Diamonds occur in many crystal shapes. The octahedron is the most commonly used because it readily lends itself to being cut into the traditional round brilliant shape we are most familiar with.
These crystals were sawn in half preparatory to being cut into finished stones. I was able to buy them before any faceting began. I like the pyramidal quality and love how they look in groups, somewhat like mountains. This is my take on the classic diamond circle earring.
Sometimes the things you see here are a little scary.
Tucson is where I first learned to appreciate the desert. Growing up in the northeast I never really got it till one day while at the Tucson Gem Show I took a drive and drove off the highway to Phoenix and took a gnarly trail for ten miles looking for an abandoned copper mining town. Once I got there I was stunned by the enormity of the landscape and especially the quiet. Today some friends and I stayed closer to the city and found this trail through hills covered with cactus.
This store in Tucson has over 800 different types of beer. That's a lot of beer.
I realized I wasn't in Maine anymore when I met a woman in a pink t shirt selling stun guns at the local farmers market. Here she's displaying her best sellers.
It's getting colder in Maine and this summer seems far away
I spent most of June and all of July making new pieces for three shows this August. I'm still making work at a pace that sometimes surprises me. I've made three flip rings so far. These are rings based on ancient Roman and Greek jewelry where the center stone rotates within a stirrup shaped band. I've combined red spinels with black spinel, black diamonds with jade from New Zealand and black diamonds with a beautiful Ceylon moonstone. I've always been excited by crystals especially if the color is really bright. I've made two pairs of earrings like this. The first uses red spinel crystals from Burma in a circular pattern and dangles from the ear. It's enthralling how the light comes through the crystals when they're being worn. The second pair is also circular and employs super bright diamond crystals. These are sliced off the tip of a diamond crystal called a dodecahedron and if I hadn't gotten to them first they would have been cut into traditional diamond shapes! They are really bright and sparkly. Both of these earrings
are set in 22 karat gold which gives a rich counterpoint to the crystals.
At the Tucson Gem Show last year I was able to find some polished sections of a meteorite that had landed in Russia. I've made earrings and rings with this fascinating material. They have a lot of iron in them and this gives a shiny silvery contrast with the darker olivine. It's crazy to me that these minerals were in a liquid form in outer space and then solidified when they entered the earth's atmosphere.
At the Tucson Gem Show this year I found some mabe pearls grown in Mexico in the Sea of Cortez. They have a dark grey body color with an iridescent sheen. They look great as earrings and I have one large ring that is stunning. There are two types of jade: jadeite and nephrite. Jadeite is the rarer of the two and comes in a variety of colors including the bright apple green that is so highly prized. Nephrite tends to be a darker green and also can be an appealing black. I grew up in New Zealand and have frequently used the nephrite that is so abundant there. This year, again at the Tucson Gem Show, I found some fine jadeite that is a rich, almost emerald green and
have made that into a sweet pair of earrings. I also have two jadeite rings. I just finished a necklace that uses a variety of ancient beads including turquoise, carnelian, blue chalcedony, coral, rock crystal and jade. The sources range from Tibet to the Near East to South America. The beads range in age from 500-200 years old and together create a wonderfully colorful necklace.
This weekend August 1-3 I'll be at The Directions Craft Show in Bar Harbor. Come visit and see all my new work.
Moonstones and Diamond Crystal Beads
I'm leaving today for the craft show in St Paul MN this weekend. There's some awesome work there and not just my jewelry! Here are some images of new work. There's more on my site.
I'd heard many times about this place. Needless to say pictures can't do it justice. I've always been a believer in the spirit of the land and here it's overwhelming.
In the Dragoon Mountains about 70 miles east of Tucson lies Cochise Stronghold a place of quiet beauty and power. I took a few days here to rest up from January in Maine. It was 0 the day I left and 65 here.
it was 2 degrees going to work this morning and the river is starting to freeze over. Tucson is in the 70's