Monday, September 21, 2009

Charoite pendant.....

Charoite, from Siberia, set in a hand made silver mounting.
The stone is also hand worked, and is of
exceptional quality with beautiful color and figure.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A rutile quartz pendant


A lovely quartz crystal with Titanium rutile intrusions. It's been mounted in a custom silver setting built to allow light to flow through the crystal.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Sugilite Pendant

This specimen of sugilite is one of the two best examples in the store. It's been kept safe in a special place till I figured out how to mount it.

The silver pendant mounting is fashioned from carved stock, and it makes the piece reversible. It hangs as well obverse or reverse.

Sugilite is a fairly rare mineral, and prized for it's beautiful deep colors as well as reputed spiritual properties.


Friday, August 14, 2009

Another experiment......


I seem to be on a cross road.....

This mornings creation, a cross with two arms gracefully blended together. The bars are welded at the center and where the tips curve to touch. The whole piece is only about 1.5" long. With a chain, it will sell for $50.

A silver cross

This morning was quiet at the store, so I had a chance to try something. The cross above is made of silver stock, and two pieces of the original stock are shown alongside it. The whole piece is only about an inch long, and the wire wrap at the center of the cross is pretty fine.

The hard part? I welded together the wire where it met..... a spot so small I needed a magnifying visor to even see the joint..... and that is the smallest join I have ever made. It will sell for $28 plus a chain.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Rutile pendant


The stone in this pendant is rutile quartz crystal. Polished from a single natural crystal, the rutile intrusions are titanium oxide in a matrix. The stone itself is a little over an inch long.

I know of three rutile crystals of this quality. One belongs to me, and I carry it in my pocket. The other belongs to the store, as an example, and is not for sale. The third is this one, which I built into a pendant today. The mounting is very simple, and custom made of sterling silver. (sold)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A custom ring and pendant set


The young lady chose her stone from among thousands. "This one... I want this one near me." A pendant please, and a ring to match.....

The stone is so delicate, fracturing along lines created before any of us were alive. I did not have to cut it, but simply pried carefully in just the right spots. Will the pieces survive?

I showed the customer the nature of the stone.... but it had to be this one. Well.... so be it. A few hours on a quiet Sunday, and they are finished. Melody Gardot's tunes accompanied the work, and the result is rather pleasing to the eye. The ring seems to reflect the quality of the music.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Turquoise wire wrap ring


This piece was built to match the turquoise wire wrap pendant seen in a previous post. The person who bought the pendant wished a ring to match, and issued a challenge to do it in wire wrap. A wire wrap ring is something I have never tried before.... so naturally I leaped at the idea.

The ring is solid silver, including the welds. I began with silver wire wrapped and shaped around a mandrel, shooting for at least a size too small at that point. Once three loops were shaped to match and would line up tightly, I welded them together at the bottom of the ring. Turning it over, I touched up the shape and welded the table under where the stone would mount.

Of course, welding the silver took away some of the wire wrap look, so the weld was carefully hand shaped till it carried the lines of the silver wire.

Two silver wire loops were fashioned to match the turquoise (after it was shaped and polished) and welded to the ring head. The entire piece was then polished till it glowed in the work bench spot lights, and then stretched on a hydraulic mandrel till it exactly matched the woman's ring size.

Mounting the stone was a simple matter of setting it between the custom made silver loops, and bringing them together with a pair of jewelers pliers. A final polish.... and the piece is done.

This simple description tells a story of what took me several hours to design and make. The next was easier, now that I have the method worked out.

Meanwhile.... a phone call to make. A ladies custom made turquoise ring is ready for pickup.



Mrs. Penn's Shoppe has a fair number of fossils amongst our stones. This is one that's fascinating. A 'plate' about a foot across, it has many, many fossil fish across its surface. It's kept on display where the head flunky (Me!) can look at it occasionally.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A stunning amethyst bracelet


Just amazing to hold.... this heavy silver bracelet is home to an array of beautiful amethyst. Taking center stage in the display case at eye level, we watch people every day as they stop dead in their tracks and point to it......

Sunday, August 9, 2009



Mrs. Penn's Shoppe has case upon case of rings. Some made only here, others found and brought in for our customers. We also have hundreds of settings and thousands of stones...... There is little that our jeweler can't create for you. Simply ask!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Amber....... MMmmmm......


Some of our Amber. Always popular, for some reason these trays have been drawing people more than usual. It's gorgeous stuff...

What a beautiful day!

Saturday morning, and we are open an hour early. It's just too fine a day not to have the doors open and the fresh air singing through the shop. Already, interesting folks are stopping by to browse, and conversation is flowing. A nice couple in from Virginia, with stories of a home in the mountains near Skyline drive.... and it turns out he shares a mechanical background with me. The world really is a small place!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Labradorite pendant


Labradorite pendant

Estate ring: Gold, amethyst, diamonds

A period piece from long ago.
Amethyst and diamonds in a 14k gold setting
Size 6 $450

Silver Bracelet


A sterling silver bracelet,
vintage estate piece.

Double terminated crystal pendant


A crystal pendant, double terminated
in silver wire. Aprox. 1.5" long

Amber pendant

Amber, wrapped in gold wire.

A turquoise wrap pendant


Turquoise wrap in silver wire. Aprox. 1.2" long

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Stunning Topaz. $300

Vintage Italian gold butterfly