Friday, February 8, 2013

Spiny Oysters and Onyx

Introducing the Spiny Oyster.
We had found some spiny oyster bracelets in Gallup, NM, but we had never seen what the actual spiny oyster shell looked like. But here at the American Indian Exposition, one venue of the Gem, Mineral, and Fossil Showcase, in Tucson was the real thing--half "before" and half "after" the spines had been removed and the shell polished.

And some jewelry made from the shells found in the Sea of Cortez.

The necklaces made with "slabs" from the shells showed the attention to detail that went into the production of these necklaces.
The works of about 80 artists were displayed in a small motel conference room. We wondered just how many different artists were represented in these photos of Navajo sterling silver and turquoise bracelets.



One of our last stops was at the display from Onyx and Antler from Jackson Hole, WY.

Whether it took the form of rectangular slabs, cylinders, or rectangular columns, the onyx paired with light bulbs created stunning showpieces.
These were the type of creations that would become the center of attention in any room. As their slogan goes: "Turn your house into a home with unique home decor from Onyx and Antler."












Equally intriguing were these onyx bowls.
Onyx is soft, and skilled artisans can create beautiful bowls, vases and plates by turning solid stone blocks on lathes.

Blue onyx stones were turned into the bowls and glasses shown here.

For barely scratching the surface of displays by gem, mineral, and fossil dealers in the two weeks leading up to the major gem show next weekend, this was an impressive introduction to this major show and marketplace.

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