I spent most of June and all of July making new pieces for the ACE show. And now it’s August and 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.
It’s been a very productive time for me and I’m not finished yet! I’m so excited to be doing the ACE show which has always been one of my favorite shows to do.
I hope to see lots of old friends and new ones too August 21-24.
A special thank you to ACE artist Devta Doolan for this guest post.