Monday, January 8, 2018

A Little Back Glancing

As 2018 opens, I'm feeling reflective. I have a lot of new ideas waiting to be born, and though it's good to have the work table and sketch books feeling bountiful, I also believe in looking back occasionally, because I think that what we create manifests so often from who we are. And who we are is that glorious composite of our roots, our experiences, our history.

There have been so many changes, since I began making and selling jewelry. That was way back in the early 1990s, when I discovered beads and wire. Good thing, too, because the nineties were mostly minimalist and I am many things, but one term "no one ever" would use to describe me is "minmalist".


About as "minimalist" as I got during the decade. Purchased from Nordstrom in the mid- to late-nineties. One of the few non-silver items I own. but it was *that* blue that (literally) sold me. 

So the beads, with their wonderfully diverse colors and shapes, and textures, were my go-to when the clothing of the decade was mostly stripped, of both color and embellishment. Blacks, grays, and neutrals ruled the clothing racks. Jewelry was tiny, delicate, nearly invisible. Y necklaces ruled, for some time. Chokers were a "thing". But overall, jewelry itself was not a thing. Except for me. Colorful bead strands and bangle bracelets and silver rings, where I could find them. Silver was finally overtaking years of gold being the dominant metal!


The kind of thing I made myself during those minimalist years. A Y necklace, yes. But tiny and subtle? Not on your life. :) 

But minimalist or not, beads or cabochons, the one thing that has always informed my own choices (and in everything, not just in adornment) is color. I can't remember a time when I was not drawn to rich, saturated, exuberant color! Why live in monochrome when the whole world is bursting with luscious violet, sumptuous teal, bold and make-your-heart-beat-faster red! 

Of course, I find that the love of sumptuous color informs my designs consistently throughout the years. What used to be in the form of beads, now appears in the gorgeous cabochons it's my pleasure to play with and design around. I don't know if it's partly from growing up in the Southwest, where the sunsets are absolutely amazing color blazes, or the turquoise and coral and lapis and other gems that I regularly saw in Native American work and elsewhere, but whatever it is, it's in my soul. 


Irresistible turquoise (Kingman, AZ) that just lights up my days. 

And I think it's always been there. I can remember as far back as fifth grade, when I would have been nine. My best friend and I got the same hoodie sweater for Christmas. Mine was white, while hers was red. A beautiful, deep, audacious red. And I remember wishing that mine was that color, too. Red just seemed so much more exciting than white! And it still does. :) 

Hoping this year finds you at peace and with many great and colorful adventures ahead! 

All the best,
Jill 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Tucson 2017 - Montana Agate

Ahem. A bit late with this one; apparently I completely forgot this posting regarding some of my gem show goodies....but here's the Montana. :)

I've not always been a Montana agate lover. Much - so much - of what I see just looks junky to me. Dark splotches across an unevenly clouded surface, with no interesting presentation. For years, I avoided it - with very few exceptions - entirely. But in the last couple of years, some really amazing Montana agates have started to show up (or I've just started to notice them), and I'm finding myself a little captivated.



See that above? It's nice. It's just not exciting (to me).And that's my typical attitude toward this gem. So for years they've just not registered. And then...I don't know, suddenly I had something in my hand, and thought, "What is THIS?". That was about two years ago, and it's all been snowballing from there. 


There were these sweet teardrops, which reminded me a little of my beloved dendritic opals, except these are like water scenes instead of winter scenes (and in fact, the process (mineral inclusions being deposited into cracks and crevices in the stone) is very similar. Except somehow seeming even more delicate and ethereal. 


I didn't buy many; there were quite a few to be had, but again...most of them didn't appeal to me. Too dark, too clunky looking, too clouded over. But I did find about ten or so, to start playing with, seeing how they work with my designs. 


They may not appeal to me on a broad scale, but they're here for now. And we'll just see what happens. ;)


This (bottom gem) was actually one of the first Montana agates I ever purchased. It's exquisitely cut and has golden rutiles in it...an amazing, amazing gem I held on to for several years. Finally last year this dark chocolate-y druzy came into my possession and they were meant to be together. It sold last year to a lovely woman and I am thrilled that once I finally put it into a design, it went to a very good home. :) 

Friday, May 5, 2017

Tucson 2017 - Red Creek Jasper

Red Creek jasper is a bit of a mystery. It's from China, not the U.S., and its makeup isn't exactly the same as other jaspers. It's a bit softer and doesn't take a high, hard shine like the American jaspers I shared in an earlier post (here). So it's a bit of a mystery. But oh, what a beautifully colorful mystery!


Though it's got "red" as part of its name, not all Red Creek jaspers are very (or even a little) red. The color range runs the gamut, from soft browns, beiges, and peach, to this lovely cranberry color mixed with olive, yellow, and charcoal gray. 


It's a gem that has enough personality to get noticed, yet pairs wonderfully with a neutral wardrobe. 

Here's an example of the softer color palette:


They all just feel like autumn to me. ;)