Moose Spotlight: Creating Handmade Playfully Classy Jewelry

"Take care of your hands. They are the most important tools we have."

 

- Debbie Jo Baxter

 

 

MEET THE ARTIST

 

Jewelry Artist Debbie Jo Baxter of @d.j.bax on Instagram

 

@d.j.bax on Instagram  (Photo courtesy: @rwphotographynm on Instagram)
Meet jewelry artist Debbie Jo Baxter, the artist behind the Instagram account @d.j.bax Based in Las Cruces, New Mexico, she has been making jewelry for 5 years now. 
THE JOURNEY TO CREATING JEWELRY

"My grandmother inspired me to make jewelry," Debbie Jo shared. Her grandmother worked with beads and silver in her early 20s and passed down some of her tools and material. "Since the day I open that old Christmas cookie tin full of turquoise and silver solder I knew I wanted to create with what she used herself." Debbie Jo still uses and incorporate some of her grandmother's stones that she has passed down to her into her work.

 

Debbie Jo learned to work with silver and precious metals at New Mexico State University while earning her undergraduate degree. "To be honest, once the course got started I was so overwhelmed and I truly disliked it. I was not good at anything," she said. She shared that she was constantly breaking drill bits or getting the drill bit stuck in the metal. "Saw blades were breaking as soon I would load them. I called my mother crying explaining I wanted to drop the course within the first two weeks of the semester. She insisted I stick with it," she continued.

 

Her professor at the time, Motoko Furuhashi, took extra time to work with her and help her build her confidence up using the tools and things around the studio. "Working through that challenge has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life," Debbie Jo declared.

 

 

Take a look at some of her amazing creations!

 

Genuine Turquoise Jewelry by Debbie Jo Baxter of @d.j.bax on Instagram

 

Turquoise Necklace  by Debbie Jo Baxter of @d.j.bax on Instagram

 

Handmade Turquoise Jewelry by Debbie Jo Baxter of @d.j.bax on Instagram

 

 

 

THE DESIGN PROCESS

 

Debbie Jo said that her design process is very impulsive. Not often does she plan out a design or a sketch beforehand. She shared that once she sits at the bench and select a stone(s), the design comes as she forms the bezel around the stone and usually changes throughout the fabrication process.

 

She described her design style as playful yet classy. 

 

 

Here are a few more stunning jewelry creations by Debbie Jo! 

 

 

Handmade Necklace by Debbie Jo Baxter of @d.j.bax on Instagram

 

 

Handmade Genuine Turquoise Necklace by Debbie Jo Baxter of @d.j.bax on Instagram

 

 

 

Handmade Ring by Debbie Jo Baxter of @d.j.bax on Instagram

 

 

Handmade Jewelry by Debbie Jo Baxter of @d.j.bax on Instagram
JEWELRY DESIGN TIPS, TRICKS, AND HANDY TECHNIQUES

 

 

What's one design tip you one to share with your fellow artists? 

 

"Take care of your hands. They are the most important tools we have."

 

Any words of encouragement or tips to those who are starting out in the world of jewelry-making?

 

"Don’t give up!!! If solder doesn't flow right away keep trying. Don’t be afraid to melt a piece. Mistakes are going to happen so learn to work with them."

 

Lastly, her message to the universe: 

 

Debbie Jo Baxter Blog Feature by Turquoise Moose

 

 

Follow her on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/d.j.bax/

Check out her Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/DJBAXDesigns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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