Cherish is Artisan’s annual Christmas retail showcase, opening in November and running throughout December. We have called this work Grounded – Nevada Turquoise from ‘Out of Our Mines’ and Barbara’s ‘handforged & reticulated’ makes, ready for Summer – Christmas 2010.

I’ll finish on the hand forged earrings but this is where Barbara and Juan-Luis started. Queensland Sapphires from Coolamon Mines and Catherine’s Matt Onyx from Hong Kong – a big family affair in Sterling Silver © Bh.


Handforged – means just that! Not cast, not reproduced in multiples, but a one-off article which has been formed and shaped with polished steel hammers and anvil. Lots of noise and skill combine to produce an end product which has a characteristic appearance and an inherent strength.

Reticulation – is a technique which uses heat, effectively almost melting the metal, to produce lovely textured surfaces that appear very ‘natural’ and can be controlled to produce specific patterns with practice. It was used extensively by craft and art jewelers in the 1960’s and early 70’s.


The Nevada Turquoise and Varascite are exclusively supplied from Richard & Helen Schull, from the Company ‘out of our mines’. This couple are second generation miners and prize winning contemporary cutters and rework old gold mining leases in San Deigo, California and their two holdings in Nevada; the Prince Mine and a stake in a rich vein in Candelaria. The Prince Mine gives forth antique Turquoise which they supply, cut and polish but not stabilise. The Varascite is also untreated and cut and rumbled from Candelaria.

The untreated local Sapphire material is again, exclusively from the Coolooamon Mine. Mined, selected and expertly cut onsite by Jenny & Jim Elliot from Sapphire, North Queensland and sold to discerning jewellery designers and traders, world wide.

All of our Matt Onyx is from our Hong Kong gem traders; Gallant Gems. This unique firm of manufacturers and exporters was started by the expert gem cutter, Mr Johnstone Fong and his wife Janis Ho, who over the past 40 years have become one of the world’s primary sources of unusual soft and hard stone gems in the most contemporary shapes and cuts.

UPDATE – 23 August 2010: We received our email confirming our acceptance, now for the rest of the work planned, to be made.