Rock Appreciation Day

For this double Rock Day we have Imperial Jasper, and Lace/Banded Agate. The usual disclaimers apply-

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(Royal) Imperial Jasper

Jasper and agate are two of the most varied stone types out there. Jasper is of the quartz variety, almost always opaque, and reaches a 7 on the MOH’s hardness scale (for reference, diamonds are a 10 on the scale). It is said to be an impure chalcedony. Jasper can come in any colour. Because there are so many different colour and pattern variations, there are beyond dozens of “types” of classified jasper. Some other types besides imperial jasper would be Ocean jasper, Plume jasper, Picture or Landscape jasper, and so on. Jasper is found worldwide, but the majority of the beautiful type known as “Imperial Jasper”, or “Royal Imperial Jasper”, comes from Mexico. A light pastel version of the deeper colours associated with imperial jasper can also come from the Willow Creek Mine in Idaho. The main defining characteristics of imperial jasper are any combo of green hues, warm red/pink hues, and cream/brown hues. Rarely seen are the colder hues like grays and blues. There is a soft creaminess to the colours, and the highest grades show distinct banded patterns of colour. The bands or lines within this jasper can be referred to as “streamers”, when the jasper fractures and is then filled in with more jasper. Colours can swirl and merge from the rock forming process yielding amazing patterns. The most prized of all imperial jasper, are “Royal Imperial Jasper Nodules”. These nodules have a variety of colours in a banded pattern like an orb, stemming from the center of the stone.

 

The imperial jasper below is my own collection. All are up for grabs for custom orders except the small oval with rust and deep green colours of the same value. This is being used in a large ring…

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Imperial Jasper group pic

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Imperial Jasper group no. 2

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Lace and Banded Agate

Lace agate is quite close to jasper. It is also in the quartz family, and another variety of chalcedony. Classified as microcrystalline quartz, it measures a 6.5-7 on the MOH’s hardness scale. It can be opaque or translucent, and any degree in between. Like jasper, there is an inmeasureable amount of different types. Lace agate is close to banded agate and striped agate. Crazy lace agate is a more specific type only found in Mexico. Crazy lace agate can also be known as the “Laughter Stone”, or “Happy Lace”. Agate is said to start as a nodule in volcanic rock and ancient lava. From formation, the insides of agates are often left hollow and can form druzy quartz on the insides. This type will be saved for another Rock Day. The stones below are my collection of lace and banded agates up for grabs. The bottom left is crazy lace agate.

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Agate group photo

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Agate group pic 2

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Below:

Pieces made with lace and banded agate.

An example picture to show the difference between some plume and lace types…

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Agate jewelry group

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Plume & Lace type examples*

In the SHOP now:

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New Cave Lady Ring with agate in the works, and in the shop tomorrow:

Lace agate ring in works

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In other news:

New ITEM PREVIEW on the blog tomorrow morning.

New items in the shop tomorrow night and Monday-

xx Stray Arrow

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Changes, New Item Preview, Commissions…

Well after spending several hours cropping photos and finishing new items last night, I did something I haven’t done since college. I LITERALLY fell asleep on my computer. Sorry all! 

This year has had a rocky start to say the least, but I won’t be getting into personal details. I’ve been making a series of required family trips, as well as planned trips (for sanity and all that). We all know how I love to drive! Now that things have settled down again I’m turning my full focus on the shop AND the Brand itself…

Changes. My Process.

Many jewelers, shop owners…business folks in general…never really talk about the inside details. I’m going to do a little sharing, so I’m sorry if this bit is boring! Photography wise, I use a simple SLR that I focus, point, and shoot. It’s all natural daylight. No tripod, no lighting, none of the fancy stuff. Unfortunately in these winter months, the sun yields a blue tinged light here in New England to everything no matter the time of day. I feel completely frustrated when trying to shoot work, even trying to keep it in focus with this old busted camera seems tough. SO. I have officially bought some more legitimate equipment to shoot in…and by legitimate, I mean real little lamps with daylight bulbs. Hopefully I’ll be reshooting *most* of my items with this to better represent the jewelry. The daylight bulbs allow me to shoot anytime, which also adds appeal. In addition I’ll be considering a new camera a few months down the line. Digital is a whole new world to me, and I’m pretty shameless about that. Up until needing a camera to shoot my jewelry I just used a 35mm manual Pentax in a darkroom. In summation, any good SLR camera any of y’all could recommend would be helpful! I’ll also be shooting my pieces in less cluttered set ups. Don’t worry. The leather, leaves, flowers, feathers, and all around Earth Essence will still be present. I couldn’t pull it out of me or the jewelry itself if I tried.

Commissions.

This year, I did something new. I told folks I was filled up on commissions to not overload myself and keep a steady pace. I put some proposed commissions on hold as well. Why did I do this? Without going into complicated details about the metal smithing process in general, there is some wait time in between technical steps. I’m one of those folks that truly just love to physically work, so I always have an extra 5-10 projects going on the side while working on everything else to keep beyond busy. Because of this, dozens of lovely ideas get made up to a point, but I never end up having true time to dedicate to finishing them. By only taking a certain number of commissions the past two months, I’ve been able to finish several projects that have been mer whispers of metal in the studio. All new items posted today have either been in progress, abandoned for the past few months, or stones I’ve been hankering to use for what feels like ages. For everyone wanting to get something specific done and waiting for it, THANK YOU.

I currently have some pending commissions that are still being worked on, but I’m completely open for more now! I’ll be contacting folks who’ve been waiting patiently-and yes. You’ll all get little extras for being amazing.

Rock Appreciation Day.

Was missed. I had Royal Imperial Jasper on the menu…and realized I’ve never made a piece with it! It’ll be done for March First in ADDITION to another stone type. Any requests are welcome!

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Feb Group Photo

New Items.

A brief description of the goodies below, which will be hitting the main Etsy shop this Sunday. I’ve been working on more pieces veering towards a “Stray Arrow” mindset. What exactly IS that? The entire concept behind The Stray Arrow, which has always been difficult for me to word, is in essence individuality. The Stray Arrow is alone from, or ahead of the pack. The Stray Arrow can be the one arrow in the quiver that makes the bulls eye shot. It’s me and you.

These pieces have a more rustic, Cave Time feel. Little arrow vane chevrons, individually sawed/sanded/stamped by hand, adorn each piece enthusiastically.

The Stray Arrow Necklace-

Made of pure molten silver with a beautiful weight to it. Little arrow vanes fan out, deciding which direction your path will eventually lead. These huge, low swinging necklaces will be made to order upon purchase. They are true Stray Arrow Wear, reminding you never to get boggled down. You always have options.

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Stray Arrow Necklace.

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Stray Arrow Necklace with rings

*pairs perfectly with Arrow Vane Stackers & Studs, Feathered Bands, and Crossed Arrows.

Stray Arrow Necklace...

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The Archer Earrings.

Made literally on a whim in the studio the other night, these will be “made to order” upon purchase. I had a thick arrow sawed out on the bench for another Robin Hood necklace. While listening to Paganini’s 6th Caprice, somehow the shapes of violins, cellos, and violas entered my mind. All those lovely curves while staring at the arrow immediately brought my mind back to bows. I’ve been craving to make some kind of arrow earring for awhile now. Over the past couple months arrows seem to have BOOMED in the world of popular shapes. Thinly walled base metal castings of basic arrow designs are everywhere. It’s time for something of quality and substance, don’t you think? These earrings are completely hand sawed, and stamped with tiny details reminiscent of obsidian stone arrow heads. When everything used to be made by hand, and it was necessity. All sterling silver, these are totally darkened. Thick arrows rest on bows, with their sterling silver chain “strings” pulled back. This is a simple, unique design. A companion necklace will also be in the shop Sunday.

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The Archer..

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Cave Lady Rings.

Close friends always have a handful of nicknames for each other. One of my favourites given to me is “Cave Lady”. My hair is fluffy and curly, made up of separate tendrils/tentacles that jut out in spools of crazy. Over the years (and through much trial and error) I’ve found a couple products that “tame the tentacles”, but I’ve come to terms with this nickname in all it’s appropriateness. Cave Lady for me also ties back to the primitive (note: I am NOT using this term in a derogative fashion as it so often is when applied to tribes or nations). When I was little I was obsessed with cave paintings (Lascaux), and trying to find arrowheads. Just the idea of putting that much time into the making of such a small object was fascinating. Fast forward into the future and I am now the creator of small things. I truly adore sawing and making these little arrow vane shapes, and thought…why not COVER something in it? So, in homage to the nickname, the old ancestry that ties us all together, and of course my obsessive love of rocks, I give you Cave Lady Rings. Two are currently made, one using a beautiful White Buffalo Turquoise stone and one a unique Koroit Opal stone. These rings feature little dangling Arrow Vanes, that also give them a Gypsy feel (another obsession, as a chunk of my family are from the Carpathian Mountains). Each ring has a wide band with “Cave Lady” stamped on the inside. These can be custom made with your stone choice in your size. The two current rings will fit a US size 5.5-5.75 (Buffalo), and US size 8 (Koroit).

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Cave Lady White Buff

Cave Lady White Buff Back

Cave Lady White Buff ring

Cave Lady Koroit Opal ring

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Three Needles. Bracelet.

This piece is pretty substantial. The Three Needles (as in Pine tree needles), features three different kinds of old stock, natural, rare and collectible kinds of American Southwest Turquoise. I obtained these three stones from a man who deals directly with the mine owners, so these are from old stock collections of the owners themselves! Each mine name is stamped on the back of it’s respective stone. Each stone has a different bezel type, with a different etched in textural design around the bezel. The horse shoe shape that two of the turquoise stones rest on is also filled with dangling hand sawed arrow vanes. These make a fantastic light noise when in motion, and add a little movement to the piece. It will fit a small to medium wrist. This is a serious unique statement piece.

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Three Needles Bangle

Three Needles Back

Three Needles in Ice

Three Needles Bangle Close Up

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Zig Zag Steerer. Necklace.

This necklace has been on the work bench half finished for a long, long, time. It ties back to my Romantics Line, featuring quotes of poetry or literature. The quote is from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s, “The Humble Bee“.  Featuring three nicely coloured old stock natural Royston Mine turquoise stones, wampum, and chalcedony gems, this is a massive piece. The wampum is an amazingly coloured chunk that my mother actually found on the beach last year. For anyone out there who knows about wampum, you know what an impossible feat that is! I set the wampum in pure silver bezel on a sterling backing just as it was found. The wampum dangles from the massive three turquoise stone pendant. The great quote from Emerson’s poem, “Zig Zag Steerer, Desert Cheerer“, is stamped on the back of the turquoise and wampum. Little oceanic flowers of faceted sea foam chalcedony gemstones join the pendant on the blackened silver chains a ways up. The necklace length is adjustable by using the tiny amethyst gem clasp, or the plainer silver clasp at the end. This piece oozes feelings of royalty, beach colours, bookworm appeal, the Southwest, and even latches on to my “Along The Dark Shore” themed pieces that combine turquoise and wampum. There’s something in it for everyone, and it has an amazing weight and presence to it.

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Zig Zag Steerer Necklace

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Sunday.

All of these fresh lovelies, PLUS MORE, will be in the main shop on Sunday. Any new pieces joining those that have been previewed here may make an appearance on my FaceBook Page or Instagram (username: TheStrayArrow). Anything can be reserved ahead of time if you have your heart set.

I have been neglecting the shop for those with stretched ears, and will be pouring my efforts into breathing back some life into it in the coming week. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, it looks like we’re expecting ANOTHER snow storm here in New England this weekend. For those in it’s path, stay warm.

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Archers Crossed.

xx Stray Arrow.