Friday, July 30, 2010

kyanite: a love story

i remember when i first saw the gorgeous blue stone. i was 18 and working at the bead store in durango, co. ("working" being a loose term because i not only adored my job, but i rarely got paid. in fact, come payday i usually owed them money to cover all the beads i had hoarded during the weeks. luckily, i had another real job.) the owners of the store had just come back from their annual trip to tucson for the gem and mineral show and all of the employees were hovering around, drooling, waiting to see what treasure would be revealed next. i remember blurting out something like "wait a minute, what is that BLUE one?" upon seeing the most incredible beads i had ever seen. they were a serious, deep, blue that truly cannot be described. you could say ultramarine blue. you could say a sort of cornflower blue. you could try to describe it as a kind of sparkly denim blue. but none of those words would come close to describing the actual, incredible silver-blue that is kyanite.

the beads were perfect in every way. (the photo above doesn't even compare.) they were about 12 mm long. they were barrel-shaped and faceted. they were the most perfect color imaginable. they were WAAAAAYYY out of my meager price range. but i simply had to have them. the lovely owners allowed me to put them in "the box", where items were held until poor employees could afford them. i worked extra shifts. i stayed late. i came in early. i didn't take home any other beads. but, after about two weeks the owners questioned whether or not i could make it a reality.

i was devastated. i didn't know what to do; i only knew that i had to have those dang beads! and, just in the knick of time, my fellow hippy employee and beading mentor, janet, saved the day. i still do not know if she really wanted the kyanite or was only trying to help me out, but she offered to split the strand with me. she would pay half and get half of the beads. and so it began. i made a brilliant bracelet with those beads, with some thai silver accent beads, and i never took it off until the day i lost it. and, just like the gorgeous faceted aquamarine barrel beads that accompany the kyanite discs in my "niagara in a barrel" earrings pictured below, i have never again seen a strand of beads quite like them.

so, long story short (too late!) when i started bezel-setting stones, i immediately started looking for kyanite cabochons, only to discover that, like so may things that matter, good ones were very hard to find. i simply couldn't find any decent sized, good kyanite cabochons. sometimes they were much too small. sometimes they were too flashy or they had clearly been treated or stabilized. i have been on a mission for a while now to find kyanite cabs that were worthy of the feelings i have harbored for the stone for so many years. here are a couple of pieces that i have made with specimens i have found of the beloved stone in the past.

and, you guessed it... finally, i have found some incredible, natural, gorgeous silvery blue kyanite cabochons! please do not ask me to reveal my secret source because i won't. but i am delighted beyond compare. here are my first two kyanite projects with these incredible new stones:

kyanite is not only an intensely beautiful stone, but a metaphysically powerful one as well. because one of its many properties is to bring a state of tranquility, i put this lovely quote from thomas kempis on the back of these pieces. it also stimulates communication, dispels anger and frustration, facilitates clarity, and much more. it is truly an incredible stone.

of course, like all great stones, the pictures do not do it any kind of justice. you will just have to take my word for it...


Poppy Q said...

These are lovely pieces Kristi. I love the implicity of your settings, which allow the stones to shine.

susie said...

Late congrats on hitting 1000 sales! Especially love the new collector pieces (one of my favorite things is exploring a creek bed near our house with the kids, I always come home with bits and baubles). Beautiful kyanite, I think we all have stones we gravitate to. With me its labradorite. Wishing you continued success and happiness.

Metallo Bianco Jewelry said...

Great post, Kyanite is one of my favorite stones too. I love the necklace and the ring...just gorgeous!

Shannon said...

Thanks ... now I love kyanite too and must have some :-)

Anonymous said...

That's such a lovely story, about the string of kyanite beads. I love kyanite too, it's equal with labradorite as my absolute favourite stone and I hear you about not being able to find decent cabs! I just made a kyanite ring with a small cab I was able to find, maybe I'll find a secret source of my own! The pieces you made are stunning, truly beautiful.

Also, I saw in the comments that someone else had congratulated you on your 1000th sale a little while ago and rather than leave any more comments and drown your inbox, I'll just say congratulations here too. Your work is breathtaking, you absolutely deserve your success, go you!!

john said...

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