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Blue Mojave Turquoise Peruvian Pink Opal Picnic Hoops

One of a kind, 3.75”, handcrafted, sterling silver hoop earrings with blue Mojave turquoise Peruvian pink Opal  composite stones. The stones are sourced from a lapidary artist living in Colorado. He’s talented & kind, & I love being able to support his small businesses with mine. 
These are called picnic hoops because picnics are fun & free & a delight, & I hope to channel this energy in this design. Plus you’d look really good in them at a picnic...

All the turquoise I use is always from the Four Corners region of the USA because we have plenty on this land, & also to reduce our global footprint via fossil fuels that shipping collectively requires.

Process:

I stamp & saw out all the flourishes, then solder everything together in several steps.

Once the soldering is complete, pieces are washed in warm, soapy water, then dried & brought through a series of buffs to polish is up. I use 4 different bristle discs, starting from hardest to softest, then I use a buff with polish. 
After this part, I go inside & put the tea kettle on & drop the nearly finished pieces into a ceramic bowl in which I also add a chunk of sulfur. Once the water is heated, I bring it all outside because it’d smell like a high school prank & no one wants a stink bomb in their house! The smell is worth it, though. The hot water activates the sulfur to patina the pieces darker. I let everything soak for several minutes, dump the water against the fence (don’t worry- it’s non toxic!), then rinse remainder dark eater off.

I put the blackened jewels in a tumbler with a special media that ultimately creates the desired look. This tumbler will run 9-12 hours/ overnight. In the morning I turn it off, dump into a strainer, pull out the pieces, dry them off, & gleefully bring them into my studio for my favorite part: stone setting! Once I set the stones, using between 2-5 different tools to do so (depending on the project)- the piece is complete! And here you go- you’re looking at a high quality labor of love. May you enjoy & wear in good health & happiness.

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