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red agateJust perfect for your Halloween creations -- these Red Agate Evil Eye beads are of stone that was formed from layers of silica from volcanic cavities. Agate is named after the Achates River (now known as the Dirillo River) on the island of Sicily, Italy, whose upper waters were an ancient source of this gemstone. Each strand offered here has 16 round faceted beads, with colors ranging from red to amber, as shown. Each bead is approx. 10 mm. with an approx. 2 mm. hole. Each strand is $10, but for a limited time, take 10% off with the code HALLOWEEN at checkout.

 

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ear cuff 3I heard this story from my good friend Jonathan and thought it was so spot on about how inspiration can happen during the creative process. The Earcuff became wildly popular after this invention – in the 70’s, I think; I’ve featured my fav (Pegasus Cuff) from the LewAllen Studio (the one just below and to the left), and a couple from contemporary Etsy artisans (here at the right and below, right side are:  martymagic's Dragon Earcuff/Earwrap and PuranaJewellery's Dandelion Earcuff. ). Earcuffs are a great alternative for people who don’t want to pierce, or who just want a really unique and striking look. Here’s Jonathan’s story:

We heard from a friend that there was a space in Bob Spitz’s building near the Santa Fe plaza that we could rent and we went to see it. It was a single room on the second floor of a building next to a gas station that was on the northeast corner of the plaza, right across the street from the library. The rent was reasonable, so we took it and moved our stained glass studio into town. There were other rooms upstairs. On one side was a bead store and on the other was our old friend from Highlands--Ross LewAllen and his jewelry studio.

Ross made earrings, bracelets, necklaces and other jewelry items in his studio. He was set up for casting silver and gold, but usually he constructed pieces, sawing them out of sheet silver and soldering, and then using different surface treatments. His prices were very reasonable. I think you could get a pair of silver earrings for $15 or so in the early seventies. One summer he went on vacation and left his studio in the hands of Dell Fox, another Santa Fe jeweler. As soon as he was out of town, Dell doubled his prices. When Ross came back he was totally taken aback and asked Dell how she could do such a thing. Dell told him that they sold just as much jewelry as the summer before but now he was making twice as much money. Ross couldn’t argue with that, and it’s probably a good lesson for all of us!

pegasus 2Some mornings we would go in early and drive up Canyon Road to the Three Cities of Spain restaurant and have breakfast. We would talk to the tourists on the front porch and they would tell us they would stop by our studio. It was a very nice start on the day. Living the life of an artist in Santa Fe , a city known for its art, was a real rush. Artists are celebrated for creating, and that is a high honor. Everyone wants to create. Everyone does create, but sometimes it takes a long time for the work to evolve and even longer to recognize your true creations. It has been so in my life.

One morning I opened up the glass studio and went to the bathroom to get some water for the coffee maker. I noticed Ross sitting in his chair with his first cup of coffee. It looked like he was trying to think of what he should do next. As I came back I stopped at his door and said loudly, “There sits the artist! Thinking of ever new parts of the human body to poke holes in!” (This was in the early seventies- long before tattooing and piercing began to be popular again.) Ross laughed and I laughed and I went to my studio to make my coffee and plan out the day.

I was doing some work at my main table about 20 minutes later when Ross ran in. “Look!” he said. “Your joke make me think!” and he put something in the middle of my table. I picked it up and looked. It was a small silver tube a little more than half an inch long with an open slot on the side. The edges were rounded and the diameter of the tube was about a quarter of an inch. It had been polished and it shone in the light. “What is it?” I asked. “It’s the Earcuff!” Ross answered. And he took it from me and slid it onto the upper part of my ear. I looked at myself in the mirror and it looked good! “This is really nice, Ross!” I said, and he went back to his studio. Other than the artist, I was probably the first person in the world to wear an Earcuff.

van goghI decided to explore Etsy in search of unusual and distinctive jewelry artisans, and stumbled upon ‘Hallie OneEyeCat’ – a designer who runs two shops on Etsy – OneEyeCatStudio, and TheEclecticBohemian. Hallie is a self-identified designer of ‘unique and unusual representational jewelry’. I love her intro in the OneEyeCatStudio shop especially – she says: If this stuff is too weird for you, visit my other shop TheEclecticBohemian. Her stuff is definitely not too weird for me. I love it! I’ve shared some of my favs, including her descriptions/inspirations. Maybe she will inspire you too!

First up (to the right), her inspiring Vincent Van Gogh necklace, a one of a kind, beaded necklace inspired by the artist’s paintings at the end of his life -- specifically by the painting Wheat Field with Crows. The last ten weeks of Van Gogh's ife were spent at Auvers-sur-Oise. He died there from an infected (generally accepted to be self-inflicted) gunshot wound to the abdomen. During his brief stay at the Auberge Ravoux he finished close to 75 paintings. Hallie has created the necklace in homage to the artist and his work – a colorful creation of semi-precious stones and carved resin beads. You can see in it the wheat field in greens and golds – and three drops of blood. Above that is a strand of blues, greys and white, representing the skies he painted. Here she has used carved tree agate, jade, magnesite, lapis lazuli, a carved horn crow, and a large carved vintage resin focal bead – wire-wrapped together with antique copper. Amazing and cool and beautiful!

voodooNext, another favorite of mine – her ‘Fortune Teller Bracelet’. This one was inspired by the Rolling Stones’ version of the Allen Toussaint song ‘Fortune Teller’. She’s used handmade lampwork evil eye beads, wire-wrapped in lightly oxidized copper with turquoise, lapis lazuli, magnesite, coral and small brass music note and heart drops. At one end is a vintage copper hand charm and a miniature crystal ball. Over the bracelet is a raw brass ring engraved with “Our Fate is Our Destiny”.

long pearlAnd last but not least, her long, looooong pearl earrings – Steampunk earrings of large lacy vintage filigree rondelles, with a beautiful old-world natural patina, holding a long, handmade wire-wrapped string of deep fuchsia freshwater pearls.

Off to the next page I’ve featured a photo Hallie uses in the OneEyeCatStudio. I love the blue hair!

As you can tell, Hallie is inspired by other artists, and she re-interprets their work in such a vibrant way. I think it is so wonderful when one artist appreciates and celebrates another. We need more of that in this world – and more love for artists in general. You can promote Hallie by checking out her shops and 'favoriting' any items you find intriguing.

We hope you’ll share your thoughts with us. Is this your style too? Check in at the blog and comment if you would!

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:

van goghI decided to explore Etsy in search of unusual and distinctive jewelry artisans, and stumbled upon ‘Hallie OneEyeCat’ – a designer who runs two shops on Etsy – OneEyeCatStudio, and TheEclecticBohemian. Hallie is a self-identified designer of ‘unique and unusual representational jewelry’. I love her intro in the OneEyeCatStudio shop especially – she says: If this stuff is too weird for you, visit my other shop TheEclecticBohemian. Her stuff is definitely not too weird for me. I love it! I’ve shared some of my favs, including her descriptions/inspirations. Maybe she will inspire you too!

First up (to the right), her inspiring Vincent Van Gogh necklace, a one of a kind, beaded necklace inspired by the artist’s paintings at the end of his life -- specifically by the painting Wheat Field with Crows. The last ten weeks of Van Gogh's ife were spent at Auvers-sur-Oise. He died there from an infected (generally accepted to be self-inflicted) gunshot wound to the abdomen. During his brief stay at the Auberge Ravoux he finished close to 75 paintings. Hallie has created the necklace in homage to the artist and his work – a colorful creation of semi-precious stones and carved resin beads. You can see in it the wheat field in greens and golds – and three drops of blood. Above that is a strand of blues, greys and white, representing the skies he painted. Here she has used carved tree agate, jade, magnesite, lapis lazuli, a carved horn crow, and a large carved vintage resin focal bead – wire-wrapped together with antique copper. Amazing and cool and beautiful!

voodooNext, another favorite of mine – her ‘Fortune Teller Bracelet’. This one was inspired by the Rolling Stones’ version of the Allen Toussaint song ‘Fortune Teller’. She’s used handmade lampwork evil eye beads, wire-wrapped in lightly oxidized copper with turquoise, lapis lazuli, magnesite, coral and small brass music note and heart drops. At one end is a vintage copper hand charm and a miniature crystal ball. Over the bracelet is a raw brass ring engraved with “Our Fate is Our Destiny”.

long pearlAnd last but not least, her long, looooong pearl earrings – Steampunk earrings of large lacy vintage filigree rondelles, with a beautiful old-world natural patina, holding a long, handmade wire-wrapped string of deep fuchsia freshwater pearls.

Off to the next page I’ve featured a photo Hallie uses in the OneEyeCatStudio. I love the blue hair!

As you can tell, Hallie is inspired by other artists, and she re-interprets their work in such a vibrant way. I think it is so wonderful when one artist appreciates and celebrates another. We need more of that in this world – and more love for artists in general. You can promote Hallie by checking out her shops and 'favoriting' any items you find intriguing.

We hope you’ll share your thoughts with us. Is this your style too? Check in at the blog and comment if you would!

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:

peridot earringsIn honor of MY birthday’s birthstone (Yay! August 19, 1952) I want to talk about Peridot. This awesome gemstone is a variation of olivine, a mineral composed of magnesium and iron silicate. It is found in many shades of yellow-green. A gemstone of many names, it was originally called topaz. In the 18th century, the French renamed it peridot, meaning gold, because of its often yellowish-gold color.

The Egyptians called peridot “the gem of the sun.” Legend says it was Cleopatra’s favorite gemstone, and historians now believe that many of the “emeralds” she wore were actually peridot because Egypt and Burma were main providers of this gem during ancient times.

Cleopatra’s peridot was not the only example from history when it was mistaken for emeralds. The Cathedral at Cologne holds within its walls a famous shrine known as the Three Holy Kings. It is adorned with beautiful jewels of all sorts. For centuries, one large gemstone that was thought to have been an emerald was recently identified as peridot. In both of these examples, it’s easy to see how it was mistaken for the emerald because they bear a strong likeness to one another, but peridot is softer in intensity.

Gem quality peridot in the United States comes from Arizona, New Mexico (!! My home state !!), and Hawaii. Other sources are Norway, Burma, and islands in the Red Sea. In 1994, a new deposit was found in Pakistan containing some of the most beautiful and highly valued peridots ever seen. Finally, one of the most unusual sources of this stone are those found in meteorites. They are called pallasites, and are the only gems known to come from space.

As with many gems, part of its value is based on clarity; the clearer it is, the more its worth. A peridot of two to three carats is quite expensive, and an eight carat stone is very rare. One of the most beautiful and famous peridots in the world is located in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC—it is 310 carats!

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