You probably already know I'm participating in the Year of Jewelry Project 2011. It's been quite inspiring for me and I'm really pleased with the pieces I've created using the YOJ weekly themes. But a month ago, I missed a week - week 5. I was out of town and didn't get a chance to make up the week until now.
The theme I missed was "Down and Dirty". I was actually a little glad that I wouldn't be able to make the deadline for this one because the theme just had me stumped. Down and Dirty? Huh?
Last week, as I was going through my stash of stones, I found this red plume agate that I'd purchased over a year ago. Whenever I'm working with a new stone, I do a little research on it, mainly to make sure that the stone is labeled properly and how hard or soft the stone is so that I set it properly. When researching red plume agates, I found a picture of it in its natural uncut state. It looks like a ball of hardened dirt. All the color is buried inside the rock and not revealed until the rock is broken open. The website advised rock hounds to be observant in their search for it because the dirt-like appearance makes it easy to overlook. Down and Dirty! My quest for a link to week 5's theme was fulfilled.
The stone is primarily a rusty red color with plumes of gray/blue and tan. I paired it with a holly lavender chalcedony accent stone, trying to pick up on some of the blue/gray in the focal stone. I also purchased a new texturing hammer and did a little experimenting with that to create some definition in the sterling silver back plate. I added some sterling twigs in keeping with the earthy, dirt theme and a little sunburst behind the lavender accent stone. I've added a light patina to bring out the detail in the texture.
I've listed it in my etsy shop here.