The SANTA FE TOTEM, one of my favorite one of a kind pieces, recently SOLD at the Stockley Gardens Art Festival! I was elated (and a tiny bit sad) that this show-stopper, constructed back in 2006, finally found its perfect mate.
Every one of a kind piece I make tells a story. I wanted to share with you the story of the Santa Fe Totem.
When I was 22, I embarked on a 6 week long RV trip with my boyfriend to explore the cracked red earth, cacti-covered canyons and black night skies. The rugged landscape was so beautiful that at times it brought tears to my eyes. It was in Santa Fe, while wandering in and out of art galleries, including the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, that I discovered this large Chrysocolla gemstone in a tiny shop in the city center.
The Chrysocolla shows off a turquoise blue-green hue that is interlaced with brown red matrix, like a quiet canyon creek flowing over parched earth. I set the stone with a modified bezel, wrapping around the bottom and side edges, while prongs of 14 karat yellow gold crown it above like a rising sun. The 14 karat gold prongs are echoed below the bezel, connecting the gemstone atop to a rugged landscape of sterling silver. Using recycled sterling silver, manipulated with my torch, I created a highly textured surface reminiscent of the landscape that marked my desert journey.
Chrysocolla is a copper bearing mineral found wherever copper deposits naturally occur, especially in areas of the southwestern USA, Chili, Zaire, Australia, France and England.
Pure Chrysocolla is too soft for jewelry purposes but it is often found in quartz deposits, mixed with malachite, turquoise and azurite, which makes it hard enough to polish for cabochons. Chrysocolla is associated with peace and tranquility, patience, intuition, and unconditional love. It is thought to offer gentle and soothing qualities to the wearer.
A part of my heart will always belong to the parched red earth of the southwest United States, where this stone was born, but I am happy that this special piece will be worn and cherished close to the heart of its new owner.