Thursday, June 25, 2009

More To Come

Yes, I actually had some time to make jewelry! The three bracelets here are the beginning of what I hope will be a constant stream of new jewelry! Although I have not had time to add them to the website, they will be on there in the next day or two. The top bracelet is fire agate and carnelian and will be listed on the Fire Agate Jewelry page, the middle is black onyx ( Unique Bracelets, and the labradorite bracelet can be found on our Labradorite Jewelry page.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Quick Post

Busy is the byword here at the studio, so just a quick post to show the latest - a set (but sold separately) created from soft peach aventurine and smoky quartz. These are two colours that I put together because I wear them so often myself (I really don't wear black everyday!) The peach is lovely, but the faceting on the smoky quartz is what really makes both the necklace and the bracelet special. See the necklace on our Handmade Necklaces page, and the bracelet on the Unique Bracelets page.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Ancient Appeal of Coral

Summer means coral jewelry! Although beautiful coral can be worn any time of the year, it is very common in the USA to think of coral as being a "summer stone" (although it isn't really a stone, but the remains of a tiny marine animal). The ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans utilized coral in their jewelry also, but first carved it into scarabs or intaglios or cameos. How insightful that first carver of coral must have been, for when coral is first taken from the sea, it is fairly ugly. It has to be cut, in some cases carved, and polished before it takes on the luminous quality we think of coral as having. The Medieval Era in Europe found coral being used for rosaries and as a decorative element in religious paraphernalia such as reliquaries and in churches. The Victorians used coral in broaches, often mixed it with diamonds, and gave coral rattles to their children. Coral is still used in Tibet and China in religious ceremonies (Tibetan Buddhists use coral rosaries).
The best coral today can be found in the waters of southern Ireland, in the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, Mauritius, the Malay Archipelago, and in Japan, although in many places the harvesting of coral is banned as some species are becoming endangered. Most coral is treated in some way - especially inexpensive coral; it is often treated with resin because it is so porous and usually dyed to improve colour. Above, you see a coral bracelet with pinkish coral, lapis, and lampwork beads; second picture, an ankle bracelet, and below, a coral bracelet with blue coral.

Not in the coral family, but new this week is the chrysoprase bracelet that you see below with wonderfully chunky chrysoprase nuggets.I should be back to a more regular posting schedule as the studio move is about completed.