Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Bright red bamboo coral

I was thrilled to receive some bright red bamboo coral this week in a variety of cuts - chunks like above, slices and tubes. Red is such a hard colour to find in a gemstone - mineral or organic - yet so many people want it! But I can see why - it is a great accent colour - it will add some punch to a plain outfit and is suitable for all seasons. Think of the wow factor of a bright red necklace with a white sundress in summer and a black or chocolate fine knit sweater in winter.

Naturally, when I receive something that grabs my attention I just have to make some of it up immediately! So I now have three red necklaces in stock - all in bamboo coral, but all completely different.

Coral is one of the earliest used jewellery materials - Neolithic amulets have been found in Switzerland dating back to 8000 BC! Almost every cilivization since then, which had access to warm seas or traded with someone who did, has used coral for ornamentation.

What is termed 'coral' are the structures of generations of tiny invertebrates, built out of calcium carbonate and/or protein. Bamboo coral is a branch-like structure interspersed with joint-like areas. As the structure no longer has living coral in it, when it is harvested the colour is creamy white with brown or black markings. The porous nature of the coral means that it takes a dye well - so the result is a lovely bright red colour. Although soft by mineral gemstone standards (a 3-4 on the hardness scale), bamboo coral is reasonably tough and will take a high polish.

As it is an organic gemstone, it is susceptible to damage from chemicals and heat. It is best to wipe over with a soft cloth regularly and you can clean coral in a weak solution of cool water and mild detergent.


I haven't had a lot of time this week for perusing the web, especially as I have been getting ready to exhibit my wares at the Dunedoo Show this Saturday, 4 April at the Dunedoo Showgrounds (I'll be in the ladies pavillion - if you're attending come and say hello!) but I always find time for a little web surfing and came across these lovelies that I wanted to share:

* If you're feeling nostalgic and want a taste of yesteryear, then check out the showroom at EP Designs;

* For a cute, whimsical critter to sit on your desk or shelf and make you smile, check out this little guy from Alexia of ARRRT! on Etsy. Isn't he adorable!? Alexia also makes journals and other fun 'stuff'!

Till next :)
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