Raw Love


Lapidary artists can do amazing things with gems — making them reflect light and look as if they glow from within.  But, there is something to be said for the use of raw, natural stones.

Here are some fine examples of artists finding beauty in the stone more or less as nature intended:

First, we have a nicely set very raw aquamarine ring by Beijo Flor, who, in addition to this piece, works with a variety of beautiful and unique stones.

Beijo Flor

Then, we have a copper ring with a herkimer diamond from Midwest Alchemy, which includes some incredible metal work that really complements the stone.

Midwest Alchemy

Finally, there’s the lovely raw golden labradorite prong set ring by Wire Adorned.

Wire Adorned

As someone who has always made things — paintings, assemblages, and now jewelry — I think restraint and dealing with ambiguity is more difficult than attempted perfection.  Using raw stones, which I’ve experimented with lately, is like that.  They’ve got their own ideas.  They tell you exactly how they will allow themselves to be used.  It would be nice if that gorgeous, shiny thing were even and not rough on that one side — but it isn’t — and that’s the beauty of it.  Incorporating raw stones into one’s jewelry is a different kind of craftsmanship.  It’s the craftsmanship of subtlety and allowing yourself to simply frame something that is just fine the way it is.

Creekbed Ring

This is one of my own creations.  I made it by the lost-wax casting method and the small aquamarine cabochon was added to the finished piece.   The design is meant to be an abstract rendering of the stones at the bottom of a creekbed.  I like the idea of mixing organic shapes and themes with cleaner, geometric angles.  I guess I imagine a piece of a natural scene removed and fashioned into a new item with angles, sides, and frames.

It was cast with largely pure silver but some old sterling silver jewelry was melted in as well — making the ring less the 99% pure but more pure than sterling.   It is my hope to offer this piece for sale in the future.  At the moment, I am still in the process of building a collection.