Friday, December 20, 2013


When we were kids, we had a cardboard box that served as our treasure chest.  To the unsuspecting passerby, the collection within might not seem like much.  In fact, to the untrained eye, it might have just looked like a box full of junk.  BUT… it was more than just bits of broken glass, old pill bottles filled with plastic beads, scratched up plastic prisms acquired at the flea market and rocks from the driveway (that I smashed in half with the hammer with a brown plastic handle).  The box contained our imagination and fantasies of a better life.  The box contained childhood touchstones that were imbued with magic and all our many daydreams.

Needless to say, finding "Stones of Power" was a core mission essential to my childhood.  If they could not be located in the wilderness of our yard or procured from a yard sale or flea market stall, we set about making them.  We were alchemists!  I thought about that when I was making these.

I got a taste for stone-carving when I was visiting Cynthia once.  She used to disappear down to the basement and come back up with a handful of stones unlike anything I had ever seen before.  No two were exactly alike.  The facets followed the beauty of the stones and accented the characteristics of the particular gem.  She showed me how to use the lap grinder and I filed it away in the vault of "Things to Do Again".

I picked up a lap grinder during a sale a few years ago and it has been taking up shelf space and collecting dust.  I decided to break it out and give it a whirl.  I wanted something that would be extremely satisfying to carve, so I made blobs of polymer clay.  I love polymer!  It's sturdy, but carves beautifully and relatively easy.

Once I faceted my handful of polymer clay "gems", I coated them in layers of iridescent and pearlescent paints.  I didn't like the way the solid colors muted the crispness of the lines and geometric planes, so I scrubbed some of the paint off.

In hindsight, they look suspiciously like some pieces that friends and colleagues produce.  It's funny how I didn't even consciously think about them looking so close until after I made them.  Then I had the "uh oh" moment.  It's okay though.  I wasn't purposefully trying to copy them and these pieces aren't meant for the public to purchase.  They are meant to live with me… in my cardboard treasure box.


TesoriTrovati said...

I don't know if you can patent a faceted bead, and while I have purchased many faceted polymer clay beads from other artisan friends, and even made some of my own, I think that it is a style that never goes out of style! I love your take on it, and I think it is mostly because of the shape and the finish. I love the rough cut, the uneven facets, the hint of color peeking out from behind the glimmering paint. They look like lost jewels that have been unearthed by an archeologist. Thank you for sharing that great memory! Enjoy the day. Erin

Gaea said...

YUM! Those are super fun! :)

Eileen The Artful Crafter said...

Maybe I've been living under a rock, but I haven't seen any faceted stones quite like these. They're beautiful.

Jean Katherine Baldridge said...

Awesome and full of power and elegance! jean