Materials and Sourcing…

Spring is almost here in New England and I’ve been getting back into using deer hide in my jewelry. I have wonderful customers of all types, sizes, backgrounds, and beliefs, so I know pieces with leather aren’t for everyone. That being said I want to share with you all what I use and how it is sourced…

DSC_0247

As with my stones, quality and sourcing is extremely important and a lot of time and effort goes into it. All of the deer hide I use, and it’s currently the only kind of leather I use, I get solely from my local annual powwow. None of the beautiful creatures it is gifted from are hunted for sport of any kind, but for food. Every part of the deer is used and nothing is wasted. I acquire the natural hides in full, so I can cut my own cord pieces from them for another layer to the hand crafted nature of my work.

DSC_0233

In addition, I’ve been hanging full hides in front of my window so certain folds can be lightened by the sun. This has over months created a really lovely ombre effect in the leather colouring.

DSC_0240

With this hide sourced respectfully I’ve made a few fun earrings to add to the shop this afternoon. So far there are three pairs with different kinds of stamped markings. All sweet and simple to add to any woodlands lover’s collection:

DSC_0273

***Giveaway news with mythical ties coming soon***

xxStray Arrow

Advertisements

New Items, A Taste of Home, and NEWS-

Firstly, a brief photo viewing of the pieces that’ll be listed today, Sunday. Then some photos of the outdoor ventures in this lovely New England Autumn weather. Lastly, some very important news concerning the month of October for my shop and all jewels.

*

Picture 4

Picture 3

*

…HOME…

*

I’ve been swooning over this delightful weather lately. I’ve been opening all the windows and the door to the studio to let through the nice crisp breeze. I love hearing the leaves rattle and fall….

DSC_0132

DSC_0118

DSC_0119

DSC_0124

Picture 6

Picture 7

Picture 9

DSC_0202

DSC_0205

DSC_0220

DSC_0245

**************

NEWS:

I am excited to say I am moving my home and studio from the woods to a city. This is going to be a hectic and semi slow process, so in the coming month a few things will change in the shops:

***THE ETSY SHOPS WILL REMAIN OPEN***

There may be a few 2-4 day spans when they’re on “Vacation”, but on the whole they’ll be open. Many of the “made to order” items will be deactivated. Mostly “ready to ship” pieces will be available. If you’re looking for something you were hankering for and no longer see it listed, convo me either on Etsy or email me here: Stasia@thestrayarrowjewelry.com.  I may have studio time available to whip it up. If something is listed, it means I CAN make it. Production time will extend on all orders to 2-3 weeks.

*FOR CUSTOM ORDERS*

If I have started conversing with you about a commission, don’t worry. I still have a studio to work in and we can create something lovely for you in a timely manner. I will NOT be taking custom orders during the month of October UNLESS it is a very desired and needed gift for someone (I’ve got a soft spot). If you do have an idea for a custom order you’re serious about, contact me to plan for it come November/December.

Everything should be settled by November in PLENTY of time to handle the Holiday season which I am very excited for this year. If you have any questions about any of this feel free to contact me! I will update moving status on my Facebook and Instagram (@thestrayarrow).

************

I hope you’re all enjoying the season!

Another blog update will occur Tuesday, Oct. 1 with further (happy) news! Stay tuned folks-

photo 3-27

xx Stray Arrow

Brimfield Antiques Show

This past week and weekend I visited the show at Brimfield. For those who don’t know about it, Brimfield is an expansive antiques show in Western Massachusetts that occurs three times a year. The Brimfield Show happens in May, July, and September, and always from a Tuesday to Sunday. People travel from all over to go to the show. I normally go twice to cover all of the fields. While my main objective each time is to go and cry over all of the beautiful vintage jewelry I wish I could afford, it’s always fun to see what other treasures people are offering up to the sunlight. Below is an offering to you if you couldn’t be there in person! I’ve compiled a few photos from each day.

*

Tuesday. Day 1.

Brimfield rows

middle eastern

artifacts

Picture 38

Picture 44

Steel Punches

squash blossom setup

The Stray Arrow decked.

*Jewel wear for the day.

*

Saturday.

*

grand Brimfield tree

creepy...

saxophone

native case

native case 2

native case 3

native case 4

native case 5

Hopi Rope Dance Ring

*Hopi rope dance ring.

The Stray Arrow NWCoast

*took this beautiful bracelet home with me! A sterling silver piece from the Northwest Coast. This stunner is completely hand etched, and unique in the it has two heads instead of a head and tail theme. The back is joined by tail feathers from each head. Inside is stamped AND signed! A rare find.

NWC Bracelet Closeup

Stray Arrow.

*jeweled get up second day, including a large genuine wampum necklace.

*

I also walked off with a couple tidbits for display during the upcoming Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn.

*

In other news things will slowly be changing in the shop. For the next two months I’ll be doing some slight alterations, and during the month of June it is possible that some of the “MADE TO ORDER” items will be temporarily or permanently taken out of the shop. These items include mini stacking rings, stud earrings, and nose screws. If you have any concerns about this feel free to ask! (email: StasiaArts[at!]yahoo.com). If you’re pondering an item, best to snag it soon! Especially with the MAY SALE almost over.

Cheers!

xx Stray Arrow.

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!

*

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.

*

Stray Arrow Necklace.

*

Stray Arrow Necklace with rings

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

Stray Arrow Necklace...

*

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.

*

The Archer..

*

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).

*

Cave Lady White Buff

Cave Lady White Buff Back

Cave Lady White Buff ring

Cave Lady Koroit Opal ring

*

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.

*

Three Needles Bangle

Three Needles Back

Three Needles in Ice

Three Needles Bangle Close Up

*

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.

*

Zig Zag Steerer Necklace

*

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.

*

Archers Crossed.

xx Stray Arrow.

Tucson Turquoise

So I found more gems than I could have hoped for, Tucson was an absolutely divine blast! I met the nicest people there and was able to track down stones from some really rare kickass mines.

Here’s a little (but heads up! long…) taste of my treasures and some info on the different turquoise mines, so you know how incredible these finds are and why I drooled over everything the entire trip!

~*if you see any stones you’d like for a custom piece, email me*~

#8 Turquoise Mine

The Number Eight Turquoise Mine is in Nevada, USA and was mined in the early 1900’s until its depletion- no more of this stuff is coming out of the ground! It is famous for its extreme spider wedding matrix, and the deeper the blue in the golden brown to black matrix-the higher the quality. These are the two that I found and adore-perfect for rings or necklaces~

Apache Mine Turquoise~

Now this is a mine I’ve barely heard of and didn’t expect to find at all-this super nice couple after hearing I was hunting for turquoise dug through all their cabs to show me their lot-what sweeties. These two were so nice I had to scoop them up! The Apache Mine is known for its green turquoise in black matrix, and is still operated today but is a very small mine so not much is produced.

Alright….so can I just say…HOLY CANOLI. When I saw this rock I just had to grab it, it is magnificent. This other couple had cabs (stones for bezel setting in jewelry) that they cabbed themselves, knew and had all the mines labeled, and were so nice in helping me pick things out. I found great stuff from them but these next two stones I fell in love with…

~MORENCI MINE TURQUOISE~

This mine is rare. Rare, rare, rare. It is mined in Southwestern Arizona, USA. It is known for its light blue turquoise and black pyrite (fool’s gold) mixed in that often looks like silver when polished. It is so well known because, not only is it one of the first turquoise mines to come on the market, but it is completely depleted and hard to find! This stone is beyond perfect and has a tone of pyrite in it, there are no fractures or divets in the stone and its got a great polish…This is 1 of 3 Morenci Mine turquoise stones I’ve found in my 4 years of obsessing and hunting down turquoise…

Another stone I got from this couple is this great cab, from the rare

Turquoise Mountain Mine Turquoise~

Mined in Arizona, Birdseye turquoise and Turquoise Mountain turquoise come from the same mine. This mine has been closed since the 1980’s, and thus is hard to find…this stone would make a killer “statement” ring…

Another vendor there that I stumbled upon towards the end of my trip was this rad fella named Casey of lovenlifedesigns.com (CHECK IT OUT!). I swear I was drooling over everything, the stones were so nicely displayed and cut/polished it was grand. The next photo are turquoise stones all from him-numbers 8&10 are from the Royston Mine, and the rest are CRIPPLE CREEK!!! For the 99% of you who have no idea who I’m on about, get excited. This wasn’t even on my hunting list as I never expected to ever find any. Ever.

~Royston Turquoise Mine~

Royston is actually a district that contains 3 different mines in Nevada. Royston mines, along with the Pilot Mountain mine, are known for their extreme color variations. Blues, greens, rusty bronze browns and dark colors spin together with or without matrixes to make these lovely stones look like landscapes (you can see why this painter *loves* these mines). This turquoise is still being mined today and continues to be one of the most popular!

~CRIPPLE CREEK TURQUOISE MINE~

Cripple Creek turquoise is actually found in Colorado, USA. It is a by product of some small gold mines, and yields turquoise from light green/blue colors with the occasional darer blue/green matrix. This is the only Cripple Creek turquoise I have found. These lovelies are sublime sizes for rings!…

The Cripple Creek Mine Turquoise hunk below is *mine*, but I just had to share…

Now for some mini turquoise. These rocks I specifically picked out in pairs for gauged plugs (stretched ears) or earrings. These stones I got from the nicest older man named Jim, who’s set up was right next to Casey. He had a fantastic collection and I must’ve spent over 1/2 hour going through everything and came back the next day for more. I love nice people who dig talking about the rocks and the mines, theres always more to know

~Fox Mine Turquoise~

The Fox Mine is one of Arizona’s biggest producers, and also known as Cortez turquoise. It is rare, and comes in all colors with and without a matrix. These little ones I picked out are more of a teal green color that remind me of deep variscite stones…

More assorted turquoise from Mr. Jim…all but #20 is from the Royston Mine, #20 is Morenci Mine with a little flash of pyrite. #21 has a great tiny spider web and #19 is rare as green green turquoise doesn’t show up much anywhere…

Another find from the couple I got the large Morenci Mine and Turquoise Mountain Mine pieces from is this pair of Royston Boulder Cut turquoise stones. “Boulder cut” turquoise is extremely popular and doesn’t refere to the mine its from but the style. It is a vein(s) of turquoise through another rock matrix, often leading to funky and unique designs. This pair is perfect for earrings or gauges…

So those are selections of the turquoise treasures I found…yes there are more…but those are just for me, or for later! I was surprised to find a multitude of other gems at the many gem shows in Tucson. I found some really great and rare stones there, so here are a few of those goodies too!

more labradorite, because everyone loves the flashy “butterfly wing” stones. These are perfect for fat cocktail rings…a little tip-the more blue the flash, the higher the quality!

Crazy Lace Agate-a favourite of everyone, this one has great clear formations and coloring, love love love it-but a little too pink for me, so it can be yours 🙂

TOURMILATED QUARTZ GEMSTONE

This is so wicked. Really. This faceted gemstone is a quartz, featuring slices or “needles” of black tourmaline within it. This rock is NATURALLY like this, and rare for this many needles in this clear a matrix. Usually you’ll see golden rutilated quartz, but the black stuff is hard to get man.

The big reason I’m going to remember the vendors Casey and Jim for awhile is because of their killer selections. Vendorman Casey had WAMPUM. Yeah, wampum. What the heck is the New England beauty doing in the Southwest? Most likely traded. Let me explain…

Wampum is carved from the quahog clam shell found on the shores of the East Coast. If you don’t know about it, but have heard the word before, you may have been told in was like “Native American Indian money”. Nope. It was only thought to be used financially because the Europeans assumed so from the importance the Natives bestowed upon it. The carved wampum has actually been used for hundreds of years as trade, or for treaties. It could be strung into beaded strings called “condolence strings” for a mourned one, or expertly beaded into belts-famously known and seen in many museums- for peace or war treaties between tribes. Although used by many different Woodlands (Eastern) tribes, it is most famously seen used by the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee). The Iroquois Confederacy consists of the 5 tribes of the eastern longhouse-one tribe for each beam, or one tribe for each part of the “Hiawatha belt”. The tribes are (in the Europeanized names and spelling): Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, and Mohawk (me!). I could go on for hours gabbing about the two origin stories of wampum and the different museums it is kept in, but for the sake of making this post not quite long enough to make your eyes blurry I’ll refrain!

Needless to say, you can hardly EVER find it. Oh sure, people make imitation wampum out of glass, but it looks nothing like the real thing. It is harder and harder to find true Native wampum carvers anymore, and I know of only 3 existing in Massachusetts. Not only did vendorman Casey have 3 wampum pieces, but instead of just polished shell, they were beautifully formed cabochons….! The white color in the shell stands for peace, the purple for war~these cabs are 50/50 for perfect beautifully colored balance…

Now vendorman Jim also had some rocks that got my in a tizzy. He had wild horse magnesite. Wild horse is another popular and rare stone from the Southwest (Arizona) and its seen in a lot of Native American Indian jewelry. This type of magnesite is essentially magnesium mixed with carbonite. These colors are reminiscent of the Appaloosa horse and thus its name. The higher the quality of this stone, the more the brown and white matrixes are defined from eachother. I love love love it, it reminds me of drums and thunder and tree bark…

All great stones, all great quality, all rare, all here for custom work…I’l be using these for designs soon to be found in my Etsy shops, so if you see something you like and can envision on yourself, don’t be quiet for long!

 

Also coming soon-GOLD BEZELED GEMS, AND GOLD “NO-SEE-EM” STACKING RINGS!!!