Stones & Lore
When traveling to the Scandinavian countries, I find many unusual native stones. I bring the rough stones back to Colorado and shape them for use in my jewelry.
My jewelry is made in the same way as it has been made for hundreds of years, entirely by hand. I use some uniquely Scandinavian techniques such as spiculums and reticulation.
Some of the terms used at this website may not be familiar to those visitors who are not jewelers. I offer these explanations here.
amber - Speaking plainly, very old tree sap. Gemologically, it must be over 40 million years old. Younger tree sap is properly called copal. I use amber only from where the Baltic and North Seas join -- Skagen, Denmark. It often has trapped insects and plant material in it. The spangles found in much amber are a result of heat treatment to relieve the internal stresses from these inclusions. Amber with insects is the most valuable because it is the rarest. Amber can be found in colors ranging from creamy white to very dark brown. The usual range is from honey to cognac colors.
bunad - The Norwegian word for national costume. These costumes vary widely and are specific to a region. The bunad I wear is a Hardanger version, with an embroidered breastplate whose design and colors indicate my grandmother's birthplace -- an island in the North Sea called Rongevaer . The Hardinger bunad is the only one with a white apron.
cabochon - A round, highly-polished, unfaceted stone.
fabrication - Direct manipulation of metal as opposed to wax and cast. Only one-of-a-kind work can be created with this time- consuming technique.
labradorite - A feldspar with a unique phenomena called labradoresence. When the stone is moved, color appears to move inside the stone. Labradorite is typically blue. From Finland, also Labrador, Nova Scotia; and Madagascar. Body colors can range from very dark grey to nearly clear. The darker body colors show the phenomenal colors best.
larvikite - A grey and white granite from Norway which exhibits a marked blue flash when moved. The flash is similar to labradorite. In Norway , this is called “blue stone” and is mined in Larvik.
mokume gane - Laminated metal billets fused by heat and pressure to produce uniquely patterned metal stock. While many patterns can be created, the classical appearance is that of wood grain.
onlay - A metals technique where karat gold is fused, then rolled into the underlying sterling silver. Multiple heating and texturing steps create oxides that react to patinas with striking colors.
reticulated - Having a network of lines or ridges, as with a leaf or ocean ripples.
solv - The jewelry worn with traditional Norwegian costume. This jewelry is typically made in silver with filigree spirals. The word means silver in Norwegian.
spectrolite - The most valuable version of Labradorite. It shows many brilliant colors.
spiculum - An anticlastic raising technique made with a special hammer and handmade stake resulting in a hollow tubular shape which may be hand-formed in several planes. The technique originated in Finland and was widely taught by Hekki Seppa in the US in the latter 1900s.
Swedish blue - this is a by-product of iron making in early 1800s. It is slag from the melt. The material is glassy and shows flowlines. Much of it is unusable because of the ash embedded in the material. At one time, it was so comon that it was used for fences and as decoration on houses. Found today near Kiruna on the Norwegian border, north of the Arctic circle.
thulite - The national stone of Norway. A pink stone found near Jontunheiman mountain. Zoisite with manganese silicate.
vasskis - From løkken, mineralogically - greenstone -- from Løkken, Norway. Mostly plagioclase and pyroksene, metallic color is pyrite and chalcopyrite. Greenstone is usually not green, but black.