Saturday, October 29, 2011

A Saturday Post- couldn't wait

I have created a document that I think contains some pieces that I would consider Dieselpunk or Neo Deco. Please let me know what you think. Some of these you haven't seen before. :)

deco

To add to those pieces is a new piece that I finished today.

This is a Finnish Spectrolite in a modified sail shape. I allowed the shape to dictate the wrap. This stone has vexed me for years, because it did not hang straight, but I fixed it. When I wrapped the bail, I brought the wrapping around to the side it needed to be on to make it hang right. Subtle, yet effective :) The bottom wire that follows the sail line also helps balance the stone. This stone is more directional than most, but, boy, when it lights up, it is stunning!

Gone to a new home.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Defined

Like any artist, I want to stand apart and create an image for myself. Some people would say that I have already done that. Maybe, but you know artists- they are never satisfied. So, I have been working on making a cohesive look for myself that I call Neo-Deco, which can also be called Dieselpunk (a subset of Steampunk, which I am sure most of you are familiar with). I think of it as Art Deco inspired, with clean lines and an emphasis on geometrical and streamlined shapes, but with a modern sensibility and new materials being used. Whenever I design, that's where my muse leads me and I have been happy to follow since I am rather fond of Art Deco. :) This change has meant that I needed to lose the font that I so adore and have been using for about a year. It also means more direction in my work. Whatever that turns out to mean. So, wish me luck with my new branding and tell me what you think. :)
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Just in case you missed this new wrap at JL, here it is again with a variation and my new font. This is one I would like to do a tute for.







Monday, October 24, 2011

What I Look for in a Stone: Part 4, Unique or Rare

(Part 1, part 2, part 3)

After discussing other qualities of stones, it's time to look at the fun category of "Unique or Rare". Sometimes, you just want something different or special to work with. Once in awhile you run across a really cool stone that you have never seen before and you just have to have it. Rare is usually hard to get; unique need not be. You just have to have a good eye to catch the really unusual ones. Here's an example of what I mean. The regular old agate in the example just happens to be a very unusual picture agate. But, unique can also describe the properties of a stone, like an opals flash of color or a druzys sparkle.

Before I begin showing the pictures, let me tell you that it is NOT easy to get good pictures of some of these juicy gems. Try as I may, I can not capture the flash of opal, the sparkle of druzy or the brightness of ammolite with a camera. You will have to use your imagination with some of these. And, add to this category some of the stones I have already mentioned in previous posts. I don't want to duplicate any rocks. Where would be the fun in that? But, I do want to point out that I have already shown you some rare and/or unique stones in past posts in this series. Lastly- please excuse my hand in the photos. These gems look best at certain angles to the light and not lying flat in my light tent, so pretend I have beautiful, young model's hands. :)


 This is an ammolite, natural freeform. Ammolite has been called the world's rarest gemstone. The best examples have more colors, this one has them all. I wish you could hold this in your hand to see how lively and bright it is. I have wrapped slews of them and though they seem delicate, I haven't had any problems with them.


This beauty is a royal purple, ammolite freeform. It is the rarest of the rare. What you can't see in the picture is the way the sheet of color seems to hover over the surface of the stone. It is very unusual, something I have never seen before. I don't know what causes it, but it is stunning to behold!  This isn't the very best example, but it is one I could get my hands on and I'm more than happy to have it. (The light spot near the middle is just lighter, not a chip.)



Here's another little piece of dragonskin ammolite. This one has different colors according to the direction of the light. Pretty cool, huh? Ammolite, like most light loving stones, needs care in deciding how best to mount it. This one, though, is bright all around and the challenge would be how to mount it to show the color changing properties.


This is a big opal with lots of multicolored flash. Too bad it doesn't photograph well. If I had to guess, I'd say this is from Coober Pedy or Mintabe, Australia- it is definitely Australian. But, I love opals of all kinds!


Here is a crystal based, semi black and gray opal from Lightning Ridge. Blue and green fire roll through the stone. If I were to place this on a black background the color would blind you. As it is in the hand, you can see how clear and colorful it is. This one has always been a challenge for me because it is so clear and really needs a backing to do it right. It will have to wait for me to develop new skills with metal. (A new challenge?)


This is a natural, black druzy. I think druzy looks best on a dark stone. This is sooo sparkly!


This is an astrophyllite. You don't see them very often. I like the ones that are darker. The darker background helps to show off the ribbons of shiny, copper color. It looks like shredded tinfoil in the stone. This is actually a bead. I haven't decided whether or not to treat it as a bead or cab. This stone is soft. I'll have to be careful with it and not tumble it.


Here is a stone that just refused to be photographed. You will have to trust me that this spectrolite's beautiful and rare pattern is bright. It is so glassy that the reflection prevented me from getting a good picture. I love spectrolites. The tricky thing with these is knowing how to orient them to show their colors best.


This stunning stone is a very rare and drop dead gorgeous, rainbow hematite. This is a natural druzy type stone. The colors are like sparkles of crystal oil in water. This stuff is mega delicate. I have only had a few stones that would hold up to a wirewrap. This one will. I ran across a story years ago, that I only half recall, that says that the ancient people of Brazil used to pave their roads with this. I don't know how true it is, but it would be beyond beautiful.


Not rare, but certainly unique, this is the blue goldstone. It is glass. The real stuff is getting hard to get as it is made by monks in one place in Italy. The word is they are the only ones who know the true recipe. However, there are some cheap knock offs coming from some unscrupulous dealers in parts unnamed. This is one of a few "stones" I use that aren't real rocks.


This is a stone that, while it is actually stone, it is not natural stone. This is a Victoria Stone or Imori Stone. It is rare as hen's teeth and very lively. The fern shaped, chatoyant patterns move in the stone with the light. There is a very interesting story about this material you can read here and while your there check out the beauties this guy has. Wow!


This is an unnatural union between a rutilated quartz and a bright blue spectrolite. I doubt if you have ever seen one before and you may never again. The man who made this, made only a few. I'm sure you have seen the lapis/rutilated quartz. Well, this has spectrolite instead of lapis. It is crazy, moving around in the light with the blue flashing and creating a great backdrop for the golden rutile needles. Pictures will never ever do it justice. :)



These two "stones" are cabs that I made when I was doing glassblowing/lampworking. Pretty cool, huh? They definitely fall into the unique category. The top cab has since become one of my favorite pendants. The bottom was sold a long time ago. Every time I wear it, I lament that I can no longer do the work. :(


Last but not least, is this beautiful, antique, carved, malachite cameo. How's that for adjectives? LOL! Seriously, if you ever come across one- grab it!! They are very, very rare and collectible. I only managed to get this because the woman selling it didn't know what it was and posted a real bad, blurry picture. I knew what it was though and paid 20.00 for it. (The moral is- keep your eye out for the good stuff. There are bargains to be had.) There are so few of these because, like lava cameos, malachite cameos are soft and didn't survive the centuries very well. I had to show this because it is a rock, after all, and rare.

This post wasn't so much as how a color or shape inspired; rather, how a property or uniqueness of the stone inspired. Some of these are examples of the showy stones, the ones that make you want to do something special. They are the ones you save your gold wire for or your best wrap. They are for the discriminating client or for your own best bling. Certainly, wearing one of these special stones or ones similar gives you bragging rights.

FYI- Rio Grande is giving better metal discounts

Check it out-  You need to open the pdf on the page to get the details.

I'm seriously looking at selling some scrap, too. They are now paying 85% of spot for silver scrap. Hmmm... There may be some new silver in my future. YAY!

They now have no minimum, too!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

What I Look for in a Stone: Part 3, Shape

 part 1, part 2, part 4, part 5
In the last two posts in this series, I explored pattern and color with examples here and here. This post will explore shape and how it influences design.

My last project was influenced by shape. It was influenced by other factors, too, but I couldn't have done what I did without the shape, first. The top of the stone begged to be topped off. It was perfect for a halo or crown. It could easily have been inspiring turned upside down, too.

I love cuts and shapes that are versatile, that have some character. Two of my least favorite cuts are round/oval and square. I think this is because they are somewhat limiting to me and uninspiring. My favorite cuts are the most unusual, custom cuts. They offer endless possibilities and push my skills as both designer and crafter, forcing me to develop new ways to use wires. My best work has been done with very unconventional cuts. However, using exotic cuts demands an exacting eye. Study those unique stones carefully before buying because, although inspiring, they may not be practicable. 

Updated: This is how I ended up finishing this stone.


Gracefully curving shapes seem sexy to me and call for a more feminine look. This is what I would call a modified flame cut. The challenge with this would be to make the stone lie straight and vertical. If you notice, the "weight" of the stone is unbalanced, if you drew a line from point to point. I have passed up many awesome stones simple because there was no way to wrap it and have it hang straight looking. This charoite is likely salvageable, though. The stone was too nice to pass up, so I'll give it a best shot.


Another purple beauty, this rare old, Manganoan Sugilite is an awesome stone with color changing qualities and collectability. The shape is unique. I can't resist a triangle especially one with such gently curving sides, but what you can't see in the picture is that it is only 2.7mm thick. That presents a challenge. I have wrapped such thin stones before, but they aren't easy. I have to consider as few wires as possible. One thought I had was to wrap it with another stone, say bustamite or cobalto. Pink, druzy cobalto would be cool because of the texture contrast.  I am really looking forward to working this one when the time is right.


This, another sweet, purple triangle, is a quite large tiffanystone (opalite, beryllium, bertrandite opal). I love it for its color and pattern and, well, you know me and triangles ... :) This is big, though and that's what makes it different. It is 50mm by 43mm! I want to go real simple with this to minimize the size a little, but it is too special to do a straight up borderwrap. It, also, is a thin stone.


I immediately fell in love with this cut! It presents endless possibilities. The color is intense parrot green with chrysocolla, which is also inspiring. This, too, is a very large stone. My favorite wrap for this cut is still in the design stages. I intend to explore it more fully. In fact, this might be the next one that I work on. Hmm ... sounds like a good weekend project.


I've had this pink chalcedony, limb cast for years. I pull it out from time and time and quickly get discouraged. This one may be better left to the silversmith. The shape itself is what sold me, but at that point in time, I didn't also consider size and thickness. It is small and very disproportionately thick. What I have always wanted to do was transform this shape to a fleur de lis. I'll keep it for awhile, yet. Ya never know ...


Spectrolite (Finnish labradorite) is one of my all time favs. Spectrolite, like labradorite, tends to look best in only one or two directions, but this is bright in all directions. This wonderful, big, geometric shape gets my creative gears going. I have done a few and was happy with the results. Readers at JL may remember a piece called, Geometry, that I had in the gallery. I tend not to repeat my designs very often, but I may do something very similar with this.


Druzy, bull's eye pattern and ocean jasper, what could be better except for adding a unique shape to the mix? This tongue shape was left with the druzy quartz at the top. The sides are rounded, like most tongue shapes are. This poses lots of very interesting problems AND possibilities. I envision some prongs on this, but time will tell.


Would this scare you off? I certainly hope not! It has loads of character! This was cut from a geode. It has a long side of druzy and a jagged side of "rind". Let your mind go.With what you know about wirewrapping, what would you do with this?

In the proceeding posts in this series, I listed many other stones with interesting shapes. For example, the orange quartz, has a beautiful beveled edge. Bevels are so well suited to round wires. They tend to want to roll in and hug the stone and the bevel is only too happy to accept.

Have you seen any other unique shapes to inspire you? Do you have a stone that has sat waiting for you to come up with the perfect solution? One that captivated and challenged you at the same time? I hope so, nothing is better to expand your talents with than a gorgeous stone with a unique cut. If you don't already look beyond the calibrated cuts, I hope this will encourage you to give those edgy stones a second thought. Make your work stand out and give your skills a new challenge. Your muse will love you for it. :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lady Liberty

Here's a new piece that I just finished. There are two stories behind it. One, I am saving for another post because I want to work it out right. The second story, the one I'm going to tell is the birth of the piece and the title.

You may notice this technique from another recent piece. Funny, because this was also inspired by a comment. My original idea was inspired by Nicola Tesla because he fascinates me. This shape really lends itself to the arching of electricity above it. I sent the idea to Renate,  fellow jeweler and friend, who commented that it reminded her of the Statue of Liberty. I liked that even more and went with it. Here's the original idea. (Actually, it got a little more involved than that with lightning bolts up the side, too. But I nixed all of it and went with Lady Liberty. The balls at the bottom had to be dropped, too, because I can't get my little torch to get melty with my copper.)


What I ended up with is similar enough but inspired more by the rays in Liberty's hat and the flame of her torch. My piece has 2 flames on either side on the stone. I'll have to do Tesla another time. :)





Gone to a new home. :)

The Statue of Liberty is formed with copper and so is this. I was REAL tempted to do an ammonia fume on this to bring out the green in the copper, but wasn't sure how it would affect the stone, since it is shot with bronze.

This is a Mojave Turquoise. I haven't worked one before. I found it to be real easy to work with and it took the tumbler well. The color is insane, though! Is it blue or is it purple? You think you know until you put those colors up next to it. I had a heck of a time figuring out the beads to use. I ended up using some baby blue to pick that color up in the stone and then some really cool textured glass, bronzy copper colored "pearls" and various small purple glass and stone beads with copper spacers. This is 18-20". I rarely use man made stones but this one is just too good NOT to use. And, it is only half man made. It is actually real bits of turquoise- dyed and pressed with some bronze (or bronze color, not sure) into a cuttable slab. The bronze provides a real nice metal spiderweb.

Hope you like this as much as I do. I was really excited to get it finished. :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

What I Look for in a Stone: Part 2, Colors

part 3, part 4, part 5

Most people are aware that color will affect their moods and thus perception. There have been countless studies done on it. Color psychology is not an exact science, but as artists we use it all the time. A good example would be from my last post which demonstrated how color effected design.

There are some stones in which the color is the lone inspirational quality. I tend to like solid colors. I like them because they stand up to whichever design I choose. Solid colors are a good backdrop for wires. They create a nice contrast and interesting negative space. A combination of colors in a stone create a medley of emotion the way an orchestra might.

Emotionally, for me, purple says regal, confident and timeless. It is centuries of successive monarchs ruling through time. It is the color of a romanticized past. I would be more apt to wrap a purple stone in a visually commanding way, taking risks and adding flourish. It might be classic in the oldest sense, more Egyptian or Grecian than say, Deco or Victorian.

Red, to me, is control. It has deep seated power ready to burst, turmoil. It is more mysterious and potentially dangerous. Red has secrets that want to be held. It is the epitome of geological forces. My favorite would be a fine, red jasper. It is a common, inexpensive stone, but so inspiring. I'd be apt to wrap it tightly to contain and concentrate it's energy.

Blue is the playful side of the palette, at least it is for me. I am more apt to to wrap it in a visually unselfconscious way, open to all and unashamed. It may seem bold, but not risky. It is fun. Blue reminds me of childhood, it has a certain naivety. Different shades have varying degrees of these qualities. Sky blue would be most naive, where azure or lapis blue would be more defiantly playful- they would color outside the lines- on purpose. 

Shades of green always make me think of nature. From grass, to jungle trees; from backyard lawns to the Amazon, green is Mother Nature. Green is moist, it is pure, it is life giving. It is unassuming, it is frank. It has always been. I am more apt to wrap green in a straight forward, no pretense way. Green speaks for itself. It can be a simple border wrap or anything else that it wants to be because it can stand up to anything. 

I do enjoy earthtones, too. I have been on a color kick, lately and I don't have many earthtones in my collection, at the moment. They will be under represented in this post, but certainly not to be forgotten. I love browns, for instance, because they seem very sturdy, earthy and warm. They seem condensed. Browns seem to actually have a tactile quality. They are rough like bark, they invite you to touch. I would be more apt to use coiling with brown or textured, forged wires and definitely copper. I would try to incorporate a visual texture.

Now that I have shared some of my color emotions/perceptions, I invite you to explore your own. Look back through your work and see if you can pick out any trends in how you wrap certain colors or how you feel looking at them. Writing this has been really interesting to me especially when I think back to older pieces. I realize that I wasn't even aware, at that point, that color was actually influencing me. Of course, all the other qualities of the stone come together to influence, also, but you get the idea. :)

Orangy, red Cuprite from Sonora, Mexico with flecks of pea green chrysocolla

Another orange stone, more tangerine than in the picture. This is a natural, quartz gem.

Gemmy, Caribbean Larimar with "turtle back" pattern. Beautiful color!
Sonora Sunrise (cuprite and chrysocolla). Large, nice example.
Olmec, Guatemalan blue jade. This is a very subtle, creamy mint blue color in person.
Tiffany stone, a good example of a medley of colors. They all seem to work together. 

The new, Crayola Jasper. Is this not awesome? Only one I have so far, but I'm in love.

A small, gemmy, lepidolite in mauvy, lavendar pink or raspberry with sparkles.
Fabulous Afghan lapis, the undisputed King of Blue. This is even more fabulous in person. The camera just couldn't pick up its intensity.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Some Color in Silver: Embrace

As a prelude to the color edition of  my stones series, I bring you bustamite. I'm a sucker for pink. I like dusty, bashful pink, not Barbie pink. This Bustamite is just about perfect for me. This is the color of the rare, angelskin coral, beautifully tender and feminine. It is shy. It is fresh and seemingly wet with dew. The stone is hard, yet, the color texture is like velvet with a glassy smooth finish. It is gel which means it glows when backlit. This is one of my favorite rarities.

I got an email from a lovely woman asking me to do something in silver. I work mostly in copper because A) I love it and B) it is more affordable for my hobby. However, I have some stones, like this bustamite, that call for silver over copper. I have been wanting to wrap one for a long time. I broke out the Argentium and ran out of HH HR so I had to finish with HH square, but it worked out, ok. I was so terrified about working with what little silver I had left, that I did this wrap 3 times in copper first. :)

The color of the stone definitely directed my design. I wanted something feminine. Something coyly sexy with a vulnerable innocence. I wanted it to be for a special evening out- the kind of jewelry that you keep in a velvet, fitted box. Something timeless. If I could sum up this piece in one phrase, for me, it would be Channel Number 5.  I wanted to conjure a fairy tale, first kiss or allude to the bondage of passionate, pure love. It draws us in and captures us in a beautiful, loving embrace. For however fleeting a moment it is, it is rare and holds us transfixed, unable and unwilling to break free from the magic.

I kept the wrap simple, allowing the festoons of fine chain to add flourish and softly frame the stone. It also left most of the 40mm stone showing. I added two large, superb quality, natural colored pearls with Bali silver. The pearl color is actually a better match than in the photos. It is a lighter, dusky mauve. In hue, it is very close to the bustamite. I like that they kinda fade into the background unless you focus on them. They add just enough to the necklace without distracting. This is an adjustable 18" long. I used 22g HH R and SQ You notice that I made another triangle? I think I need to talk to a psychiatrist about this fascination with triangles. LOL!

Anyway, I guess I'm rambling, I'll shut up and let you look at some pictures. I hope you like it as much as I do.


Sorry for the bad picture quality but I had to get a quick shot of it on my daughter's neck. It really should be with a gown and not plaid, though. :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Inspired by a Comment

After I posted part one of the stone series, Susan Roper commented that she would like to see a square shaped wrap. I took this as a compliment, of course, but also a challenge since I don't wrap many square shapes. Square shapes have never inspired me much and I was grateful for the comment because it made me reach outside the box for a new wrap.

I took the rectangular picasso stone and traced it out on a piece of paper. Then I started doodling. What do I love about the stone? The lines and contrast. I played with those qualities for ideas. I wanted to do something different. I hit upon a technique that I used once before, in a different way, and worked with that. So, sticking with the quality of the stone and the shape, which is so geometrical (my term for simple shapes), I came upon this wrap.

This wrap looks deceiving. There are no moving or bending parts other than the bail. The fringe bottom is perfectly solid with 20g copper, hard wires. The total length, including bail, is 3". The copper patina was left dark except for the bail.

My opinion on this is still out. I like it, but I don't know how much. In retrospect, I would have done a few things differently. It didn't photograph very well, either. But, my reservations may simply be due to the fact that  I don't care for square shapes much. Please, do let me know what YOU think.

This is a very inspired piece. I never would have picked it up and tried something new with a square shape if Susan hadn't mentioned it. Thank you, Susan! I truly enjoyed reaching outside the box and working this out. :) I hope this inspired you to be creative with this simple shape.
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Monday:  Part Two of the series:  What I Look for in a Stone

Gone to a new home.
EDIT:  My daughter wore a gray striped shirt over for a visit and I thought the pendant would look great with it. I like it a lot more being worn. :) She's wearing it out to lunch.




Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Series: What I Look for in a Stone

part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5

Quite a boring sounding title to what should be a fun series.

My recent piece reminded me that I am nothing without great stones. I have said it before and I will likely say it 1000 times more:  I love cabbed stones. It is all about the rocks for me. I began, like most people, oo'ing and awe'ing over all the pretty faceted gemstones, but it is the cabbed stones that really make my heart skip a beat. It is amazing to me that seemingly ordinary rocks are pulled from the ground by dedicated rockhounds and then slabbed and cabbed by an artist to become the gems that they are. It takes a really good lapidary to pick up a rock and find the heart of the stone. I'm drawn to those beauties; like bees to honey. I think the first to capture my heart was a tiger iron stone that I made my first piece with. It is still one of my favs.

So, what is the series about? My plan is for a series of blog posts with each about a different quality that attracts me to a good stone. Sometimes, when I am lucky (and drooling) all the qualities can be found in one stone. That's rare, though. More often, there are several qualities together making it an exceptional stone.

Besides giving me an excuse to rummage through my cabs, I am hoping these posts will A) inspire  B) educate C) be good eye candy, because we all love eye candy and D) give some insight as to what makes me tick as an artist.

I will be using pictures of stones that I currently have, ones that will one day show up as a finished piece. I will try to stick with stones I haven't shown before although some previously posted ones would be great examples. I won't discuss the actual stone types, you can google that, but I will discuss why I think each one is special.

Without more gabbing, here are the qualities that I intend to explore:
  • pattern
  • color
  • shape
  • uniqueness/scarcity
  • durability
  • price

It has been real hard for me to sit and really classify qualities in order of importance. They are all sooo important. What one may lack in pattern, it may very well make up for with another quality, such as color.

In this first installment, I concentrate on pattern and the kinds of pattern that attract me.

Large 48x30mm Hickoryite Jasper from Mexico
I have had this Hickoryite almost from the first day that I began to make wire jewelry. I love it so much that I have been unable to decide on how to do it justice. (Sad, but true.) It really does deserve to be worn, though. :) What attracts me to this is the overall picture in the stone. The colors are to die for, too. But, really it is all about the pattern. I see a sunrise in the swamp seen through low branches.

Chrysocolla and Malachite from Peru
This large stone is a good example of a pattern that lends itself well to a custom wire wrap. The pattern will be real fun to work with and hopefully it will add to the, what I call, graphic quality of the pattern. My temptation has always been to bring the wire up the middle divide, but I have refrained from doing that. The large, 45mm height size will allow me to do something more pronounced with the wire. My mind is still working on it.

This is also a good example of a stone where color is a quality. For Peruvian chrysocolla this is tops. The color is so much more intense in person. The cab shape is good, too.

53x23mm Lucin, Utah Spiderweb Variscite
I love variscite and I am always looking for great examples of it. This one has a fine network of well defined spiderwebs. The stone is large enough that the web will be noticed. It is the webs that drew me to it, then the color, then the shape. I just got this one just the other day. I have already decided, based on the shape, what I plan to do with it. I love the long flowing "sail" line on the side. I'm going to do all I can to prevent covering up much of this yummy stone.

25mm Argentine Rhodochrosite stalactite slice

Do I really need to say more about this? Bull's Eye patterns are always great! I chose this piece of bull's eye over the Malachite one that I have because I love the color so much. As nice as this is, it is the flip side that is better. This one will be a challenge to wrap because it is only 2mm thick. I have some good ideas, though. I'd like to allow the light in from behind because it glows such a wonderfully intense crystalline color.


Picasso Jasper/Marble Suite

Not expensive, not rare, not colorful but one of my favorites for pattern. I love the random geometry and contrast of Picasso Jasper! I probably dislike wrapping squares and rectangles more than any other shape. But, I just can't resist the challenge and the pattern. :) The pendant stone is 27mm tall. Because of the contrast, the pattern shows well in spite of the smaller size.

30x40 Succor Creek Jasper
Another stone that is affordable and easy to get. This stone has 2 things going for it; the pattern and the shape. I love the simple, clean, balanced lines. I don't know about you, but this totally makes me want to wrap it. I had an idea for the wrap the minute I saw this! This is a real good example, from my perspective, about how pattern immediately speaks to me.

39x14mm Ocean Jasper 2 Sided Tongue
For pattern, orbicular Ocean Jasper is fabulous!! It's getting harder to get which is a pity because it is so awesome. Who can resist those bubbles in stone? This particular stone has the added quality of shape as it is double sided. There is no edge bevel to it, at all. I thought it would be a fun challenge. I have done a few before but not in a long time. So, first it was the pattern that attracted me, the other side is just as nice, and then the shape/cut intrigued me. I'm so glad that the cutter decided not to put a hole in it for a bead. :)

It was hard for me to limit myself to just a few stones. I think this was a good representation of patterns that attract me, though. I currently don't have a nice snowflake obsidian, Deschutes Jasper, Bruneau Jasper or a few others I could name that have great patterns. I think everyone has come across a stone or two that seems to have come out of the ground just for them. Those are the ones that wrap themselves and only needed you to discover them. 

NEXT:  Color- and do I have some eye popping natural colors!

NOTE- Formatting in Blogger leaves much to be desired. What is fine when I'm writing is all messed up in preview. It takes forever to correct with the fickle software, so you will have to bear with inconsistent breaks between pictures. I assure you, I didn't write it like that. :)   (sooooo annoying)