Precious metals, stones and wire form into beautiful jewelry in the hands of artists in the Sun City Center Lapidary Club. Established in 1975, the club was created by a group of residents who had an interest in creating artistically designed jewelry. The club is open to Community Association members and Kings Point residents. Annual dues are $10. Jewelry and other items made by club members are sold in the club's gift shop in the Arts and Crafts building, 970 Cherry Hills Drive. Summer hours are 10 a.m. to noon Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. From September through April the hours are 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and noon to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. The gift shop is closed in August.
Club members form stone, mineral and gemstones into decorative items like engraved gems and also work with other mediums, including beads, precious metals and polymer clay. Free classes are also available on working with silver, enameling and wire wrapping. Material costs range from $10 and up, depending on the project. "As a member of the SCC Lapidary Club for 15 or more years, I have enjoyed many friendships while learning new talents, said club member Dawn Luckett. The club has many gifted instructors who willingly share their knowledge. We cover many areas of jewelry making, including metal crafting, faceting and shaping stones, lost wax casting and more." The club continually supports multiple service organizations in the community. This year it made donations to several groups, including LifePath Hospice, Sun City Security Patrol and the Sun City Center Library. "The variety of classes offered can be seen in the jewelry we have for sale in our store," said Kathy Bittman, vice president. "All profits made from these sales are donated to charities within the Sun City Center community. During the last five years these donations totaled $25,000." For additional information, call Aleksandra Zurko, club president, at (813) 633-0679. Lorianne De Loreto is a freelance writer who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.