“TELL ME WHY STONES ARE SO IMPORTANT TO YOU AND TO YOUR WORK?”
That’s what my web developer asked me when I told her all my designs are semi-precious stones, with precious metals used in a supporting role for the clasps and earrings. She first had asked what kind of woman would buy my work, so I told her what my business card said, “Natural Treasures – Jewelry for the Woman who loves Nature’s Beauty” (that was easy, I thought with relief).
But no one had ever asked why stones feature so prominently in the jewelry I design. It took me a while to answer her. She waited very patiently – she must have known it was a profound moment.
I began to think out loud, recounting what I felt passionately about regarding Nature. I told her I contribute what I can to several legal defense organizations that seek to make sure permits are not given to those who would blow up and haul away mountaintops in search of coal, dumping the residue in the valleys where people’s water becomes unsafe to drink. Or drillers who force chemically treated water into shale to free gas and oil but are irresponsibly polluting the ground water and wells, same result! I feel outraged that our natural resources, even on public lands, are sometimes being exploited at the expense of citizens whose health and well-being are often ignored – and the Earth ravished!
This is an aerial photograph of a site in our Appalachian Mountains where we can see the contrast between the denuded access area on the left (gouged out several hundred feet to reach the coal layers) and the forested hills that are habitat for native species, prevent erosion and provide naturally filtered water. See more at www.earthjustice.org/mountain-heroes
Then I spoke of the calming, indeed, the restorative effect Nature has on people. Even a little park seems an important feature in a big city neighborhood to those who live nearby. And the grandeur of tall trees or a cascading waterfall seems to rekindle the human spirit, according to those who study such things and from my personal experience.
At last the answer rose to the surface: “I guess the stones represent to me a personal, tangible connection to the vanishing solace and inspiration of Nature.” Silvercloud