Sapphires: A Gemstone's Journey from Earth to Art

As I sit in my workshop in Portland, surrounded by the tools of my trade and the gentle Pacific Northwest rain tapping against the windows, I find myself reflecting on one of the most revered gemstones in my craft – the sapphire. In my journey with Sticks & Stones, I've had the privilege of working with various gemstones, but there's something undeniably special about sapphires. Perhaps it’s their deep, enigmatic blue or their story that spans across cultures and centuries. In this post, I want to share with you the allure of sapphires, a stone that continues to captivate and...

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Opals: A Symphony of Colors Encased in Crystal

Opals are the stuff of legend, a gemstone with a kaleidoscope heart. They’re also one of my favorite gemstones to work with. With their play of color and mystical appearance, they have captivated jewelers, monarchs, and poets alike, securing their place in history as one of the most fascinating stones in the world. Opals are nature's canvases, painted with the most delicate and intricate touches. These are the gems that come alive with every movement, a painter's palette of hues locked within smooth, lustrous surfaces. Unlike other gemstones, opals don’t derive their allure from a single hue. They are famed...

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Is Wooden Jewelry Good for Sensitive Skin?

As someone who's dedicated over a decade to handcrafting wooden jewelry, I often get asked whether wooden jewelry is a good fit for sensitive skin. Today, I'd like to delve into this topic and share my insights from years of experience. The Allure of Wood vs. Traditional Metals Having worked with a wide array of woods – from brilliant bacote to exquisite amboyna – I've come to appreciate the organic, hypoallergenic nature of wood. Many people with skin sensitivities often react to metals, especially those containing nickel, a common allergen. Wood, in contrast, doesn't contain such irritants, making it a...

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Shungite: The Enigmatic Stone of Healing and Harmony

In the realm of crystals and minerals, there exists a unique and enigmatic stone that has captured the imagination of seekers of balance and well-being: shungite. This ancient mineral, with its deep-rooted connection to Russia and its astounding healing properties, is gaining popularity worldwide. Join me on a journey of discovery as we explore the fascinating world of shungite, its history, and its role in promoting holistic well-being. The Origins of Shungite Photographer: James St. John | CC BY 2.0 Shungite, believed to be over two billion years old, is found in the Karelia region of Russia, near the Shunga...

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The Allure of Ebony: Crafting Timeless Jewelry from Enchanting Wood

Few materials hold the allure and charm that ebony wood exudes. I find myself irresistibly drawn to the timeless beauty and exceptional qualities of this dark, lustrous timber. In this article, I will take you on a journey through the captivating world of ebony wood, exploring its history, unique characteristics, and the artistry it inspires in crafting one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces. The Rich History of Ebony Wood Ebony wood boasts an illustrious history that spans continents and centuries. Originating primarily from tropical regions in Africa, Sri Lanka, India, and Southeast Asia, ebony has been cherished for its exquisite, deep black hue...

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Purpleheart: An Artisan's Treasure

As an artisan who is passionate about handmade wooden jewelry, I am constantly on the lookout for unique materials that captivate the imagination and bring forth exquisite creations. One such remarkable wood that has captured my heart and challenged my craftsmanship is Purpleheart. Renowned for its vibrant purple hue, Purpleheart wood possesses both beauty and formidable difficulty in woodworking. In this article, I delve into the allure of Purpleheart wood, exploring its distinctive properties, its challenges, and how it brings out the true artistry in crafting handmade wooden jewelry. Unveiling Purpleheart Wood Purpleheart (Peltogyne spp.) is a tropical hardwood native...

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