Stones

Releasing the Northern Lights

According to a legend of the Inuit people of northern Canada, a warrior once discovered the Aurora Borealis trapped inside of stones along the coastline of Labrador. He tried to free the colorful lights from the rocks with a spear but was not able to release them all, so many of the magical stones still remain to this day.

The rainbow of colors – most commonly blues, golds, and aquas – that glimmer from inside of what is now called labradorite make it instantly recognizable. When light appears to originate from inside of a stone it’s called schiller. When that light is a bright rainbow of colors, it’s called labradorescence. The crystal structure of labradorite is layered or twinned, and as light enters the stone, the different layers reflect different colors.

This play of color is almost hypnotizing, as it can be seen from one angle but not another. Lucky for you, there are currently four labradorite necklaces on my website, each with a distinct labradorescence.

Custom Orders

Exploring Color Palettes

Artists love to support other artists. In fact at art shows we often spend much (if not all!) of our profits buying the work of our fellow artists. So when I saw the one-of-a-kind, multi-layered Raggle Taggle scarves of fiber artist Doreen Breen of Soul Threads Designs I knew I had to have one. They are the fiber equivalent to one of my multi-strand necklaces - full of texture, astute color combinations, and luxurious natural materials - and she even makes them custom for "particular" customers such as myself.

I wanted to send Doreen color ideas for my scarf, so I searched through a vast library of color palettes that had already been created by the global community on COLOURlovers.com. I sent her these three and asked her to pick which one most inspired her.

While I was busy shopping for myself and soaking up the beauty of so many glorious colors, I was also thinking about a recent custom order I received. My customer wanted a multi-strand, multi-colored necklace similar to one she saw on my website but with a different color palette.  As I began exploring and designing, I realized that I wanted to add one more color than what we had previously discussed, so I turned to the PALette app on my phone to generate color palettes from photos of the actual stones I wanted to use. We had discussed incorporating lapis lazuli, amethyst, carnelian, and ebony, and I wanted to add some rich green. I emailed her these two images for comparison.

Color palette generated by PALette app from image of ebony, lapis lazuli, carnelian, and amethyst

Color palette generated by PALette app from image of ebony, lapis lazuli, carnelian, and amethyst

Color palette generated by PALette app from image of ebony, lapis lazuli, carnelian, amethyst, and African jade.

Color palette generated by PALette app from image of ebony, lapis lazuli, carnelian, amethyst, and African jade.

Both of these digital tools, COLOURlovers and PALette, enabled me to provide a customer and another artist with a clear idea of how colors will look together. I especially love being able to take the color sample from an image of the actual stones I will be working with as it makes the palette that much more accurate. I am still awaiting my customer's response regarding the necklace and also for my completed Raggle Taggle scarf. I will let you know how they turn out. Stay tuned...

Stones, New Inventory

Fit for a Queen

Photo credit: Australian Outback Mining Pty. Ltd.

Photo credit: Australian Outback Mining Pty. Ltd.

Greetings! There are quite a few new jewels up on the website, and it’s been awhile since we’ve had a mineralogy lesson, so let’s get to it! Our delicious Foxtail necklace features a stone from Australia aptly named Outback Jasper that is irregularly patterned with rich shades of brown, ochre, cream, gray, and pale pink. The word Jasper is derived from 'jaspre' (Old French) meaning 'spotted or speckled stone'. 

It is a powerful protective stone that was used by all ancient civilizations who often carved it into a talisman. Colored by an abundance of impurities in all hues, jasper is an opaque aggregate of microcrystalline quartz that forms in masses, like stalactites and nodules, rather than crystals. It forms most often in the veins and cracks of volcanic rocks percolated by aqueous solutions and is common around the globe.

Outback Jasper occurs as a narrow seam within an outcrop of banded chert in Western Australia about an hour drive from Perth. It was discovered many years ago by fossickers but has only recently been mined for commercial purposes. Foxtail harmoniously combines Outback Jasper with golden freshwater pearls and natural quartz points that have been plated with a metal oxide that shimmers purple and gold. She’s a very regal necklace.

Update from the Bench

Happy autumn! Thank you all for your continued business and for helping spread the word about my one-of-a-kind jewelry handcrafted from carefully selected natural stones. Over the years, I have received a steady stream of custom orders as well as invitations from the community to sell at artisan events thanks to your enthusiasm for Steinen Jewelry. I would like to share with you some recent custom pieces as well as a website addition and then invite you to two events I will be attending this weekend. I hope to see soon!

Custom Necklace

As promised, here are the pictures of the mother-of-the-bride necklace I designed to complement both the color and fluidity of this stunning silk dress. It is crafted of six strands of faceted moss aquamarine and finished with lemon quartz nuggets, 14KY endbars and a 14KY clasp. Clearly, the father-of-the-bride was impressed with his beautiful wife!

In progress...

Karin has been yearning for an Indian ruby and turquoise necklace since she saw one I made several years ago that sold before she could claim it. Since then, I have been scouring my sources for comparable rubies to no avail until just recently. They arrived from India in this fascinating package that was hand-sewn and sealed with red wax!  After seeing photos of the rubies and the Tibetan turquoise, she suggested a two-stranded necklace. I strung up several designs, snapped some quick photos, created visual mock-ups with Photoshop then texted her these three options late last week. Which do you prefer?

After seeing photos of the rubies and the Tibetan turquoise, she suggested a two-stranded necklace. I strung up several designs, snapped some quick photos, created visual mock-ups with Photoshop then texted her these three options late last week. Which do you prefer?

Website Update

A lovely slideshow of examples of my custom work can now be found on the Custom page of the website. Hovering over the images with your mouse will display a brief explanation of each piece. Enjoy!