Saturday, December 6, 2008

My Christmas Present to Me (a little bit early)

I love to use hand-cut stones in my jewelry designs. They add a much more personal touch to the finished piece, and ensure that it is truly one of a kind. Unfortunately, I don't have the skills required to cut the stones myself. Even if I did have the skills, I'm not quite certain I would trust someone as clumsy as myself around that kind of equipment. Which means that I don't get to use them that often. Once in a while, though, I have to treat myself to some of the beautiful cabs created by other artists.

I recently bought five gorgeous stones from another Etsy seller, GemCutter. I began watching his shop last spring after running across a Red Plume Agate cabochon in the supplies section on Etsy. I really wanted that cab, but for some reason kept putting off purchasing it. Then, before I knew it, it was gone. When Micheal re-opened his Etsy shop after the summer showing season was over I began watching again as all the gorgeous stones I wanted flew out of his shop before I had a chance to buy them.

Then I saw a piece of Laguna Agate I just had to have. Instead of waiting and debating with myself over whether I really needed it or not, I jumped on it. When it came in the mail I was so excited! The color of the stone was so much better than it was in the pictures. The shape was perfect. It even had a little bit of exposed Druzy crystals in the center, giving that spot an unexpected sheen.

Click on image to see more pictures of this necklace.

I wrapped this one with a simple netted bezel, so as not to cover too much of the stones personality. Then I combined it with Rose Quartz and Plum Aventurine to accent the colors in the stone. This necklace turned out so beautifully I decided I had to buy more cabs from Micheal.

My next purchase was Yellow Crazy Lace Agate. I've seen so many crazy lace agate beads that were dyed to add color to parts of the stone. Most of them leave something to be desired. So when I saw this one, with it's beautifully natural (yes, natural, not dyed) shades of yellow and cream, I knew exactly what to do with it.

Click on image to see more pictures of this necklace.

I set this one in a simple coiled basket weave bezel and hung it on a strand of Aragonite and tiny silver beads, with a handmade toggle clasp to match the bezel. It turned out so beautiful I'm almost hoping it doesn't sell. (I want it!)

I still have three more stones from GemCutter's shop. A wonderful purple Mexican Lace Agate, a gorgeous Mozarkite cab, and a stunning Porcelain Jasper teardrop shaped cab. I can't wait to get to work on those. I hope they turn out as well as the other two did. *s*

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