Its still pretty chilly here with winter still hanging on, but there are some warmer moments (and flies!! already!!!) but a more springlike air is noticeable and this goes hand in hand with a renewed interest in jewellery by my clients.
I was interviewed by Indie Entrepreneur recently and the interview has just been published online. Check it out at http://indieentrepreneur.blogspot.com/ . :) This is a great site with regular useful business tips and a weekly interview with an indie business/designer - which gives great insight into how we all work and design.
Today's piece is malachite, sterling silver and rock crystal quartz - a pretty combination isn't it? Malachite is a gorgeous stone - the wonderful orbicular patterns just scream to be admired. However it is a difficult stone to match other stones with - the rich, verdant green clashes with a lot of other colours until you think nothing is ever going to match it. But silver looks great with it and rock crystal quartz is such a complimentary stone that it does go with malachite, brilliantly.
Malachite is a relatively soft stone with a hardness of 3.5 to 4, so I confine my use as necklaces where it is unlikely to sustain knocks or rub against harder things that might scratch it over time. It has been used as decoration in jewellery and amulets by many cultures including ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman societies. As was the case with Lapis Lazuli, malachite was used a paint pigment and also ground up as eyeshadow.
Found in various localities, including Zaire, Australia, Chile, Namimbia, Zimbabwe and the USA. The Urals in Russia was the most important site for malachite at one period in history, with blocks over 20 tons being mined.
Metaphysically, malachite is considered a powerful stone that heals and protects. It encourages risk taking and change, draws out deep feelings and releases inhibitions. Also called the 'midwife stone' it facilitates childbirth and enhances the immune system.