucky enough to attend a seminar this summer with renowned jeweler Harold O'Connor, and I fell in love with reticulation all over again! This sparked a journey of exploration. These

are some of the results of my experimentation with surface texture and empty spaces. Sterling silver, reticulated, fused and forged, high-karat gold, some beautiful McGinnnis Mine turquoise, natural blue druzy, cobalto calcite, Mexican jelly opal, topaz and white diamonds.

Collections available at:

Classes 2022 - Mark Your Calendar!

The Art of Intarsia - Beyond Lapidary!

Jan 21-23, 2022 - Arizona Designer Art and Craft - Tucson, Arizona

I am excited to be returning to Arizona Designer Art and Craft, this time in person!

Intarsia is the art of creating stone-to-stone cabochons, a technique in which the artist fits stones directly against each other, requiring great precision of cutting and design. In this class we will explore ways to cut and reassemble stones in interesting patterns to create cabochons for use in jewelry design.

Summer clouds up high

Radiant glows fill the sky.

Sun streams through my heart


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