Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gemstone of the Week: Musgravite

(Musgravite image found on

Musgravite is a very rare and beautiful gemstone.  It was discovered in 1967 and belongs to the Taafeite (pronounced: tar-fight) family of gemstones and can be easily mistaken for Taafeite.  Musgravite is a hardness 8-8.5 and may be light olive green, dark greenish-blue, light to dark violet,  nearly colourless if the piece is thin. They may be transparent or translucent and have a vitreous luster.

 Musgravite was recently renamed Magnesiotaafeite-6N'3S by the IMA (International Mineralogical Association) because of its magnesium content and being so closely related to Taafeite.  In fact, the only way to be sure whether your stone is Taafeite or Musgravite is to have the magnesium content tested.  Musgravite's original name was given it based on the locality of where it was first found: the Musgrave Ranges of South Australia. The "6N'3S" portion of it's new 'official' name is due to it being composed of six Nolanite modules and three Spinel modules. Taafeite and Perhmanite (the third gem in the Taafeite family) have also been renamed by the IMA for, more or less, the same reasons as Musgravite.  They are now known as Magnesiotaafeite-2N'2S (Taafeite) and Ferrotaafeite-6N'3S (Perhmanite).  However, despite the name change and their original names supposed to be used only as trade names they will likely still be called by their original names even within the the gem trade.  

As mentioned earlier, Musgravite is a very rare gemstone and is not only found if small quantities, but in very few locations.  Currently, Musgravite is only known to be found in:  Australia, Antarctica, and France.  Also, because of its rarity, Musgravite tends to be highly expensive with some websites I have looked at suggesting that its per carat cost may even get as high as $35,000;  so if this is a stone you wish to add to your collection or hope to find a piece of jewelry using it, be prepared to spend a lot of money.

Monday, November 26, 2012


("Myka" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

Cute and funky pair of copper, Unakite, and old watch parts Steampunk earrings. Perfect wheher you love Steampunk, recycling, or just have a love for unique, hand-crafted jewelry!  These earrings are 2.25 inches long.

Back From the Chesaning Show!

Well, I'm back from the Chesaning Show and excited to see how next year goes!  I'm happy with how the show went this year and looking forward to being back there for next year's show!  Each year has been better than the last so I'm excited to see things continuing to grow.  This was my last show of the year and I am already starting on planning out next year's show schedule.  So far, I have two confirmed shows,  The Tawas Waterfront Fine Arts Festival and the Chesaning Show, and am planning on adding at at least 2-3 more shows for next year. I'll be posting my 2013 show schedule once it has been finalized!  Hope to see you at next year's shows!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gemstone of the Week: Pyroxmangite

(Pyroxmangite image found on

Pyroxmangite is sometimes confused with Rhodonite which is understandable as it is a high-pressure, low-tempurature polymorph of Rhodonite.  It was first described in 1913 and has a hardness of 5.5-6. Pyroxmangite is a pink, rose-pink, purplish-pink, yellowish-red brown, red, or brown gemstone with a triclinic crystal structure.  It may be transparent to translucent and has a vitreous to pearly luster.  Pyroxmangite tends to form as massives that are either granular or a large mass of uniformly indistinguishable crystals. An interesting thing to note about Pyroxmangite is that when heated it becomes magnetic.  Pyroxmangite may be found in: New Zealand, Australia, China, Japan, Italy, Germany, Slovakia, Sweden, Wales, and the states of Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Colorado, New Mexico, Alaska, North Carolina, and California.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Gemstone of the Week: Friedelite

(Friedelite image found on

Friedelite was discovered in 1876 by Emile Bertrand and named for Charles Friedel, a French chemist and mineralogist.  (Charles Friedel worked with James Crafts to find a way to create synthetic diamonds.)   Friedelite is a hardness 4-5 and may be tan, brown, yellow, light pink, dark red, red-brown, or dark brown in colour.  It tends to have a vitreous luster and has a monoclinc crystal structure often with prsimatic development.  Friedelite is generally transparent to translucent and forms as either massives or in tabular form. Friedelite may be found in: South Africa, Australia, France, Sweden, and the states of New Jersey and Colorado.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Gemstone of the Week: Haüyne

( Haüyne image found on

Haüyne is a gorgeaous gemstone often of  an intense blue. It was discovered in 1807 and was named for the French chrystallographer Rene Just Haüy who was the first to describe this stone.  Haüyne may be blue, white, grey, yellow, green, or pink and is a translucent to transparent gemstone with a hardness of 5.5-6. The luster of this gemstone tends to vitreous or greasy with an uneven/irregular or conchoidal fracture pattern.  Haüyne is found in: Greenland, Namibia, Tanzania, Guinea, Spain, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Italy, France, Austria, Germany, the Canadian province of Quebec, and the states of California, New York, and New Jersey.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Annora v.6

("Annora v.6" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

A bright and colourful copper and enameled copper Celtic Flower bracelet.  The bracelet measures at 7.25 inches long and just over 1/2 inch wide.

Update:  this bracelet has been sold; if interested in seeing more of my work please visit my store.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My Paintings Found a Home!

I don't generally post my non-jewelry/metalwork on here, but today I'm really excited, so I thought I'd share why!  While jewelry and metalwork is my primary love within the arts and what I do professionally,  I also enjoy a number of the other art mediums such as experimental digital photography, sculpture, and painting (as well as many others; I'll try pretty much any art medium and always eager to learn something new!).

 A few weeks ago, I contacted the college about donating some of the paintings I'd done while as a student there.  I've had them stalked up in the hallway of my house since graduating, and, as much as I love them, I simply do not have the space for them, and, as painting is not my primary medium, I'm really not able to properly show them at art shows/exhibitions.  It took a lot of phone-calls and e-mails to figure out how to go about doing this (I've never done something like this before!) and whether they were even interested in having them, but eventually I got it all sorted out.

So today, I had some deja-vu moments as I, once again, found myself driving into the parking lot of Delta College in university Center, Michigan. Seeing these paintings go somewhere where they can be seen and enjoyed means a lot to me and I can think of no place I'd rather see them at then at college where they were made.  I was so excited when they said they'd be happy to have my paintings! However, until today I didn't know who many of the three they were interested in that they'd take ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................  but they took all three of them!!!

So without further ado, here are the three paintings that shall now be in residence at Delta College:

("Patterns of the Earth" by Laura Hepworth)
Title:  Patterns of the Earth
Size: 20" x 20"
Medium: acrylic on canvas
Year: 2009

("Silent Witness" by Laura Hepworth)
Title: Silent Witness
Size: 30" x 40"
Medium: acrylic on canvas
Year: 2009

("The Rising" by Laura Hepworth)
Title: The Rising
Size: 5' x 5' diptych
Medium: acrylic on canvas
Year: 2009

Monday, November 5, 2012

Half Persian 3in1 Bracelet v3

("Half Persian 3in1 bracelet" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

Sterling silver, copper, and enameled copper 'camo' coloured Half Persian 3in1 chainmaille bracelet. This bracelet measures at 7 inches long.  Made with both round and square wire so it catches the light better and has more sparkle.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Half Persian 3in1 Bracelet v.2

("Half Persian 3in1 Bracelet" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

Sleek and elegant, this Half Persian 3in1 bracelet is made of sterling silver, copper, and enameled copper and measures at just about 7 1/4 inches long.  It uses a combination of both round wire and square wire rings allowing for more light to be caught and sparkle off of the square wire rings.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Gemstone of the Week: Grandidierite

(Grandidierite image found on

Grandidierite is a beautiful, but little known gemstone.  It was discovered in 1902 by Alfred Grandidier after whom it is named.  Grandidierite considered to be a very rare gem and has a lovely blue-green colour.  Its luster tends to be vitreous or pearly and may be transparent (although is is quite rare) or translucent and has a hardness of 7.5.  Grandidierite has an orthorhombic crystal structure.  Grandidierite may be found in: Australia, South Africa, Czech Republic, Germany, Norway, Greenland, and the states of New York and Wyoming.  Some of the sites I have read said that Grandidierite may be as high as $50,000 per carat for high-quality, transparent stones of good colour, whether this is accurate, I'm not sure, but the few translucent  stones I've seen were quite pricy also, so an eye-clean transparent one would certainly be expensive.