I once read a blog by another silversmith in which the artist commented upon how she purchases cabochons: whenever and wherever she finds eye-catching stones, which often hang out in her studio for a year or more before she rediscovers them and turns them into something beautiful. I imagined at the time that many smiths and jewelry artists were much the same, although I couldn’t see myself venturing down that path because I didn’t have much capital to invest in stones. Fast-forward five years, and I’m a bona fide stone hoarder.
The ocean jasper featured in the Wintry Mix ring has been in one of my stone bins since March 2014. I purchased it from a supplier in Germany, admired it, and filed it away with its comrades affixed with double-sided tape to a small piece of poster-board. I took the jasper out last week to set it (at last!) and rediscovered its unique, almost opal-like pattern of hidden depths just visible beneath a milky surface. I love how the variations in the stone are at first both angular and sharp, like a stylized lightning strike very close to the surface of the stone, but then soften and smooth themselves out into something more sensual and obscure.