Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy Trails: Volume 8 ( December 22, 2014-December 29, 2014)


This past month has been a very busy time for Touchstone Gallery and we would like to share with you a recent piece that has been sold! This interesting fossil piece of a Dyrosaurus skull was sold in the Santa Fe gallery and taken home with a customer in Florida to be put on display for everyone to see. This carnivorous crocodile was a marine predator during the Cretaceous period. Around 14 million years ago this large animal reached 6 meters in size with slender jaws and curved teeth indicating a fish diet. Fast moving fish were easily caught by the long and sharp teeth this predator possessed! This crocodilian creature swam as fast as it walked indicated by its large leg bones and overall size with a lightly built skull. This Dyrosaurus is a wonderful display piece that is being sent on its happy trail home!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Mystic Gem of the Caribbean Sea

Larimar in Jewelry: Larimar is a rare, natural occurring, blue gem that reflects Touchstone Gallery’s motto, “nature’s art etched in stone.” This beautiful gem is so mystic and is commonly featured in jewelry. Touchstone Gallery offers several Larimar jewelry pieces that are the perfect gift to those blue color lovers or even a gift to treat you! When designed into jewelry, this blue stone gives a sophisticated and confident look that shows well in any place!


Legend and Lore: Larimar is a beautiful, rare, blue gem. The natives of the Dominican Republic believed the stone came from the sea and called the gem, Blue Stone. The beautiful blues of the stone are believed to be the colors of the Caribbean Sea, where it was discovered. Miguel Méndez, the second person on record that discovered the stone, had a daughter named Larissa and named the blue gem after her and mar (Spanish word for “sea”) forming the name Larimar.

Science of Gem Formation: Larimar is a type of pectolite. Pectolite is commonly found in many places, but none have the unique volcanic blue coloration of Larimar, which makes this gem so rare. The blue color that is so distinct from other pectolites is the result of copper substitution for calcium. This rare, blue pectolite then fills volcanic cavities in the south coast of the island. After the volcanic cavities erode the gem is then carried into the sediments of the sea which wash up along the shore.


Revealed by Man: On November of 1916, Father Miguel Domingo Fuertes Loren of the Barahona Parish discovered a blue rock in the Dominican Republic. He later asked permission to explore more of the land where he had discovered the rock and the request were rejected. Later on in 1974, Miguel Méndez and Norman Rilling rediscovered Larimar. Larimar is now mined only in the Dominican Republic.

Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of larimar and many other fascinating natural art pieces in our Touchstone Galleries in Santa Fe (127 W. San Francisco St.), Scottsdale (4168 N. Marshall Way), Sedona (320 N. State Route 89A) and Taos (110 S. Plaza), or online at www.touchstonegalleries.com.   

Monday, December 15, 2014

Peacock Marble: Seven Colored Creations

Home Décor Factors and Suggestions: Peacock marble is a beautiful marble décor piece that is the perfect accent to your home. Peacock marble has many gorgeous colors that are caused by different traces of minerals. Add these home décor pieces to your home!


 Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story
The home décor pieces pictured have several uses. The black and orange canister pictured below can be perfect to store your sugar and flour or it can be simply used as a cookie jar. The bowl above can accent your hallway table; even add a few sunflowers to really make this marble pop! The vase below could be the perfect flower vase!
Legend and Lore: Marble is derived from many root words of several different languages that are similar in context. The Greek term, mármaros, meaning “shining stone” is the most accurate comparison to marble. Marble is a natural gleaming stone! Marble was a popular carving stone to the ancient Greeks. The most well-known marble sculpture is the sculpture of David, done by Michelangelo.

Science of Formation: Peacock marble is formed from limestone by the heat and pressure of the Earth’s crust. The recrystallization of the marble causes the limestone to change in texture and color. The impurities present in the limestone during the recrystallization process affect the color and pattern composition. Peacock marble contains several traces of minerals that give the marble a wide variety of colors giving it the name of seven colored creations.

Revealed by Man: These beautiful colorful pieces of peacock marble are mined near the Himalayas and Yunnan of Southwest China. The marble is then carved into beautiful pieces of art and put on display at Touchstone gallery.

Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of Peacock Marble and many other fascinating natural art pieces in our Touchstone Galleries in Santa Fe (127 W. San Francisco St.), Scottsdale (4168 N. Marshall Way), Sedona (320 N. State Route 89A) and Taos (110 S. Plaza), or online at www.touchstonegalleries.com.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Perfect Gift: Mark Hines’ Creations

Décor Factors and Suggestions: Mark Hines’ designs range from beautiful vases to candle holders to colorful clocks. There are many uses for these home décor creations. Gift a lovely ruby red vase to a dear friend while keeping the oil candle leaf trivet for you. This trivet is perfect on a dining table centerpiece for any holiday dinner.


Mark Hines’ clocks are the best gift to someone who is always conscious of the time. Add some color and bubbliness to your home with these colorful clocks. Accent your walls with the ruby red candle holders that are sure to make any occasion illuminated.
  
About the Artist: Mark Hines began his artwork career in prestige blown glass pieces and the patient art of ceramics. He now creates modernized slumped glass pieces that are created from his previous knowledge he gained when working with ceramics and glass blowing. He has been working in visual arts for more than 36 years. Mark Hines’ design has been featured in Architectural Digest and has been commissioned by the City of Tempe Arizona for their Annual Awards.








The Making of the Art Products: Glass ceramics is a tedious art technique that combines the skill of glass making and ceramics. Glass ceramics has a beautiful artful outcome. When sculpting you add glass in the clay before you place the art piece in the kiln. This is a very difficult art technique that Mark Hines proves to accomplish in the most beautiful manner!

Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of Mark Hines’ Artwork and many other fascinating natural art pieces in our Touchstone Galleries in Santa Fe (127 W. San Francisco St.), Scottsdale (4168 N. Marshall Way), Sedona (320 N. State Route 89A) and Taos (110 S. Plaza), or online at www.touchstonegalleries.com.   

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

December: Tasteful Topaz

Topaz in Jewelry- Topaz comes in many different colors and varieties. Touchstone Gallery offers many different kind of topaz, including champagne topaz, white topaz, mystic topaz, and blue topaz, all pictured below. At Touchstone Gallery, we have topaz earrings, necklaces, and bracelets that are sure to please. Topaz jewelry would be the perfect gift for someone special that was born in December, seeing that it is one of the birthstones for that month.

Champagne topaz has a light brown color and when paired with white topaz, like in the earring above, it looks spectacular. The mystic topaz has an exciting display of colors, from purple to green to yellow. Blue topaz is a simple yet elegant variety of topaz that is so very stunning.



Legend and Lore- In the Middle Ages, topaz was used to refer to any yellow stone, but the name is more specific now. Blue topaz is the birthstone for the month of December and yellow topaz is the birthstone for the month of November. The name topaz comes from the Sanskrit word for fire. Topaz is sometimes referred to as Imperial Topaz because it was found in the royal jewels of the 18th and 19th century Russian Czarinas. The Greeks believed that topaz was able to make a person stronger and possibly make the wearer invisible as well. 

Science of Mineral Formation- Topaz occurs in pegmatites, which is a type of rock that contains feldspars, quartz, and mica that has a similar composition to granite. Topaz is also found in high temperature quartz veins and sometimes in granite and rhyolites.

Revealed by Man- Topaz was first found on the island or Topaoas in the Red Sea, from where it got its name. Topaz has been found and mined in the United States, Russia, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Australia, Germany, Norway, and many other countries across the globe.

Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of topaz and many other fascinating natural art pieces in our Touchstone Galleries in Santa Fe (127 W. San Francisco St.), Scottsdale (4168 N. Marshall Way), Sedona (320 N. State Route 89A) and Taos (110 S. Plaza), or online at www.touchstonegalleries.com.  

Monday, December 8, 2014

Mexican Onyx: Banded Form of Calcite

Home Décor Factors and Suggestions: The layers in Mexican Onyx are very diverse and apparent. These natural formed layers are what make these bowls so unique. Mexican Onyx bowls are fascinating home décor pieces that are perfect for your dining room table or even your coffee table! Touchstone Gallery offers many bowl pieces that will be sure to feel just right for your table.


These particular bowls were mined in Mexico, carved, and polished into naturally stunning bowls. The bowl above still maintains a natural forming rim and clearly distinguishes each band of color and design. The bowl below is a long wave form with the distinguished bands showing as well.

Home Décor Featuring a Fascinating Story

Legend and Lore: This stone was used as early as the Second Dynasty in Egypt. The Egyptians used onyx to create bowls and other pottery accents. The name, Onyx, is a Greek word that means ‘nail of a finger or claw.’ The Greek myth derived this name after Eros had cut Venus’ fingernails in her sleep and left the scattered nails on the ground, and since no part of a gods’ body can die the gods had turned the nails into stone.


Science of Mexican Onyx: Mexican Onyx is  not even onyx, it is banded calcite that resembles the mineral, onyx. Banded calcite forms from the precipitating calcium filled water inside caverns or on limestone cliffs. This particular type of calcite forms as a strange globular growth. These growths continually accumulate in the caves and begin to form layers. Layers frequently have impurities when forming, trapping in leaves, twigs, moss etc. which makes these bands so diverse.

Revealed by Man: Banded Onyx is commonly found and mined in Mexico and in Pakistan. Onyx is mined and carved into home décor bowls, jewelry beads and cabochons that are shipped off to our galleries and put on display for consumers.

Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of Mexican onyx and many other fascinating natural art pieces in our Touchstone Galleries in Santa Fe (127 W. San Francisco St.), Scottsdale (4168 N. Marshall Way), Sedona (320 N. State Route 89A) and Taos (110 S. Plaza), or online at www.touchstonegalleries.com.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Heartfelt Cure Collection

Touchstone Gallery is proud to present Heartfelt Cure Collection. This inspirational jewelry collection was designed with a heartfelt spirit of love, hope and remembrance, by Susan Heike-Wilhelm. Its intention is to extend our support for those who have been touched by cancer, whether it be a patient, family member or friend, all of whom need our tenderness as they hope for a remission and cure. Susan and Joseph Wilhelm, owners of the Touchstone Galleries are honored to contribute proceeds from these beautifully crafted art-forms to the "American Cancer Association", research department, to one day realize the cure. In remembrance of the loved one lost to this disease, our sincere gratitude for your support.


--Joe & Sue






Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Tanzania’s Gem: Tanzanite

Tanzanite in Jewelry: Tanzanite is a stunning purplish blue gem that is commonly featured in jewelry. Tanzanite is so naturally stunning that many jewelry pieces feature the rough, unpolished tanzanite. The naturally formed tanzanite is extremely rare and is only found in the Mererani hills of Northern Tanzania. Touchstone gallery offers marvelous jewelry pieces featuring the precious blue gem!



Legend and Lore: Legend of the gemstone, Tanzania, says that the cattle herders of Masai, Tanzania were the first to notice the stone. This gem was said to be noticed 30 years after a fire caused by lightening had burned areas in Masai. The herders noted that the brown zoiscite crystals had turned a different color. The color was a deep blue-purple due to the heat from the fire.


Formation of Tanzanite: Natural tanzanite is trichroic, meaning it shows three colors. The three concurrent colors are brown, blue, and violet. These crystals are formed through heating which occurs underground by metamorphic occurrences or is heated in a furnace by man to remove the brown of the gem.

Revealed by Man: In 1967, this beautiful blue gem was discovered in the Northern part of Tanzania. The gem was then named after the country in which it was discovered by Tiffany & Co. The American Gem Trade Association then decided to use Tanzanite as December’s designated birthstone in 2002. This was the first change to the December birthstone list since 1912.

Touchstone Gallery Offers a Wide Variety of Nature’s Art Etched in Stone
We invite you to view our current offerings of tanzanite and many other fascinating natural art pieces in our Touchstone Galleries in Santa Fe (127 W. San Francisco St.), Scottsdale (4168 N. Marshall Way), Sedona (320 N. State Route 89A) and Taos (110 S. Plaza), or online at www.touchstonegalleries.com.