September 30, 2021
Hello everyone! It has certainly been a while since the last time I posted an article. I apologize for this, there has been a lot going on around here at Stagecoach. Today I have a short update for you that I think is pretty special. As you probably know, my father, Gary Glandon, is a silver and goldsmith who makes some of our turquoise jewelry. He has a workbench in the back of our store where his creations become reality. This includes a vast assortment of tools, such as hammers, saws, and files. It also includes larger jewelry equipment like his torch and buffing machine. He has collected all of these tools over the last several decades since he first learned silversmithing from the Native Americans. The experience and knowledge that he has garnered over that time have made him a master at his craft. It also makes him a very good potential teacher...
Today I am going to show you a brand new turquoise bracelet that I designed and made. Of course, I had Gary’s helpful oversight guiding me along. However, this is my original design that I am quite proud of. This bracelet has a lovely blue Sonoran Mountain turquoise stone. This is the sister stone to Sonoran Gold turquoise. The difference is that Sonoran Mountain tends to be primarily blue instead of green. This stone has fairly deep blues with a few lighter areas. There are also some nice browns mixed in that provide a little contrast. I picked this stone from Gary’s collection of turquoise cabochons that he gets from some of the most well-known turquoise dealers in the United States.
I picked this particular turquoise stone for of its beautiful deep blue coloring and because its size and shape perfectly fit the bracelet's concept in my head.
The most notable feature of this bracelet’s design is the cut-out stars on either side of the stone. I thought this was a unique style that I had not seen used before. The stars merge into the center helping to draw your eyes to the turquoise. Separating the stars from the rest of the bracelet are deeply engraved lines. The remainder of the bracelet is a textured border surrounding an area of flat sterling silver. I added this texturing by hand using a special tool designed for this job. My father engraved did the engraving work as this is a particular skill that I have not yet tried my hand at. You will notice one final unique design element near the cuff’s opening. The ends continue the pointed styling found in the stars and have their own small cutouts. All things together, I believe this is a really interesting and unique design and is different than any other turquoise bracelet that I have seen before.
The design of this bracelet required a lot of planning and composition. Then the heavy silver took a lot to cut.
As with all of our turquoise jewelry, this bracelet is solid sterling silver. We purposely used heavier silver than normal for a piece like this (14 gauge) because of the star cutouts. We wanted to ensure that even with these openings it still had ample rigidity and strength. Using this amount of silver required ample investment in materials as well added time during the cutting process. When working with silver you must ensure that everything is thought-out before beginning. One dire mistake can cost a lot of money in materials. I spent a lot of initial time sketching and reconfiguring in order to make sure everything was correct. The intricate shape of this bracelet needed a lot of time to cut. Also, such a heavy piece can be a little challenging during the soldering process. More metal demands more heat, which takes a bigger, hotter torch flame. These are a few of the challenges that we had while making this turquoise bracelet.
That about covers all of the information about this Sonoran turquoise star bracelet. I hope you have enjoyed reading about how this was made. I am proud of how this turned out and I hope that I will be able to create other special designs in the future. As always, be on the lookout for more handmade turquoise jewelry from Gary and myself and please contact us if you have any questions or are searching for something in particular. You can browse our current collection of Stagecoach Originals at this link. Until next time I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day!
April 20, 2022
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