Giveaway and News!

Well folks, it’s the first of the month. I think it’s time to bring back the Rock Appreciation Days, what about you? Today VARISCITE will be highlighted. See the feature and photo examples of current and past jewelry pieces using variscite at the END of this post.

For now, I’d like to update you all. Studio access has been slightly limited in the recent past due to construction on the building. A big thank you to all who have placed orders for your immense patience during this time! The studio is now at full speed again and any work in my space has finished. Due to the slower production speed I have solely been keeping up with “made to order” items and custom items. I will finally be updating the main Etsy shop with new items next week. To stay posted on exactly when you can follow any of my social media seen at the right side bar.

In more exciting news,

I will be going to the Tucson Gem Show! 

This is a big deal for me, because it is absolutely huge and spanning a month’s time, and I wasn’t able to go last year. I will be gone from February 9-13th. Please note that I will keep both Etsy shops open during this time, but some “made to order’ items may be deactivated. All orders will ship upon my return. As I am shopping for rocks, I’m giving you all an opportunity to weigh in. What kinds of stones would you like me to use more? Have a custom piece in mind with a specific kind of stone you want me to hunt for? If you have a serious hankering, please list your desires in the comment section below. I’ll be adding it to my ‘treasure hunt’ list. When I return all new scores will be photographed and posted here. For the most up to date Gem Show experience you can follow my Instagram: @thestrayarrow.

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GIVEAWAY NEWS

This giveaway will primarily be for Instagram. Any comments below on THIS post will also be included into the giveaway! Comment with stone opinions! Win the Feathered Band with Arrow Vane below, in your size. Winner will be chosen Feb. 14th.

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On a more serious note…

I want to bring up something that often goes unsaid by most jewelers. It goes unsaid because of backlash. Because of people getting defensive. Because you take something that is “fun” and “aesthetically pleasing” to the general public and shed light on a negative aspect of the industry. That’s right. Industry. This is a trade, not a hobby. I’ve mentioned this before and I want to mention it again. Creative rights are constantly being infringed upon. It is not okay, and should not be supported. It is morally bankrupt. Yes, there are others out there with technical skills, no, they do not have my mind, or the mind of a peer. If you see something that you *immediately associate with my work or think is mine initially* chances are fair that my creative toes are being stepped on. If you see someone using ALL of my main themes I’ve been working hard to curate for years-

(turquoise.wampum.myth.literature.Native American.Nordic.)

then yes. There’s no respect being shown, and my hard work is being stolen. Unfortunately there is little to be done, and speaking with people who clearly have no respect for others OR respect for themselves is most often a dead end. Again. This is a message for you to be aware. Not to dictate whom you should be buying from. When folks purchase my work along with that of my peers I get excited customers enjoy our work all around. There are wonderful, talented, respectful artists out there with some true integrity. They spend years creating work that evolves into a personal aesthetic. I will always fight for my creative rights and the rights of my peers. Please be respectful of the creative rights of other artists. Please be aware of what you’re looking at and who you are supporting. Lastly, please take this message as a celebration of those who know themselves and stay true.

ROCK APPRECIATION DAY

[DISCLAIMER: I am not a lapidary (stone) artist, gemologist, mine owner, or any other kind of authority on gems, stones, or minerals. I am simply an enthusiast who likes to share the information I’ve gathered in my goal to attain the perfect rocks for my jewelry pieces].

VARISCITE.

Broken Arrow Parcel.

Variscite is an aluminum phosphate mineral, ranking about a 3.5-4.5 on the MOH’s hardness scale. It is often confused with turquoise, although more often than not much greener. It is another popular southwestern stone for jewelry use. The most popular can be found in Lucin and Fairfield, Utah, and Esmeralda and Lander counties in Nevada. It also hails from Australia, Brazil, Spain, Poland and Germany. Many kinds of variscite, especially from the USA, can have host rock webbing in them again making it easy to confuse with turquoise.

Below are pieces I’ve made with different varieties of variscite:

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(^from Australia)

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variscite sea ring

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That’s it folks!

Have a good weekend~

xx The Stray Arrow

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New Items, New Thoughts.

This post may be a bit longer, as I feel text has been slightly dwindling from this blog. Firstly, new items! These will be hitting the shop later tonight and tomorrow.

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Stone rings in natural old stock Royston and Manassa mine turquoise, and a luscious pink rhodochrosite.

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Other newer pieces include mini “Sweet Sayings” rings. These sterling bands feature delightful short quotes by yours truly. Each ring features a different quote, but they can be made to your size upon inquiry. Currently made are: “We are the brazen bold“, and “A darling day for rain” (for the English). These sterling bands are patina darkened and then  polished to a steel like finish, with the darkened quotes hidden on the inside of the ring band. On the outside is my jeweler’s mark. These also make great knuckle rings.

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A wampum necklace with mini wampum beads, old stock cut of green Manassa mine turquoise, wild horse magnesite Crossed Arrows dangles, and silver & rose gold stackers will be joining them.

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It’s also been pretty evident that I’ve been somewhat neglectful of the Stretched Ears Jewelry shop. The Arrow Vanes, signature Stray Arrow wear, will soon be available in multiple gauge sizes in the shop. I’ll also be making more plugs featuring rare turquoise (Blue Moon mine), and other designs quite soon.

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Now for my favourite new addition. Awhile ago I made a necklace for myself that, along with The Stray Arrow necklace, has become a signature daily piece. Out of bronze and silver sheet metal I made a 5 string banjo. Completed with a wrap around quote on the body, and sawed out arrow in the back. I’ll be offering these in the shop as of tonight as a *CUSTOM* piece. The quotes and backing design can be customized. Four string banjos are also available. They’ll put a little folk mountain life in you. No templates, all hand forged.

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That’s it for new items for the next few days. I’ve also been working on some custom orders that’ll be shown here and the usual outlets (Tumblr, Instagram @thestrayarrow, Facebook), once finished.

A Note-

I’ve been noticing people imitating my work. While this is a touchy subject that seems taboo to talk about, this is getting unavoidable. Artisan one of a kind jewelry design is a difficult art to protect when compared to other art fields. Copies will happen. “One offs” are tolerated and occasionally flattering if the artist is *given credit* as being behind the inspiration. This is unfortunately not the case. I have been seeing people not only imitate my very specific signature materials (not that one can ever claim to own such a thing), but my writing descriptions, photography style, work title style and themes, and my overall aesthetic entirely. A continual ‘paraphrasing’, if you will. Most people have the grace to come up with their own designs, for those that don’t they bring down the work of others. I want to reiterate and remind everyone that if there is space to stamp my half inch “STRAY ARROW” logo onto an original piece, and it is not there, it is not made by me. This means that it is not backed by my quality guarantee, nor my 6 years of turquoise study experience. Just because a piece of turquoise is claimed from a mine does not equal good quality. I am an artist with eccentric interests, and my jewelry work is an extension of that. I try to be respectful of everyone’s creative and intellectual property, and truly wish the same in return.

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In other news, I’ve been in the process of taking some jewelry group shots of pieces for things like packaging, cards, and promos (hint hint *soon*). Below are some of those shots, as well as some really great folks wearing my jewels. Click on their photos for their respective work links and check them out!

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^lady Arlie, of Urban Revisions in 14k yellow gold and dark silver faceted sapphire gem ring. Paired with her new white glass jewels!

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^the extremely talented Rachel (photographer), in Royston turquoise and dark silver necklace.

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^Dominique of Couture Vulture wearing Stray Arrow No-see-’ems, and mini crystal rings by Concrete Polish.

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Cave Ladies, Shooting in The Dark,

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still a favourite.

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That’s all folks! I leave you with an illustration from one of my favourites, the Pink Fairy Book~

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xx The Stray Arrow

Studio Mess.

Just because.

This is my messy, messy, work bench. I use VERY limited tools. Another bench to the left in an L-shape is where the torch, quench bucket, pickel, and steel punches are at. 

I’m normally fairly “messy” in general as I constantly use and reuse my metal scraps from sawing. So, here’s a little taste for you all!

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The sweater is what I place my computer on, right in front of me when sawing or working. I usually go through whole TV series, broken up by audio lectures (usually philosophy, history, or 18/19th century poetry lectures).

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Pliers, files, coping saw, metal scraps.

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Ring mandrel for forming ring shanks and sizing, deer hide for setting stones without damaging the rings. My busted v-board and fat c-clamp are on the right for sawing. 

That’s all folks! A tiny peak into the Stray Arrow world. Messy, messy, cluttered, world. More to come!

xx Stray Arrow.

Rough Morning

I awoke this morning to, what in my eyes, looked like this:

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my cat decided to go at my face for not waking up early to feed her. Now I sport a grand warrior wound (i.e. major scratch) alongside my left cheek. As I’m slightly allergic to cats, I’m betting this thing will last a good while. I hope everyone is having a better start to their day.

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I have also started dabbling with blog searching and online shopping researching. I’d like to say it’s because I have no time to venture into the city and poke about stores for gifts going towards the magnitude of nieces and nephews I have, but mainly it’s because I’m curious. What do the rest of you do on your computers? I’m a complete stranger to the blogging world, in the most stubborn way. I love making things, I love being outside, and I loathe feeling boxed in staring at a tiny screen….and yet. There is so much fascinating imagery people post. So SO many options and paths to explore. What do the rest of you look at? Who do you follow? What websites do you look forward to with child like giddiness?

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That being asked, I will approach the day like this (click on pictures for sources):

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xx Stray Arrow