Thursday, February 24, 2011

My addiction

Whenever I do fairs and markets I see how children are drawn to polished colorful stones. Sometimes a little girl or boy walks slowly by my table and touches every single stone with one finger. On one market one of the other sellers had a big bowl of 'magic stones'. They were a random mix of tumbled agate, aventurine, tiger eye, quartz, etc. They didn't cost more tha$1 each but to the children they were magic treasures.

I must say, this hasn't changed. Not for me at least. I remember getting my first stone, it was a pyrite crystal. Whatever my father said to me about what it was, to me it was as valuable as solid gold. I put it on my display shelf with other pretty rocks and rinsed it whenever it got too dusty. In the end, however, it ended up in a box and I almost forgot about it.

Then I started working with silver and talking to other metalsmiths on Etsy. They were drooling over stones, licking stones, showing off new purchases.. and through them I discovered the world of cabochons. Beautiful, colorful, smoothly polished stones, made by mother nature and a talented lapidary artist. And now I could buy stones, not just for looking at, but with a Purpose! 

Since I started buying cabs, it has become a small obsession. I have to introduce stone buying moratoria to pace myself. Very few things make me so childishly happy as receiving new stones in the mail.  I have written about my stone collection before (here) where I showed off a small part of my stash. This time I won't show you my entire collection either, simply because it normally looks like this:
Baggies. They contain all vital information, the kind of stone, price, seller or origin, dimensions or carat. The way I have currently divided my stones is heat resistant (can be fired in place in metal clay), faceted, small cabs and big cabs. It's no great system but it's something. I'm open to any storage tips, btw.

So here are a few highlights:
I love purple. These are a few examples of the purple stones I have.
Charoite is a special weakness of mine.

I'm prone to buying stones of similar shades. I'm very fond of blue chalcedony and agates,
gem silica,  labradorite, larimar and Anything that is green

Fossils! I love looking at these and trying to grasp what they once were and
when that was.
These two I call my demon stones:

And this is my beloved cat paw that I will never part with:

I mentioned before that I separated big and small cabs. I love small cabs. I don't know why, but they are just extremely appealing. Don't these look like candy?
I'm not the only one who wrote about my stone collection this month. Have a look at the posts by my Aspiring Metalsmiths teamies and let them tell you about their favorites:

Autumn Bradley -
Clarity @ Scrollwork Designs -
Stacy Low -
Chrissi Lynn Designs -
Sylvia Anderson -
Jessica @ Abella Blue -
Contemporary Jewelry by Beatriz Fortes -
Esmeralda -
Steph Stargell -
Pennee -
Silver Pearl Jewelry and Metalworks -
ArtistiKat -
Claire -

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Thing a Week, week 6 and 7

Thing a Week #6

Is it spring soon? I thought so last week, I even saw catkins in my garden! The rest is buried in snow but catkins! That means spring soon. I was so excited that I made this pendant using metal clay:

It's not that easy to get flower imprints to show well, since petals are so delicate, but in this case it went pretty well. I put a nice ruby cab in the center. I'm happy with how this one turned out, the flower looks real and alive. :)

Thing a Week #7

I'm continuing the red theme. I have made similar earrings like these before, when I didn't know how to pick solder. Now that I can pick solder they are still a challenge! There's a lot of soldering and to make them matched is not that easy either. I left the backs of the stone settings open so the light can come through and you can see the amazing color in the stones.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Treasury of the week

Check this out, this treasury is so my style! It can be found here if you want to comment or check out these beautiful items.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Treasury of the Week

Check out this beautiful treasury featuring my gothic lolita pendant:
(you can find it here)