Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mystery stone and the creative process

Wandering around a bead show recently, I happened upon my favorite vendors and their well-stocked booth. Rows upon rows of semi-precious and other beads beckoned me to browse. Just before I rounded the end of the table to pick through the bargain bin, I spied these treasures. First drawn by their high gloss, I stopped to examine their texture, and scan the tag. Finding none, I asked the owner what she thought they were. Surprisingly, she didn't know, either!

I had to have them. The beads were just too gorgeous to put back. I was already finished purchasing my finds, but the card came back out again, and I bought these, too.

My first opinion was that is was Crazy Horse Jasper. But I had never seen a high gloss like this on that kind of stone. All of mine were rather matte in finish. And there was an interesting mustard yellow that I was not familiar with in Crazy Horse Jasper. I decided to turn to trusted Etsy sellers in the Etsy forums for help.

Etsy is an amazing place. If you are a crafter of any kind, it is worth your while to investigate selling your goods there online. They require a minimal charge of 3.5% only on a sale, and each four-month listing costs $.20. That's twenty cents. Amazing!! Compare that to the big daddy auction house! Etsy is also a great place to meet other craftspeople, and, for the most part, is a very cooperative environment where mutual promotion and cooperation is the norm rather than the exception. I've been very happy as an Etsy buyer AND seller.

After posting a query about this "mystery stone," other bead-holics and lapidarists weighed in with their opinions. Crazy Horse Jasper seemed to be the consensus, with one particular jewelry artisan explaining her position that it is Apache Dendritic Jasper, which is mines not far from her house. After Google-searching both terms, I've decided that both are right. They seem to be the same kind of stone. Crazy Horse, the real-life man, was not an Apache. The Apache tribe originated in the area now known as New Mexico, where this stone is mined. Because of this, I'm calling it Apache Dendritic Jasper. Crazy Horse is secure in his place in history, and doesn't need this particular semi-precious stone to protect this legacy.

I paired these luscious beads with Rhodolite Garnet, a perfect match for the raspberry highlights, and tiny citrine button rondelles. The beauty of the mustard color in the beads was just too juicy to ignore. Fastening the back is a hand made copper S-clasp. Mexico is the largest producer of copper in the world, and the United States is second. Currently our most productive copper mining is done in Utah and Arizona. Copper was just perfect for this color combination. What do you think?

I might have to keep this necklace set. Rarely do I take one for myself, since I want to list everything that I make, "just in case." But these beads are just too beautiful to pass up. I'll use perforated beading discs to make some vintage-inspired earrings to complete this set. Encrusted with 8mm Apache Dendritic Jasper, and the rest of the Rhodolite garnet and citrine, along with copper beads and wire. Dangles of the last two beads from the jasper strand will finish the pair.


Split Rock Ranch said...

Absolutely gorgeous! I could get in some serious trouble if I keep visiting your blog and your etsy store! ;o)

Laura said...

Hahaha! Brenda, you're precious! Did you see the comment I left for you about the maple leaf necklace? Convo me on Etsy if you need clarification. Thanks so much!!

Laura said...

And, BTW...I hope you keep visiting. I've enjoyed our chats!! You don't have to buy anything if you don't want to!!