While the stones and minerals used in my work are from all over the world, my favorite place to purchase them is Dave’s Down to Earth Rock Shop in Evanston, Illinois. I discovered Dave’s years ago with my daughters. Not only did we find a wide range of beautiful stones, minerals, and fossils, but also the Prehistoric Life Museum in the basement. Over the years, my daughters and I have introduced many of their friends to the wonders of Dave’s. I now have the pleasure of exciting my fellow mosaic enthusiasts with a visit to the museum and shopping the wonderful finds Dave’s has to offer.
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.
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.
The term mosaic means a picture or pattern produced by arranging small pieces of stone , tile, glass, or other media. The art form of micro mosaic, creating mosaics using extremely small tesserae (tiles), began in ancient Rome. Unlike paints and tints, which were unstable and often flaked or faded, the color of natural stones and fired tiles retained its vibrancy over time.
In Wendy’s contemporary interpretation of micro mosaics, she uses an array of semi-precious gemstones and minerals that she hand cuts into tiny pieces and places individually to create vibrant textural mosaic jewelry. The gallery above shows the transformation of amethyst from stone to the tiny pieces used in our micro mosaic designs.
This video a brief visual history of the art of mosaics. To purchase the amethyst earrings shown, just click on the picture.