FirstStonesMinarexThe Denver Gem and Mineral Show takes place this week.  This is my first time attending the event and I haven’t even made it to the show yet!  Since I am a member of the Colorado Metalsmithing Association, we were invited to a private showing of Micahel Hendrix’s work.  It was such a pleasure to meet Michael and have a chance to see his work.  Lexi was my guide for the evening and introduced me to Michael and some of her friends.  It was a totally new experience for me and I was a little confused by my reaction to the process of selecting my own stones.  I really felt confused at first.

Michael had his work on the host’s dining room table and everyone was circling, picking up stones, holding them under the Ott lights or the natural light coming through the windows to get a feel for how the stones looked, their color, and I’m not sure what else.  I started to pick up a few and it did take me a while to finally see what I was looking for in a stone.  Then the stones started to ‘speak’ to me.  All of a sudden I just knew what was right for me and the work I wanted to do.  That was liberating.

I really can’t tell you how many times I circled that table, pick up different stones, putting some back.  Initially I think I had 6 – 8 stones, none of the ones pictured above.  Those came after my moment of enlightenment.  I kept coming back to certain patterns and colors.  I made a point of staying away from purples….I know this will shock many of you who know me, as purple is my color (Holly, I’m certain you gasped when you read this part!).  I wanted something different and all of a sudden I knew these stones I finally selected were representations of my work.  They looked like scenes.  I could see landscapes, trees, waterfalls, and even beautiful, abstract alien landscapes of distant planets.  So these are my first picks for the week.  And I wanted to provide up close shots for you to see the beauty of these stones, so here they are……………….

Ohio Flint

Ohio Flint

In this stone, I see a waterfall.  And the variations in the stone remind me of scenes that Dan has photographed when we were in Zion National Park.  One of my goals in this process is to pick two stones of the same type so I could have one for myself if I wanted.  Lexi has written about this on her blog too.  However, for this Ohio Flint, I was unable to find another piece of that stone.  This is one of those that is so beautiful, reminding me of Zion and the times Dan & I have spent there, that I envision it as a pendant I will keep for myself.

Orbicular Jasper ~ Madagascar

Orbicular Jasper ~ Madagascar

Again I see landscapes in these two pieces of Oribcular Jasper.  I picked up the piece on the right first and just couldn’t seem to put it down.  I saw sand dunes, rock formations, just lovely earthy designs in this piece.  And I looked and looked and looked for another piece in the same family.  I had actually put it back and was on the opposite side of the table when I found its partner on the left.  Oh I was so delighted as this stone had more color and reminded me of a tree with a sunset in the background.  I quickly scanned the other side of the table in hopes that the piece on the right was still available….and as the picture shows, it was.  What fun!

Brunean Jasper

Brunean Jasper

More from the Jasper family.  The rich russet browns, combined with sandy colorations  captured my eye.  Mores scenes of Bryce or Zion National Parks entered my mind.  I felt I was hitting my stride and I understood what I was looking for in stones.  Oh what a feeling!

Texas Flint

Texas Flint

I was intrigued by the contrasts in these two. The rich burgundy complimented by honey shades and striking whites just reminded me of another world.  A distant planet churning with chemical reactions.  And the shapes of these stones are unique.

There was one other stone, also in the Orbicular Jasper group, but it just didn’t speak to me as the others had.  I put it back for the third time and knew I made the right decision.

When I brought my tray with these 7 stones, Michael looked at my selections.  He sat back, looked at me, looked at the stones and said, “You have a wonderful eye. Great palettes. If your jewelry designs are as good as your choices here, you are on the way to being a great jewelry designer”.  I was blown away.  I have witnesses too of what he said.  He has the greatest respect and admiration for Lexi.  He knows I am one of her students.  He told me that Lexi is a gifted metalsmith.  She is.  And when I shared this with Lexi, she said Michael is a very genuine person and he would not tell me something he didn’t believe to be true.  I am honored and humbled.  Now it’s time to do justice to these beautiful stones with some great designs. And to live up to being one of Lexi’s students.

As I did in my last post, I’d like to share another business card with you, this time, Michael’s.  If you can make it to the Gem & Mineral Show in Denver this week, please look him up.  If you are looking for a particular type of stone, email him or call.  He is helpful, knowledgeable, and gracious.  And I can assure you, you will have a beautiful cabochon or two or three…. 🙂

MinarexBusnCard

I’ll be heading up to Denver for the show on Friday.  Lexi will be my guide again and I’m certain it will be a great day of fun and sensory overload.  I’ll keep you posted.

Until next time, aspire to be more as an artist and a person!

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