Thursday, October 31, 2013

Gemstone of the Week: (Black) Obsidian

(Image of Obsidian found on

Obsidian is a beautiful igneous rock and is actually a naturally occurring glass. I don't think it is really known when Obsidian was first discovered, but according to one site that I looked at, the stone was named after a man named Obsius who is purported to have discovered it in Ethiopia. Obsidian has a hardness of about 5.5-6 and can be used to make absolutely beautiful jewelry. Being a natural glass, it has a vitreous luster and may be either transparent or translucent.  Most often when thinking of Obsidian, one associates it as being a black stone.  And it can be, however, there are many, many different varieties of Obsidian available.  Obsidian may be black, bluish, green, brown, and red.  Then there are the more interesting varieties of Obsidian such as: "snowflake", "fire", "rainbow," "gold sheen," "silver sheen," and "mahogany." Each of these more unusual varieties of Obsidian I will post about in separate blog posts.  Obsidian may be found in: Antarctica, Argentina, Armenia, Bolivia, China, Ethiopia, Georgia, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Madagascar, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, Slovakia, Turkey, and the states of: Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

November Show Schedule

Well, in just a couple weeks the madness begins.  This November, I will be having three shows back-to-back-to-back!  For anyone interested in dropping by or who may know someone that would be interested in dropping by one of these shows, here is my show schedule for November:

- The Boathouse Arts and Crafts Show

Date: Saturday, November 16th.
Time: 10:00am - 6:00pm
Location: The Boathouse condos in Bay City, Michigan. 

1111 N Water St.
Bay City, Michigan

- Alden B Dow Museum Holiday Art Show
Date: Saturday, November 23rd - Sunday, November 24th
Time: Saturday: 10:00am - 5:00pm; Sunday: 12:00pm - 4:00pm
Location: Midland Center for the Arts in Midland, Michigan.

1801 St. Andrews Street
Midland, Michigan

There is an admissions fee: $4 for a one-day ticket; $6 for a two-day ticket.

- Chesanning Music Booster Arts and Crafts Show

Date: Friday, November 29th - Saturday, November 30th
Time: Friday: 9:00am - 5:00pm; Saturday: 10:00am - 4:00pm
Location: The show is held in both the Chesanning high school and middle school. My booth is located in the main room of the middle school.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Gemstone of the Week: Realgar

(Realgar image found on

Realgar is a beautiful little known gemstone. Its name comes from the Arabic rahj al-gahr meaning "powder of the mine" and is used as a pigment.  Realgar is a transparent to translucent gemstone that may be dark red or red-orange with a resinous or greasy luster.  Sadly, Realgar only has a hardness of 1.5-2 and is completely unsuitable for any kind of jewelry use.  This ultra soft hardness is not the only reason for why Realgar is unsuitable for jewelry use.  Realgar is extremely unstable.  When exposed to light, Realgar  undergoes a strange transformation into the mineral Pararealgar and eventually deteriorates into dust (hence the name "powder of the mine").  Realgar is also hazardous as it contains arsenic so caution showed be used if handling it either wear gloves or wash your hands thoroughly after handling it and be careful to not inhale any dust.  Realgar may be found in: Afghanistan, Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Canada (provinces of: British Colombia, Northwest Territories, Ontario, Quebec, and the Yukon Territory), China, Chile, Czech Republic, Fiji, France, Germany, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Turkey, England, Wales, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and the states of Wyoming, Washington, Utah, Pennsylvania, Oregon, North Carolina, New York, New Mexico, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Nevada, Montana, Maine, Louisiana, Idaho, Colorado, California, Arizona, and Alaska.      

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Arina (Bracelet)(Neutral Tones)

("Arina" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

One of my newest designs, Trizanov is a new take on the classic Romanov design. The bracelet is just under 7.5 inches long and is made of copper and bronze enameled copper and features freshwater pearls.  

Trizanov is an original design by Handmaden Designs LLC.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Gemstone of the Week: Fire Opal

(Fire Opal image found on
(Fire Opal image found on

Fire Opals are a stunning and highly valuable gemstone. They are the yellow, orange, orange-red, and red varieties of precious Opal. They may be cut as cabochons or faceted and may or may not show the play-of-colour that Opals are most known for. They are a hardness 5.5-6.5.  What makes the Fire Opal unique in comparison to most other Opals is that quality Fire Opal may be transparent or translucent. The Opal gets its name from the Greek word opallus which means to see a change in colour (referring the the Opal's play-of-colour). Fire Opal is considered the national gemstone of Mexico.  Fire Opal, while not as valuable as some of the other precious Opals can still command a relatively high price.  To see a per carat value chart for Fire Opal you may visit  Fire Opals may be found in a few locations in: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Ecuador, Hungary, Honduras, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Slovakia, Turkey, England, the Canadian province of British Colombia, and the states of: Oregon, New Jersey, Idaho, Nevada, Colorado, California, and Arizona.

Noreen (Bracelet)(Hot Pink/Lime green)

("Noreen" by Handmaden Designs LLC)

This bracelet is certainly an eye-catcher! It's a hot pink and lime green enameled copper Alternating Half-Trizanov bracelet with darker green Swarovski crystals.  Fun and cheerful, it makes a beautiful piece!  The bracelet measures at about 8.25 inches long, but if a smaller/larger size is desired I can easily resize it.

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Boathouse Art and Fine Craft Show

I just scheduled a new show for November!!  I recently accepted an invitation to participate as a vendor at an art/fine craft show in Bay City, Michigan.  The show is November 16th from 10:00am- 6:00PM in the event room at The Boathouse condos.  If you're in the area, I'd love to see you there!  

They are located at:

1111 N Water St.
Bay City Michigan

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Gemstone of the Week: Cavansite

(Image of Cavansite found on

Cavansite is a beautiful gemstone! It's named after its chemical composition: Calcium Vanadium Silicon. It was discovered in 1967.  Cavansite is only a hardness 3-4 so is relatively soft and, if used in jewelry, should only be used in low-impact pieces such as earrings or pendants. Cavansite is transparent to sub-transparent with a vitreous luster.  Its colour may be blue-green, dark blue, or a brilliant sky blue. Cavansite is only found in a few locations in: Brazil, India, New Zealand, and in the state of Oregon.