I’m addicted to stones. There, I’ve admitted it…
I’m not sure when the addiction began… Maybe it was when I started making jewelry… No, it was before that. Perhaps it was back in my university days when I had to learn about rocks and minerals as part of my summer job? Or maybe when I first visited Science North and saw the most amazing mineral collection on display…
In reality, I think the seeds were planted in earliest childhood. I did grow up in a mining town, and rocks were all around us. Rocks and minerals were the source of wealth in my community.
But I think the day that I truly fell in love with stones was a summer day when I was 10. The mother of a friend had been on a trip and brought her daughter a bag of polished rocks. Oh my, they were so beautiful! So tiny and colourful and perfect! And best of all, my friend let me pick out 2 to keep. Oh, that was so exciting! And such a difficult decision, too. What to choose, what to choose…
My first polished rocks
What do you think? Did I choose wisely? These are the 2 polished stones I picked out so many years ago. The blue-green one was an obvious choice. I just loved the colour. Still do. And the small one, although brown, was so captivating. I loved the shimmer and how it changed as I moved the stone around.
I now know that the top stone is a piece of amazonite and the bottom one is tiger eye. Back when I was 10 I didn’t know their names. I just knew that I loved them and thought they were so precious – precious enough that I still have them and knew exactly where to find them 28 years later.
Now I make jewelry. It’s a perfect (if somewhat dangerous) hobby for someone who has a stone addiction. I need stones to make my pieces… It started with beads – all kinds of beautiful, fabulous stone beads. Stones in every shape, size and colour. I could browse the internet for hours, looking at stones beads.
But soon, beads weren’t enough. I quickly discovered the beauty of cabochons. Cabochons (cabs for short) have a flat back and a domed top. They don’t have holes, so they aren’t beads and can’t be strung. They are meant to be set in a bezel. As I was finding so many beautiful cabs and lusting after them, I knew that I needed to learn how to metal smith so that I could work with them and indulge in my love for them.
Once I learnt how to bezel set stones I needed to acquire some cabs. Oh, shopping for cabs is fun! Shopping in person is best, but surfing the web works well too, and it’s available any time, any day. I love discovering new sources of cabs. Free-form cabs are my favourite. They have so much character. When I find cabs that I love, I buy them. And then I wait for them to arrive in the mail. And when they get here, I unwrap them and admire them. I don’t know what they will become yet. I wait for them to speak to me, wait to dream up the design that will best show off the stone. Because really, the stone is the star of the show!
My finds at the Gem and Mineral Show from the fall. Left – seraphinite, centre – ruby in zoisite, right – chrysocolla
Beautiful labradorite cabochons
Gorgeous jasper cabs! I have fallen in love with jaspers. They are so variable and have so much character! Cabs on right are Tiffany Jasper. Cabs on left are Red Creek Jasper.
I have another confession… I have lots of stones in my collection. Lots! I have more beads than I will ever be able to use. And I may never be able to use all the cabs I have either. But that doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped buying stones. No way! I love them too much! When I see beautiful stones that I love, I buy. After all, she who dies with the biggest collection wins, right?