Treasure

Samples  from my treasure trove
 

Recently, I felt like I struck gold. I was invited by a lapidary (art of cutting and polishing stone) instructor to come raid the scrap buckets of stone at the studio where he teaches. He has been saving the discarded pieces for years, for what, he wasn’t sure.  In the back of his mind he must have known someone would appreciate them as I do.

As I sort the stones by color, texture, size and shape, I’m taking my time to admire their natural beauty as I try to identify them.  In my treasure trove I’ve discovered lapis, jade, obsidian, chrysocolla, copper, quartz, agate, jasper, fossils and so much more. Already, I have numerous projects in mind for my find.

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Aquamarine

The New Year has officially begun and I’ve welcomed it by cutting into a new batch of stones. One of my favorite stones to cut and use is aquamarine. Sorting through the pound of aquamarine stones I recently purchased, I felt like a kid in a candy store. The many different hues of blues and greens, varying transparency and iridescence of each stone excited me and I couldn’t wait to cut into them to see the treasures within. I have hours of cutting ahead and look forward to the new creative directions the stones take me.

To view my currently available mosaic jewelry please visit  Gray Raven Designs.


Thirteen Pounds

Recently I purchased thirteen pounds of emerald, aquamarine, amethyst, carnelian, citrine, labradorite, amazonite, and bronzite stones at a gem show.  I selected the stones not only for their color, but also for their iridescence, transparency and reflectivity. Over the next few months I will be spending hours in my studio hand cutting the stones into the micro-sized pieces I require to create my mosaic art jewelry. I look forward to seeing how this new batch of stones guides me in my future designs.

To view my currently available mosaic jewelry please visit  Gray Raven Designs.

Iridescent Labradorite

The iridescence of the mineral labradorite reminds me of butterfly wings with its shimmer of color. At first glance some labradorite stones may appear grey or black, but as light enters the stone, flashes of blue, green, violet, red, yellow and orange colors can be seen.  This play of color is known as “labradorescence” and is caused by light entering and scattering between the many micro-thin layers of crystals within the stone.

To see the beauty of labradorite in my mosaic jewelry please visit  Gray Raven Designs.

Royal Purple

For centuries amethyst has adorned the crowns of royalty. The most valuable member of the quartz family, amethyst ranges in color from pale lilac to deep purple and can have red and blue hues. The name is derived from the ancient Greek word “amethystos” which means “not intoxicated.” Carved amethysts were used as goblets and amulets for protection and in ancient Rome crushed amethyst stone was added to wine cups to prevent drunkenness.

Since purple has always been my favorite color, the first piece of handmade jewelry I owned had a small amethyst stone. Now, I frequently use amethyst in my work either on its own or blended with other colors to give added richness.

To view more amethyst and other gemstone mosaic art jewelry visit my shop  Gray Raven Designs.

Lapis the color of…

The beautiful rich blue lapis lazuli has continuously been mined in Afghanistan for over six thousand years.  Lapis has been used over the centuries to create jewelry, carvings, mosaics and other ornamental pieces.

Lapis was the stone of royalty used by the kings of Egypt for their beautiful carved amulets and seals. Cleopatra used powdered lapis for eye shadow and it was later used by the Renaissance painters to create deep blue ultramarine paints to depict the water, sky and luxurious fabrics in their masterpieces.

I find that the intense blue of lapis adds an element to my work that no other stone can produce.  If you would like to see more gemstone mosaic jewelry please visit  Gray Raven Designs.

Amber Glow

Amber is technically not a gemstone or mineral, but instead is fossilized sap from prehistoric trees that has taken millions of years to form. As an organic substance, no two pieces of amber are alike. It can be transparent or opaque and comes in many shades and colors, the most common of which are cognac, honey, green, lemon yellow, and ivory. According to the American Museum of Natural History, “the world’s largest amber deposits come from the shores of the Baltic Sea, where amber has been harvested, traded, and crafted into decorative objects for at least 13,000 years.”

Using amber allows me to add radiance and warmth to my work. It provides a unique inner glow that cannot be duplicated. If you would like to see more amber mosaic art jewelry please visit  Gray Raven Designs.

From Chess Board to French Cuff

I was asked by a young couple to create unique earrings and cuff links for their bridal party. Working with the bride and groom we found the perfect combination of stones–moonstone, labradorite, and black onyx–to create the elegant look they wanted.

In order to make the cuff links extra special for the groom I wanted to use stones that had some significance to him. I was able to obtain onyx chess pieces from a set his grandmother had given to his parents 20 years before. The set was no longer complete, but the pieces could find new life as cuff links, a meaningful “something old” to adorn the men’s cuffs.

The gallery above shows the transformation from chess piece to micro mosaic cuff link.

For  information on custom wedding party jewelry and accessories, contact us.