I've been making more diminutive pieces of jewelry lately, but every so often I haul off and make a Grande Dame piece, and Sunday I did just that. Sorry I can't tell you what mine this strand of turquoise came from. This is not the finest turquoise, but I liked the rich brown matrix and the shapes of the stones. I had the raw strand of beads out on a woven African textile on a tabletop recently when a friend came over and remarked that they'd look good with irregular pearls.
Did you know that turquoise is found around copper mines because it is a hydrous phosphate of copper and aluminum? If you think of the way copper oxidizes blue-green, it makes sense. The finest turquoise to be found is often from famous copper mines such as Bisbee (southeastern Arizona), Kingman and the pure sky-blue turquoise of the Sleeping Beauty mine. Sorry- chasing a rabbit there. I love turquoise. Someday soon I'll take time to wax euhphoric about my favorite First Nations silversmith Calvin Martinez who often uses turquoise in his work. His stuff is in my opinion the very pinnacle of the craft. There I go again. *sigh*
Anyhoo, despite how the photo appears, these are not small stones and the necklace is probably at least 22" in length. I call this a Grande Dame piece because this sort of thing looks best at home on a woman who'd look apt on the prow of a ship. Fortunately, the lady who suggested the irregular pearls sports that very sort of rack, and since she's been such a gem, I made her this necklace using faceted quartz beads as spacers. I must say I think it turned out rather well, and she seems delighted with the finished product. They certainly look impressive on her.
When I've been to the range in recent weeks, I've been picking up a little brass before and after shooting my own. I'm calling that redneck yoga. Anyhoo, I collected enough that I filled a little more than half of this one gallon glass jar. See how attractively I wrapped it? This brass was a gift for Majestic Ship Lady's husband, and I think he was thrilled with his gift. Also, I didn't waste time and money on something he'd find to be useless. How clever - all I had to do was spend $$$ on my pistol club membership and there was one bit of shopping already ticked off my list. Will be doing my redneck yoga year-round now so I avoid the last minute rush.