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The Gemstone Detective

Gemology 101

Gemstones equal millions of years of history. They begin as carbon in the mantle of the earth, then as discoveries among the rubble of the earth's crust and finally, as physical evidence of the many lives and the earth's forces that have touched each stone.  Each stone tells its individual story by the inclusions that, for a gemologist, are fascinating. For example, a ruby might contain certain mineral inclusions only found in Mynanmar thus, helping the gemologist to clearly identify the source country of the stone. The deep pigeon blood red body color that glow with red fluorescence and light-scattering...

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Inspiration and Ideas

Back when I was learning to be a metalsmith, a teacher once advised a design class to always go with the third idea, not the first or the second.   Now this does not mean I cannot make the first two that end up in the sketch book, it just means to create everything in multiples of three in order to see the original design or ideation through.   Very often, the third piece is the best one of the series. Let's talk about design and how this all relates.   How do I come up with my designs?  ...

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Inspiration at my Jeweler's Bench

Inspiration at my Jeweler's Bench

Hand Made Jewelry all begins at the jeweler's bench. Actually, it really starts way before. It begins with inspiration! For each artist, the source is different and quite variable, but for Ellen Lyons there are three major sources: travel, nature and the beach.

In Plovdiv, Bulgaria there is an Ottoman Era Mosque wall with a tantalizing texture provided by century old bricks and mortar laid out in a pattern that is eye-catching. A single rose stands in front accenting the brownish red bricks. Mother Nature leaving her mark with one of her beautiful and aromatic flowers.

In Rome, a section of the old Roman road trampled by thousands of horses hooves and chariot wheels also has a beautiful pattern of stones of various hues and saturation levels of color. Rubbed smooth by the centuries, one can almost feel the pounding of hooves and the rolling of the wheels. Patterns that can be translated into metal with a variety of hammers.

Zoom in on a beach somewhere in Mexico where there are shells and the remains of fish bones that provide contrasting color and textures that are translated into reticulated silver and watery and sky colored gemstones such as iolite and sapphires. Green and turquoise colored apatite with yellow topaz and rhodolite garnets representing the iridescent shell nacre. These are just some of the precious stones that Ellen Lyons Jewelry Designs is inspired by and works with on a daily basis.


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Travel, A Vehicle for Inspiration!

Etruscan Etruscan inspired reticulated silver Gold Granulation Italia Italy One-of-a-kind work Repousee Reticulated Silver Store news

Travel, A Vehicle for Inspiration!

Travel is a vehicle for inspiration for an artist.  Inspiring and overwhelming at times with all the visual stimulation.  Patterns abound.   Even the mirrored images of buildings seen reflected in the the Arno River in Florence or the floor tiles in a gallery located in an ancient palazzo in Venice can provide ideas for earrings, pendants and rings.  There are also beautiful displays of gelato and sorbetto! This is why Ellen Lyons carries a sketchbook at all times.  From Venice, to Florence, through both the Tuscan and Umbrian hills and all the way to Rome.  Always.   A sketchbook,...

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Susan Said What!

Susan Said What!

Please visit http://susansaidwhat.com/2017/09/21/ellen-lyons-jewelry/ to see some of my wonderful new work for Fall 2017.   

Fall is that time when I look to the trees, the sky, Puget Sound and the mountains for color inspiration.   Deep reds, gold and sunflower yellow, oranges, lavender, greens, plums and blues.   Translated into garnets, rubies, Padparascha sapphires, emeralds, tanzanites, fossilized coral, sponge coral, sunstone, tourmalines and apatites.    Walking, hiking and just being in nature provides the inspiration while gazing upon this glorious color palette.   Red is a popular color this year and rubies, garnets and red colored beads are being featured in the sterling silver and reticulated silver pieces currently coming out of the studio.    

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