May 17, 2021 1 Comment
If you are a regular reader of our blog, you will know that I do not typically write a full article about a single piece of jewelry. Normally I cover several pieces within one article. On the rare occasion that I do speak specifically about a single jewelry piece, it tends to be something quite exciting and newsworthy. Today I have a pendant to share with you that fits that description for three main reasons. First, it was handmade by my father, Gary Glandon, right here at Stagecoach. For obvious reasons I greatly value his work and can offer you information directly from the artist. The second reason this pendant deserves a dedicated article is that it features an advanced technique that Gary has never used before. Finally, it is altogether different from anything we have had on offer in the past and not something that any of our Native American jewelry artists currently offer. Do I have your attention yet? Good, let’s discuss this new pendant from Gary Glandon
There is a super talented jewelry designer named Michael Boyd that we have followed for some time. He creates some really fascinating, almost radical designs that can only be described as works of art. Looking at his work and the description on his website you can see that he puts great emphasis on his lapidary work (seriously, look him up, his work is pretty incredible). He uses a technique dubbed stone on stone that is the process of setting a stone over top of another stone. The process of setting a stone straight into silver or gold is not terribly difficult because you have a pliable material that can be formed and soldered. This is done commonly by jewelry artists all around the world. However, setting a stone into another stone is a different story and much more challenging. This is a technique that Gary has always admired but never tried. After a fair bit of studying and thought, he was finally able to give it a try.
The first order of business was to choose two stones that could go well together. He settled on lapis lazuli with turquoise set on top. This was a fitting choice because the dark blue lapis helps make the lighter turquoise stand out nicely. Most lapis lazuli comes from Afghanistan and its beauty has been prized for centuries, much like turquoise. These stones were used together in ancient Egypt’s most famous artifact, the mask of King Tutankhamen. I guess if the combination was good enough for King Tut, it is good enough for Gary Glandon.
I won’t bore you with all of the details on how Gary attached these stones. Besides, I don’t want to spoil all of the magic and intrigue behind this pendant. I will say that the turquoise is not simply stuck on with glue or anything of that sort. Gary used a form of riveting to secure the turquoise over the lapis and then added a tiny bit of jeweler’s adhesive for added strength. You can rest assured that these two stones are very secure and are not going to come apart without some sort of outside force. The process behind stone on stone is quite tricky but makes for a very pretty and unusual look.
You can see how the turquoise stone is set directly over the lapis lazuli. This is such an unusual, but very attractive look.
As for the rest of this pendant, Gary decided to keep it simple. He added a small silver bar at the bottom with some hammered texturing. He quite literally uses a hammer (this is a specialized jewelry hammer, not something found at your local hardware store) to pound a texture into the silver. Then he blackens these marks to make them stand out better. Below this bar, you can see three small silver balls, another detail that Gary soldered on for a little extra decoration. And that is basically it, no extra flare to detract from the tidy and alluring stone on stone look.
As you can see, there is a lot packed into this pendant. It may appear simple at first glance but this is actually an advanced technique that you will not see used by many artists. The apparent simplicity behind this pendant speaks to how well Gary executed this technique. It is clean and professionally done, a remarkable feat for his very first stab at stone on stone. Gary has been making jewelry for decades but still has a desire to learn new things and challenge himself. I believe this is one of the things he enjoys most about making jewelry. Of course, you and I are the real benefactors when he creates such delightful and captivating jewelry such as this. I hope you enjoy seeing him do new challenging new things as much as I do!
Obviously, because this pendant is completely handmade we only have one of these. I assume Gary will want to make other stone on stone jewelry in the future but I do not know of any current plans at this time. If you are interested in this pendant I would not wait too long. Otherwise, be on the lookout for more Gary Glandon Handmade Jewelry here or on our Instagram.
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