Copper mining has been a major industry in Arizona since the 19th century.
There are about 10 major copper mines in Arizona. A couple of hours drive north of Phoenix, Jerome was once a thriving copper town revolving around the Gold King mine on Cleopatra Hill. From 10.000 habitants in the 1920’s to less than 450 today, Jerome has now become a small quirky and artistic community. Its antique charm where art galleries and restaurants found their place amongst remnants of the old booming town attracts visitors from all over the world.
Do you like your jewelry to be clean and shiny? I do! I do!
Sunshine cloth is one my favorite polishing cloth for jewelry
Sunshine cloth is impregnated with non scratch micro abrasives and is ready to use. It works very well on silver, copper, bronze, brass and nuGold (a brass alloy).
For a long time, there was only one version of the Sunshine cloth: the yellow one.
Recently, two new versions of Sunshine cloth have been introduced: a pink cloth (more abrasive than the yellow) and a light blue cloth (less abrasive than the yellow). After trying both, I decided I was going to stick with the original yellow cloth.
Today I’d like to give more details about the famous and popular byzantine weave.
The byzantine weave is an historical weave
It makes fluid, comfortable to wear and elegant pieces of jewelry which makes it very popular.
The origin of the name byzantine is unknown. It is also called etruscan (which is a synonym of byzantine) or idiot’s delight (because it is rather simple to make). However, who would want to say “oh, I am wearing my idiot’s delight bracelet today”. This is ridiculous 😉 Byzantine or Etruscan are much more flattering and “oh, I am wearing my new Etruscan bracelet” will make you feel like a goddess!
Chain mail jewelry is the ultimate hand crafted jewelry
Each ring must be cut by hand or by a machine. I do cut my rings myself with a saw. Then, they must be weaved by opening and closing each rings according to the pattern. One by one, with hand pliers. This cannot be casted or mass produced overseas. At least, no good design is. I cannot honestly guarantee that somewhere someone is not going to cut corners… but that’s not going to look pretty.
We are getting so close to the end of the year and while I was Missing In Action on the blog, I was still here and well alive in the background.
Visiting the Lake Powell area
Business was pretty slow before the elections so we took the opportunity to travel. This was a long time I wanted to go to Lake Powell and I was not disappointed. This was even more beautiful than I imagined… amongst the many experiences we had, we visited Antelope Canyon (bottom left) and the Rainbow Bridge by boat (top left), we hiked the famous Horseshoe Bend (top right)and took a quick trip to the Escalante National Monument in Utah (bottom right: the Toadstools).
We definitely plan to come back to camp on the beach, explore south Utah and try ourselves at kayaking.
Of course, we also went a few times to Sedona and tried the Dead Horse State Park RV campground in Cottonwood which was awesome. I came back to Sedona for a week-end workshop with Paul Selig and we spent Halloween in Jerome.
This morning, I received the newest issue of my favorite magazine, Lapidary Journal. And here it was… amongst the usual boatload of inspiring projects and articles… an article about precious coral. Not great, by the way, and somewhat inaccurate. This just gave me the kick in the pants I needed to review and publish this post that I had written already 3 months ago.
As a Scuba diver and jewelry designer, I know and respect coral.
Although many believe that coral is a plant, it is in fact an animal. Marine organisms called polyps who live in colonies secrete calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton.
This photo of precious red coral was taken by my friend Sophie de Wilde and published in 1993 in her gorgeous book “Le miracle de la mer”. Sophie tragically died in a diving accident in 1999. She took this photo in Villefranche sur Mer (near the city of Nice), on the ceiling of an underwater cave.
Coral does not grow up from the floor like a plant. It grows down in stalactite formations, hanging from the ceiling of submarines caves. The red part is the skeleton of the animal. The little white flower-like part is the polype, a living animal. When the coral is broken, the polyp dies.
To be noted: the red color from the photo comes from artificial lightning used to take the photo. Red is the first color to disappear underwater and looks more like an ugly brown to the naked eye. And here goes down the myth of sharks attracted by red color 🙂
Today, allow me to take you behind the scene for a quick studio tour. I thought you would enjoy to see where I work.
My studio fits in a spare bedroom in my house
It’s small but it’s mine. The commute is of course awesome and when I think of my old depressing cubicle I am so grateful for my little studio and my new life!
Let’s start with the left side
What you see takes the whole wall.
- First, the standard jewelry bench with a cork board to pin memos and do-not-forget notes.
- then a re-purposed printer stand for my pretty yellow guillotine sheer
- and a storage area with bunch of easy to open drawers. My husband surprised me with it for Christmas. It comes from a Swedish store and I understand it was a pain to put together because lots of cursing was involved in the process (thank you Santa!).
I had a load of fun to organize all my small tools and supplies and I even have space to expand. To not drive me nuts, I have labelled each drawer!
- My little Reiki altar is on the wall next to the window.