Happy 2014, the number 14 didn’t have much significance to me but I heard somebody say that it is doubly lucky because it is the number 7 x 2. Also, my husband said it would be a great year to hike a “14er”, one of the peaks in Colorado that is over 14,000 ft, we’ll see if we have the chance to make it down there.
Returning to work after the holiday chaos is always interesting, it’s quiet and a there is a lot of paperwork to do. I’m going to be continuing my gemology courses online and going to the Tucson Gem Show in February for further education and gemstone/bead shopping. I’m working towards becoming a GIA (Gemological Institute of America) certified Graduate Gemologist.
Hopefully I will have time to experiment with the plethora of designs that are in my head during these quieter months.
I recently purchased a pile of beautiful gemstones. Last week I hosted a Ladies Night at my store and revealed dozens of new earrings. Each pair is different and the gems are transparent and sparkly, crystaly and colorful. I will post a few on this site but in the meantime here is a quick photo:
Pictured here is a mix of: rose quartz, amethyst, turquoise, amber, citrine, flourite, garnet, aquamarine, jade and peridot. All on handmade silver earring wires.
To customize the jewelry that I make, I usually handmake the “findings”. Findings are what jewelers call clasps, ear wires, pin backs, etc. Basically the hardware of the piece of jewelry. Most of my beaded necklaces and some of my silver chains have a simple sterling silver hook and loop. I like these because they are unusual while being secure.
Pictured here are the hook and loop clasps on some recent Autumn themed necklaces that I made.
I have begun to work towards becoming a certified gemologist through the GIA, Gemological Institute of America. It will take a couple of years, especially since I will continue to work full time. So far it is very interesting for me, I just passed the final exam for my first intro course to colored stones. Besides colored stones, I will study diamonds and pearls.
Just the other day I was looking at a little bunch of green stones that I have and beginning to think about designs. Knowing more about stones in general will be a great addition to my 20 years of metalsmithing.
Above I have Prehnite, Malachite, a glass taxidermy eye, Verisite, Jade, Garnet and a Bloodstone (it turned out looking black here but it’s actually a forest green with red specks).
I’ve joined Pinterest after seeing the fun my friends have on it. You can find my page and boards here:
So many images and ideas inspire me when I’m looking through art and design webpages. Since I live in an isolated area of Wyoming this is how I feed my hunger for seeing art. I’m so far away from big museums and super new ideas. However, Meg Daly in Jackson Hole runs a great art blog about this area called Culture Front. She seeks to bring attention to what it means to be an artist in the American West today:
Sadly, Culture Front is no longer online but you can find Meg Daly’s writing on many pages online.