Rock Appreciation Day & Preview Night

Alright ladies & gents, let’s get right to it. The two types for today are WAMPUM (I know, its really a shell…), and Koroit Boulder Opal. To repeat the disclaimer from the first Rock Appreciation Day: I AM NO LAPIDARY ARTIST OR GEOLOGIST/GEMOLOGIST. All of my information comes from research and experience working with these stones, not mining or cutting them. First up is Koroit Boulder Opal….

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Koroit Boulder Opal is a specific TYPE of opal solely from the Koroit opal mining area in Queensland, Australia. Like boulder/ribbon cut turquoise, the opal is within a host rock matrix. The opal matrix itself is formed when rain containing silica minerals drizzles back down to earth and weaves itself into sedimentary rocks. After all water evaporates and all that is left is silica, the silica hardens into a gel like substance with little spheres, which is what we know as opal. It is essentially hydrated silicon dioxide. The size and distance of these tiny spheres from each other is what determines the colour of the opal. This whole “opalization” process is very mysterious even to the experts, and is generally believed to span over 1 to 10 million years for creation. Way back when, the Romans would actually use opal as a good luck charm stone…

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Below are past commissions or sold Opal pieces…

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These last two are my favourite Koroit opals to date~

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The rest below are either available stones, or pieces still in the Etsy shop (00 gauge Koroit opal plugs coming to the Plugs shop soon! http://www.GaugedbyStasia.Etsy.com). 

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This first photo is prime Koroit opal, just for looking and not for sharing!

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WAMPUM is something I’ve covered before. I adore it. Not just because the intensity of the colour is so beautiful for a natural shell, but because I am a nerd and love all things with deep mythological roots. The two main origin stories for wampum among the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) are extraordinary. A short version of the Seneca Iroquois version can be found written by author Harriet Maxwell Converse. She wrote the story and other myths directly from notes she took while spending time with Seneca council members in the early 1900’s. 

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”. It was only thought to be used financially because the Europeans assumed so from the importance the Natives bestowed upon it. Later on trading wampum for European goods became common. 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. White coloured shells represented peace, purple represented war. 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”. These symbols also refer to the geological locations of the tribes. The tribes are (in the Europeanized names and spelling): Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, and Mohawk. The abbreviation is SCOOM. The sixth tribe, the Tuscarora, was later added to the Confederacy when they came into the region. Wampum can be replicated in glass imitation form. It is what is used most often nowadays when creating replica pieces.  It has gotten harder and harder to find true Native wampum carvers anymore, and I know of only 3 existing in Massachusetts. The rounded cabochons and chip beads in the photos below were carved by Native Mi’kmaq artist Mark Changing Bear.

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Below are sold pieces or past commissions:

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Most of the gauged wampum pieces can still be purchased at http://www.GaugedbyStasia.Etsy.com . The wampum stray pieces are up for grabs for custom work~

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PREVIEW

A few new pieces will be hitting the main Etsy shop, http://www.TheStrayArrow.Etsy.com, AND the Gauged shop on Monday/Tuesday. 

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NEW ADDITIONS INCLUDE: 00 gauge (10mm) Koroit Boulder Opal plugs, 4 gauge rutilated golden quartz plugs, 1/2″ (roughly 13mm) snowflake obsidian plugs, CUSTOM 10 gauge rainbow moonstone plugs, The Arsenic and Old Lace ring with 14k gold fill droplets, green Kingman mine turquoise drop necklace, and the Along The Dark Shores turquoise and wampum bangle bracelet. Not pictured but also on the way….more turquoise drop necklaces, and some surprises!

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Recently a fellow artist was able to give a mini presentation of her work. You can see some photographs of it and a video of her here on her blog:

http://www.torynova.wordpress.com/2012/08/30/drum-roll-please-cue-illustration/

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As all creative processes come from some spark of inspiration, I’d like to share a little snippet of a consistent influence. While constantly looking at new art, the ever growing tumble of talent people put out into the world, nothing gets me going as something old to groove to. Any new music I can get my hands on, I can. Lately, I’ve been filling my ears with the Vaccines, Holly Golightly and The Brokeoffs, Alessi’s Ark, and my old favourites. Here’s one of them-hope all of you give your old sparks the attention and credit they deserve!

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Check back on Monday & Tuesday for shop updates!

xx Stray Arrow

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Glories of Couture Shtuff from ToryNovaCouture and New Turquoise!

Recently, my friend and fellow artist Tory Novikova of Tory Nova Couture released a fashion line with many unique and wonderful items. I am now the proud owner of two lovelies! So naturally, bragging must ensue.

I acquired these leggings from her Etsy shop (http://www.ToryNovaCouture.Etsy.com). I’m not a huge fan of leggings, but these are made of lycra which is thick, dense, and *glides* onto your legs. They are also surprisingly light! This stuff is made of dreams. What’s more, the sewing is perfect, the print lies on the legs in an attractive manner and is bold, original, and completely killer. All of the prints from her shop she has initially drawn *by hand*, colored *by hand*-all illustration work is done by her. Many are based on Shakespeare themes. I admit, I got these leggings for the skulls. This is part of her Carmen print. Now what I think is bloody fabulous about these are not only are there skulls involved, but it is done in such a tasteful and artistic manner that it in no way can be seen anywhere else or be considered cheap or cliche. As a painter, I consider the colors delectable. The reds are rusty instead of boring crimson, and the skulls and skeletons aren’t white but a nice warm gray-like the color of actual bones. The ‘blood’ almost has a paint splatter effect, which I adore-and the packaging was not only professional but slick to boot..

The second Tory Nova item I have acquired, is something I’ve secretly stalked and lusted after for awhile now. It is my absolute favourite print of hers, for Swan Lake. She has dresses, ties and scarves for this print. The scarves come in two color options-the full original saturated version and a lighter, airy version for Spring/Summer. I love the original print-the colors are romantic without being too girly or feminine. I completely adore this and *live* in scarves. The fact that this one is super long (also comes in a square version for kerchief style) but also extremely light is grand for all seasons in my book.

How wicked are these!? And they perfectly match my Romantics Jewelry line as well 😉 More for that line coming this summer.

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In other news, for all the gauged folk-I couldn’t wait. I photographed the new natural Kings Manassa Mine turquoise, and it is all top notch. I am pleased with the quality-there are no cracks, fractures or “blemishes” on these stones and all have great polish. They are all brilliant colors! Unfortunately, there are few stones on the round side for gauges. These are what I’ve picked out from the lot that could work as pairs for plugs or for regular earrings:

 

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AND NOW~ I BRING YOU ALL THE OTHER GOODIES TO CHOOSE FROM-these are separated into groups roughly by shape. If you desire anything custom with any stone(s) of your choosing, just say the word…

 

 

Great stuff right? Now a little info on the mine:

~~**Kings Manassa Mine Information**~~

This American mine is located east of Manassa, Colorado. It has been mined for centuries by Native American Indians and is thought to be the oldest mine in Colorado. This kind of turquoise was named after I.P. King, who came upon the mine around 1890. The King family owns the mine and it is most famous for its green and blue/green colored turquoise. The highest of qualities and rarest of Kings Manassa turquoise are a deep green, and green with golden matrix.

 

Also acquired recently!!! :

Beautiful, beautiful GENUINE WAMPUM. This lovely wampum has been carved by artist Mark Changing Bear of buffalocarvings.com . Mr. Mark is one of the few wampum carvers left. He also does amazing work carving wampum into feathers and totem animals. He is currently carving my totem: deer, for me! Check out the “custom” section on his website, or the Etsy shop he and his lovely wife Candida run : http://www.SomethingWiccan.Etsy.com  As the wampum I have photographed below was gifted, it will not be used in any custom orders, *however*, if you desire anything custom with wampum just say the word and we can most likely collectively make something special for you…

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Last, but not least…

I consider my jeweler’s trademark to essentially be an “S” with two opposing arrows on either side. Please know that I am working on creating a one of a kind metal stamp for a more unique jeweler’s signature! This will be my brand and alter ego, “STRAY ARROW”. This will be coming within the next month or two and be stamped onto all of my future jewelry pieces for a more unique and recognizable signature to last the ages! Get ready.

Western Massachusetts Gem/Mineral Show

I know…I have a problem.

I just can’t seem to contain myself, I keep buying rock after beautiful rock. But….at least I can share….

2 new drusy cabs-the lovely seafoam colored one has a little dendrite (plant fossil) on the bottom-see? These both have incredible sparkle, the seafoam one is currently being made into a honkin’ ring…size yet to be determined…

 

This is an old gaspeite cabochon I acquired yesterday. These stones are a rare mineral to find (this one was the only one I saw at the whole show). They can be anywhere from this color green to a bright neon green, and will occasionally have a brownish matrix in them. This mineral usually hails from Australia, or Quebec, Canada as this one did.

 

Next, we have (above) genuine Baltic Amber. This piece is FAT, and like all amber very light. The white splotch is the price tag on the other side (lazy lazy me not removing it). When looked at closely…closer than my silly camera will allow…you can see a couple of bugs. Gross, but cool, right?

 

I have so much of this, but I couldn’t resist. This is a lace agate, not uncommon, but these pinkish tones are so romantically themed I just had to snatch it up. I love the very circular ones as this that look like tree rings. Please note~ there is already a pure silver scalloped bezel around this one that I whipped up, as I have a ring design in mind for the cabochon.

 

 

This is a pair of tear dropped drusy cabs (roughly 10mm tall). They are incredibly sparkley and light reflective, perfect for gauges and earrings. Its so hard to find good matching pairs so as soon as I saw these I grabbed them. I know they’ll make someone happy.

 

Koroit Boulder Opal~

Finally found one! These stones have been getting VERY popular, and I haven’t gotten my hands on any at all, so I finally buckled down. Along with Opal being the October birthstone, it is also the birthstone of the Zodiac Libra sign. ALL of it is found in Australia, and the browns are from iron mixed with the opal. This kind of boulder/matrix opal from Koroit, Australia is very sought after, and this piece has great light reflective, glow and a very nice pattern.

 

Alright, saved my favourite stones for last, and I’m sure anyone that knows me can guess they’re turquoise….

 

CARICO LAKE TURQUOISE~

I’ve never gotten my hands on any of this mine before until now. Because of this, please know that the stone on the left is *not for sale* ~ I’m keeping it for my collection…The Carico Lake Mine Turquoise is from Nevada, Southwest and named after its location (dried lake land). It produces a highly collectable and unique green color because of the amounts of zinc in the area. This teal/green is similar to a lot of dark variscite stones.

 

~~~**COMING SOON**~~~

To the StasiaSalvucci.Etsy.com shop….herkimer diamond rings!

 

 

Soon to be in for the Gauged by Stasia shop:::

1/2″ black onyx sterling and deer hide leather dangles…IN PROGRESS….

 

ofcourse, these are all along with the commissions that are in progress, soon to be finished for the lovely folk who’re waiting ever so patiently 🙂

 

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on a side note, in other news my dear friend miss Tory of ToryNovaCouture (whom I warmly refer to as “the Russian Doll” when she ain’t around) is soon to be releasing scarves of her exquisite Shakespearean themed fashion line for Spring/Summer! The color and printing quality is sublime, the compositions and fabric a dream, the color palettes are true, blissful romance wrapped around your neck, all for you. Love them.

View the preview scarf of her “Swan Lake” illustration (my favourite!) at her Etsy shop:

http://www.ToryNovaCouture.Etsy.com

 

Wearable Stories Collection

~Tory Couture~

A newly created line of truly unique couture clothing. This line is created by my good friend and fellow artist Tory Novikova and her associate Marina. Tory is the conceptual designer and talented, unique illustrator behind the beautifully depicted characters of Shakespearian delight. Her expert choices in color palettes, compositions and character interpretations conjure the feel of Shakespeare’s famous page-turning tales. Her associate Marina is responsible for this amazing collection transformed into life-the real, soft, couture fashion that can saturate you with glee as it glides across your own skin! You will not take your eyes off of any mirror you pass! This extraordinary team has worked an exorbitant amount of design and production work for this masterful collection to come into being, and has in turn given birth to a fantastical realm of statement pieces to be attained by few…

Copyright Tory Novikova

Copyright Tory Novikova

~*view their new collection at the following websites, now for sale*~

http://www.ToryNovaCouture.com

http://www.ToryNovaCouture.Etsy.com