Friday, May 25, 2007

The Milky Way

So I dragged a very dear friend to a bead shop the other day. I think he surprised the bead store people because he's
1. not my husband
2. totally not the bead store demographic - start off with the male factor and go from there...
3. could tell me what not to buy so fast it'd make your head spin (I need eyes other than my not so great ones to say "yes that's eye clean")

"Bead Shops? Hasn't this girl heard of wholesale?"

Yes, but there are times you do not or cannot do a 240 dollar strand of beautiful tourmaline droplets, even though it would be ideal and it's what you and all your customers would love.
I was out of clasps and I needed a one-off stone.

What I re-learned the other day is just how beautiful the highly underrated can be. While I was looking at chalcedony - admittedly pretty in its soft blue color, but just somehow not totally exciting, my friend found this banded agate.

"Did you know the vast majority of those are from Minnesota? Some from Russia, but most are local."

I'm terrible about the opaque stones. I find myself overlooking them often in favor of something sparkly, but often not as high a quality as I could get for the same price if I paid more attention to agates, better jasper, carnelian in its best form.

I loved this stone and knew it would be much more at home in my designs than a mediocre chalcedony. I loved it more because he told me about picking these up as a kid, his parents polishing stones for him in a rock tumbler when he was really little, the fact that this stone may possibly have been found, cut, and polished in Northern MN.

I think the top banding looks like a faint galaxy in the night sky. I added the ring for just a little fussy extra interest. And I re-photographed it this morning and added it to etsy. I wish I could drag him along every time I look at stones.

I've got my eye on these green garnets next, they'll look incredible with gold filled beads.

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