For the Love of Turquoise

I think it started when I was a kid.  When we'd visit my grandparents, I always wanted to head straight to my grandmothers dressing area and dig through her treasures.  She'd let me stand on a chair so I could peer inside her top dresser drawer, one of those tallboy dressers, with six or seven drawers.  That top drawer was better than a sandbox, more fun than a box of toys...It was filled with jewelry.  I would pull out my favorites and start piling everything on.  She would look over my shoulder and tell me that she really liked the ones I picked, and didn't they look so fancy all together.  At some point we'd end up sitting on the edge of her bed, I would ask her about the rings or bracelets, wondering about what the stones were, and she would start to tell me the stories of where the different pieces had come from.   Much of her jewelry was a gift from my grandfather.  I have never met a man who loves to shop the way he did...especially for jewelry.  I think it's in my genes.  In addition to the fancier jewels, with gold and sparkly bits, he had a huge love of Native American jewelry, specifically the work of a few artists in and around where they were living at the time in Arizona.  Now, you know where this is heading...Turquoise was always around.  He had his own impressive collection of chunky silver and stone jewelry.  Huge chunks of turquoise set into rings, which he sported on his pinky, cuff bracelets overflowing with brightly colored chunks of blue and green earth.  I remember asking him if I could put one of his rings on and how they were so big they fit like a donut around my finger. Slipping it on, feeling its weight and coolness, staring at the brightly colored stone, there was some kind of a connection happening.  Even then I wondered about who made it, and how that was even possible!

All these years later, when I sit down to start working on a project, and open up my box of stones, I always reach for the turquoise first.  So there I was last Sunday, all jazzed up with inspiration and fired up to make some awesome shit!  I had a leisurely cup of coffee, and sat down with intention at my bench, and it was one of those beautiful days of work, where the inspiration and the fabrication came together with ease, and a I didn't even have to curse while soldering anything!!!! (for those of you who are not makers of silvery things, just so you know, it doesn't come easy, and sometimes it's necessary to swear loudly at your work to make everything come together properly).

So here we have a bit of the bounty from Sundays work day...

From right to left we have Sleeping Beauty turquoise, and Nacozari turquoise with awesome flecks of silvery goodness in the matrix. 

This latest work is what I hope will be the beginning of a series of pieces inspired by all those old rings and things I felt connected to so long ago.  Infused with my love of old turquoise jewelry, and build by hand with the intention of being worn and loved for a lifetime, and then passed on down the line like some of my favorites.  I hope whomever claims these will love them as much as I do, and that they will feel some kind of connection to them...

Turquoise makes me happy, I hope some of that happy ends up with you.


  1. such sweet remembrances, and you shared them so poetically.

    ain't it a sign, that when things fall in place so perfectly, it's meant to be.
    all is as it should be.

    love the silversmithing, highlighting the stones!


    1. I was really missing my grandparents this week, and when I sat down to write up this post, those memories all came back~thanks for being here, and for your sweet lovely words. Aloha!