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What came First, the Dragon or the Egg?

What came First, the Dragon or the Egg?

With my interest in the animal myths and the animal kingdom, it should not surprise anyone that I love a good fantasy. From time to time, I depart from my morphed animal images to a simple animal depiction. I had a bracelet idea floating in my head while, like many Americans, I was watching Game of Thrones. Rather than depict a mythical dragon complete with wings, scales and claws, I wanted to attempt a more modern, abstract dragon. Often I find my drawings take on a life of their own when I begin carving my drawing into wax. Since there is such a variety in what is considered a “dragon” I felt a certain freedom to create the two headed magical creature seen in the drawing and photo above.

  My biggest challenge was the connection of each two headed dragon link. Originally, I drew a basic link to link for each connection, but once I began soldering each sterling link, I felt the bracelet lacked interest. Pushing myself to find a more interesting connection I, after chatting with another artist I came up with what I think is a perfect solution. Between each link will be a very small egg like connection that will somewhat cover the jump rings used to connect the links. The small dome shapes reminded me of the dragon eggs. I am excited to rework the linkage using 14kt white gold jump rings for added strength.

  To complete the look, I am planning on setting 5 red garnet cabochons between each dragon link representing the hot, fierce fire-breathing dragon I could carve.

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BIRTHSTONES TODAY

BIRTHSTONES TODAY

 With the AGTA Gem Show in full swing this week, I thought I would highlight gemstones in reference to birthstone. Occasionally, I run across a potential client asking me about what the correct birthstone for their birth month is. “Why are their two or three different stones for my month? I was told there is a certain stone is designated for each month. Is it not my stone and the one I should use to celebrate my birth into this world?”

 The concept of 12 birthstones seems to date back to Aaron, the high priest of the Israelites and brother to Moses. On his ceremonial breastplate were 12 gemstones, each one representing a tribe of Israel. Josephus, a Jewish historian, is responsible for connecting those stones to the 12 months of the year and the zodiac signs, thus the concept of birthstones.

 It is interesting to note that many cultures have kept different lists of traditional birthstones, giving rise to a vast range of birthstone options. Some months, such as October and December list two different stones for their particular month.

 With the many gemstone options available today, I suggest you look at a recommended “birthstone” for your birth month, keeping in mind the history behind the list of “appropriate” stones. If you feel a relationship to a gemstone, regardless of the recommended stone, then I say go for it. Your choice is personal, or should be regardless of a given list. 

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TAKE HEART, IT'S A NEW YEAR!

TAKE HEART, IT'S A NEW YEAR!

Garnet continues as a popular gemstone today. It serves as a birthstone for the month of January. Most people will think of a red gemstone when they hear the name "garnet" because they are not aware that garnet occurs in a variety of colors. However, gem-quality garnets occur in every color - with red being the most common and blue garnets being especially rare.

That's excellent news if you're in the market for this January birthstone. Those of you who have followed me over the years know I am big on transformation. This month’s birthstone fits with my thinking. While in the ground, heat and pressure of metamorphism breaks the chemical bonds and cause minerals to recrystallize into structures that stabilize under the temperature pressure and environment. Garnets start as tiny grains and slowly over time as the metamorphism progresses, they begin to include the surrounding rock materials. How cool is that? Even rocks have the power to change.

Garnet has been used as a gemstone for over 5000 years. It has been found in the jewelry of many Egyptian burials and was the most popular gemstone of Ancient Rome. Not to be outdone by cultures past, I chose the traditional red Garnet associated with this gemstone. I suspended a carved garnet heart from the mouth of a small dragon stickpin I created. Even Dragons can change and have a heart, after all it is a new year!

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