Monday, November 22, 2010

Kelly Landrey sets my heart a-flutter...

... with her beautiful feathered creations! If you've followed our blog, you would remember that Gail sent Kelly some new feathers to work with and has she ever.

Kelly painstakingly layers all of these feathers and then hand binds them together with delicately facetted glass, mother of pearl pieces and of course, sterling silver. Mini works of art!

And following up on another older blog, remember those new copper pieces that Alex was polishing? Well here is the beautiful necklace they became.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Watching Stone Cutters in Antsirabe

Madagascar is an amazing place with amazing people and I can really recommend that people travel there. A few days were spent in Antananarivo looking up basket places, jewelry manufacturers and leather manufacturers. Then off to Antsirabe - a town that in it's hey day (around 1940's) was a fashionable spa town due to the natural hot springs. Now it is pretty shabby, but with the finding of minerals and mining, it is still a humming place and totally charming.

The road from Tana to Antsirabe was horrendous - 4 nasty accidents along the way and lots of sweating from me in the back seat. It took us 4 hours to travel 180km and our lovely driver and guide, Rudi, got us there safely! In Antsirabe, we were met by our gemologist guide - Lever. Kev could not wait to go and set off immediately for the closest mining town. He thought he had hit the mother lode when he saw a big rose quartz (see picture) in the road. Little did we realise there were tons and tons around the corner! Kev soon got bored of looking at the mines, wandering around the mountain top market and demanded to go to the stone market to haggle for stones. That is where he found his element and we could have left him there for a week! He loved the shiny blue stones and I spent my time digging around for anything unusual in the quartz stones. I was fascinated with the rutile quartz and any quartz with fancy inclusions. At the end of our trip, Kev swopped my gem books and scale for a packet of garnets!!

Anyway, we loved every minute of travelling through Madagascar and will definitely go back and venture further in next time. I can't wait to show the Ndau design team the unusal stones we bought them and really look forward to seeing what amazing pieces they produce from them!