Turquoise: The Native StoneWritten by Tony DiCorpo
Turquoise, derived from French word for Turkish has been adored since before 4000 BC. A lot of early European turquoise came from Middle East in what today is known as country of Turkey. That is where stone’s name hails from. It is said to have healing properties, therefore beneficial to human wellness by keeping blood pure and blood pressure low.
Turquoise is December’s birthstone and signifies success. It was once considered a luxury and only for truly noble, but has since found its way into everyday lives. It is found in many countries, including United States, mainly west and southwest areas. The best grade turquoise is from Iran (formerly Persia), Tibet and China. The southwestern United States boasts high-grade turquoise as well but in U.S. where it is predominately mined, (mainly Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado) mines are either closed or fairly depleted. Therefore, most turquoise is imported from Tibet and other parts of world. The biggest use for turquoise today is by Native Americans to make jewelry.
Turquoise is a mineral, a hydrous basic phosphate. It is comprised of copper and aluminum, which is formed as water trickles through a “host” stone for what is said to be about 30 million years. Yes, 30 million! That water, over time leaves a deposit in stone. The stone can hold onto moisture or dry out. If it dries out in sunlight it can change colors, anywhere from bright blue medium green. The colors can vary too, depending on mineral components. More aluminum equals a green to white color range. More copper equals a bluer color range. If there is an addition of zinc, a yellow-green color will appear. There is not a best color in general; it is a matter of personal taste, as is a matrix. Matrix, as it is called forms because turquoise stone itself takes on colors from host stone it forms in. The host rock has been seen in black, rust, brown and even darker shades of blue or green. The most commonly seen matrix is black. You can see it well as it often resembles a spider’s web and adds to beauty of stone, making it more sought after in jewelry.
A Few Things - A Wonderful GiftWritten by Arleen M. Kaptur
Painters have graced world's cathedrals and great historic buildings with their talent with paints and brushes.
Musicians bring their melodious notes to thrill our sense of hearing and stir us emotionally. Art in whatever form you find interesting is meant to bring new vision, broaden our horizons, and let beauty into our lives. So, too, with any type of needlework or craft projects.
Whether you crochet, embroider, quilt or sew - you are bringing timeless art of needle and thread into today's world. Time has never dissipated wonder of what can be created with a few supplies, patience, and a lot of imagination and creativity. Craft projects follow suit and our homes, our holidays, and our everyday lives would be missing a wonderful personal touch if these "projects" were never completed and especially shared with family and friends.
Whether you use medium of needle and thread, felt, ceramics, clay, or whatever you desire, you embark on wonderful world of creativity. It is truly a God-given blessing to bring these few tools and transform them into articles to be used in your home as gifts, or passed on for generations as heirloom treasures. Many times our lack of experience makes us believe that no one will ever treasure or even hang on to what we make - not so. A hand-knitted sweater will always be a bit softer and warmer, a hand-made quilt so much more comforting, and those Holiday decorations will always be lovingly displayed for now and far into future. Any artist is never truly satisfied with their end-products, even though they are true masterpieces. It's just a human trait - to expect more from ourselves even while others marvel at what we have accomplished.