| September 21, 2014 |
This is how I do it: First I start with raw rock, very little of which I just pick up off the ground…
Most of my rock comes from the annual gem show in Quartzite, Arizona, where I migrate to in the winter and hand select the stones I will work up in the coming year. This is a vast outdoor gem show where you can find stones and (eccentric) people from all over the world (rock people are generally pretty weird).
Before I work with the stones they go through a process where I balance and cleanse them. This is a stage I consider imperative for the stones to embody their natural attributes and vitality, so they might truly assist you. All minerals have been heavily mined around our globe, leaving what are essentially energetic holes in the planets grid. Thus, this cleansing process involves a balancing and recharging of these minerals directed to their earthen source, which thereby imbues the final beads and pendants with the energy they were originally intended to carry.
STEP 1) Using a diamond coated saw blade and lots of water, the rock is first cut into slabs. At this stage, with the thickness of the slabs I am also determining how thick my beads and pendants will be.
That would be a slab (two actually).
STEP 2) The slabs are then cut into long rectangles.
STEP 3) Long rectangles are cut into a number of squares.
STEP 4) Here you can see the bead begin to take shape: as the corners are cut off the squares they roughly start to resemble a bead.
STEP 5) Now I drill a hole in the bead (hopefully that and not my fingers). It’s a bit of a challenge, trying to create a small hole by braille using a nasty and wildly spinning diamond coated drill bit. This process is done with both the bead and bit submerged under water.
STEP 6) I poke a chopstick into the freshly made hole and begin to shape the bead by turning it on the first diamond coated wheel.
STEP 6) The second diamond coated wheel starts to smooth the bead quite nicely.
STEP 7) The last step. I use a diamond coated rubber wheel for the final smoothing and polishing.
My beads are complete at the end of this process. I used to tumble them for several days in a vibrating rock tumbler that also artificially polished them with a tin oxide polish (which coats every conventionally worked stone bead you will ever purchase). The stones told me they didn’t care for that much and that the tin oxide was toxic -for everybody- and clogged their pores making it difficult for them to do their healing work. Duh. Appropriately reformed, I’ve eliminated the tumbling/oxide process.
| September 7, 2014 |
I made a move to spend more time at the ocean recently. It’s quite the contrast to the high desert I’ve lived in for the past twenty five years. Here are a few tidbits inspired by my new surroundings.
| August 10, 2014 |
It’s rather infrequently that I make beads from stones picked up on my walk abouts. This stone is one exception.
Joshua Tree National Park is an unusual place. It is known as a climbers paradise but the hiking is a best kept unsung secret. The hanging out is another matter entirely: the longer you linger, the more Joshua Tree reveals to you.
The first couple of times I went there I just buzzed through, the wind (which can be fierce – yard sale in the campground!) moving me along. Then one year I was doing my usual “Just passing through” and got distracted. I stayed for three months!
So these beads are ode to Joshua Tree. They are made from stones I picked up around that area. If you have a mutual love for the place and want to keep her close to you, I can probably still dig up a few soft buff beads for a talisman.
| July 27, 2014 |
Funky fresh new earrings…
Check ’em out: http://manitoubeads.com/product-category/earrings/
| April 7, 2014 |
I’ve been a whirlwind in earring world the past couple of weeks. Below is a sample of the creative storm.
To see what’s now available go to my Current Offerings page.
| March 11, 2014 |
Thulite is a rare stone with powerful links to the life force, stimulating healing and regeneration.
This is a supportive stone for the introvert who wishes to venture further outward, encouraging curiosity and inventiveness. It is helpful wherever there is resistance to be overcome. It can assist one in coming to terms with the human condition, as it affirms the marriage of love and logic. Emotionally it encourages the expression of passion and healthy balanced sexuality, in a positive and constructive manner.
This stone can help with calcium deficiency and digestive problems. It also enhances fertility and eases diseases of the reproductive organs. As a strengthening and regenerative stone it may soothe nervous exhaustion.
Thulite is fairly uncommon and availability is limited. There are two known sources in the world: Norway, and ironically, about thirty miles as-the crow-flies from where I grew up, in the Methow Valley.
Recently I have been drawn to wearing Thulite as stone jewelry to support my heart. It has a gentle, soft nature that feels expansive but grounding.
(The pendant shown here is Orange Thulite, apparently very rare. One usually finds it in pink with forest and moss greens).
| January 3, 2014 |
Blue Chalcedony is a semi precious gemstone known for its ability to constantly cleanse itself. It has many other lovely attributes as well. Here are just a few: It is a creative stone and opens the mind to accept new ideas, helping one to embrace new situations. It enhances both listening skills and communication, making it a great talisman to wear near the throat. It encourages one to be lighthearted and optimistic.
As a healing stone it physically has an anti-inflammatory effect, stimulates the flow of lymph, and enhances the immune system. It helps to clear illnesses associated with changes in the weather.
This is a stone found in many locations around the world: US, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Iceland, Mexico, Britain, New Zealand, Turkey, Russia, Brazil and Morocco.