It's Showtime Again! See us November 7th at the Healing Hearts Psychic Fair

It's getting towards that time of the year again-- the Holidays.

Alchemy Stones is going "on the road" again, offering a chance for those who know us from the web to come visit us on person.

Our next event will be the Healing Hearts Psychic Fair, which takes place on Saturday, November 7th at the Baymont Inn and Suites in Bremerton, Washington. The fair hours are 10:00am till 8:00pm, and there is free parking, and no admission fee to get in.

This is the 9th year for the Healing Hearts Psychic Fair, which features a variety of classes, healing sessions, readings by psychics and intuitives, as well an area with magical arts and gift vendors, which is where you will find Alchemy Stones-- come by and visit us!

This is a charity event! A substantial portion of proceeds from the Fair goes towards supporting and helping local community members who are facing unexpected challenges and need assistance.

To help support the event, we have donated an Alchemy Stone and bag (pictured) to the event raffle.

If you live on the Kitsap Peninsula (or in the Puget Sound area, in general) we hope to see you there!

As it is early in the season, we will have an excellent selection of Alchemy Stones-- including our (almost perpetually sold out) Chakra Stone sets, individual Chakra Stones for healing and lots more... and, of course, the ever popular "petite" Alchemy Stones which make perfect stocking stuffers when you just don't know what to get someone!


New Alchemy Stone Design Ideas

"What's new?"

It's a question that gets asked a lot-- it seems woven into the fabric of human existence that we are always looking for "new" things. I sometimes get asked the same thing about Alchemy Stones, and the designs I am working on.

Alchemy Stone designs-- being nothing at all like laundry detergent (which always seems "new and improved!")-- are generally fairly constant... as they have been, since I drew the first ones, many years ago.

That said, small changes do happen.

Lately, spirals have been at the forefront of my mind, and they are showing up in more and more designs.

The spiral is an ancient symbol, dating back-- as far as historians know-- to at least the Neolithic period, thus predating writing by a significant margin.

Spirals seem to have many symbolic meanings; meanings that seem to depend somewhat on who you ask. Some see the spiral as representing the cycles of life and rebirth. Many variations of spirals occur in the natural world, so sometimes the spiral is symbolic of "natural" (as opposed to "constructed") things-- spirals have no sharp angles or "corners," which tend to be human constructs. Although circles are more commonly used, spirals are sometimes used to symbolize "Spirit," or "things spiritual."

The other new-ish designs I have been working on are stones with two or more mandalas. I tend to think of these as "relationship stones," symbolizing the connections between people, things or ideas.

Sometimes the mandalas are very similar, sometimes they are quite different... in each case, they are connected by a line that represents the invisible "threads" that connect us to each other.

Finally, to answer another question I sometimes get... No, I don't "get bored" with doing the same designs, over and over.

Much like snowflakes, each Alchemy Stone is ultimately unique and no two are ever quite "the same." Because painting the stones represent a meditation for me, I am never in the same state of mind twice, and so I never end up creating the same stone twice... either visually or energetically.


New Designs in the Alchemy Stones Shops!

Since we returned from vacation at the end of June, I have been hard at work to create new designs and restock our two Alchemy Stone shops.

The selection has never been larger or more colorful, so we'd like to invite everyone to visit our two online stores:


As we have a couple of Arts and Crafts fairs in our near future, we will be continuing to add many new designs in the coming weeks!

Announcements of the where-and-when of the shows will be posted as soon as we receive confirmation-- check back often!


Are they really all FREE Hand Painted?

It is always interesting for me to watch people look at Alchemy Stones in a "live" setting, like an arts & crafts show or festival.

People ask me "what kind of stencils" I use, and whether the designs are "a transfer." Some want to know if it "hurts my eyes" to paint in such detail. Others want to know if I sketch out the patterns before painting them on the rocks.

No, I don't use any stencils, transfers or other "plans" created ahead of time.

Alchemy Stones are 100% free-hand painted, going only by what I see inside my head. Even this large stone pictured here simply started as the single dot in the center, and then developed from there.

I simply start with a stone and some colors... and then start building a design from there. After the first few elements are laid down on the stone, I pretty much just "intuit" what to do next.

My wife insists it's "channeled information." Maybe she's right-- or maybe I just happen to be "one of those people" who work well on a really small scale. The metaphysical properties associated with a design definitely feels like channeled information, so maybe it all just walks hand in hand.

Much of the time, I have no idea what's going to come out, when I start painting. And sometimes, I'm as surprised as some of those around me who have been watching.

Alchemy Stones are definitely "inspired by" Sacred Geometry and recursive patterns in nature (fractals), but I generally don't refer to them directly as BEING Sacred Geometry because I don't want to lock myself into having to recreate accurate reproductions of the Flower of Life (for example) on every stone I paint... I'm more in favor of the "let's just see what comes out" method.

Besides, it's a lot more fun that way!

So to conclude, YES the stones are 100% free-hand painted, and every one is unique.


Vacation Time!

This is just a very brief announcement that the Alchemy Stones stores on both eBay and Etsy will be temporarily closed down on Wednesday, June 3rd for our annual vacation.

The stores will reopen for business and normal order filling will resume on Monday, June 29th.

While the shops are "offline" for purchases, you can still view what's available and bookmark favorites for later purchase. Both eBay and Etsy offer a "notify me" service that will send you an email reminder when the shops reopen.

We appreciate your patience and understanding while we take this much needed break!


Why there are so few "pale" Alchemy Stones

We periodically get asked why there seem to be so few "pale" Alchemy Stones.

Or... sometimes people want to know why almost all Alchemy Stones are dark or black, when there are usually 100s of different stone colors found on virtually every beach.

It's definitely true that lighter colored stones seldom show up in our collection. There are a few good reasons for this.

A lot of pale/white rock is quartz/granite based, and is made up of actual crystals ranging in size from a grain of sugar to... well, several inches across.

Since we have deliberately made the choice to only work with naturally tumbled beach stones, we have to work with what we can find. Most of the time, these pale stones never get truly smooth surfaces-- their surfaces are more like the skin of an orange, and the numerous tiny "pits" cause paint to flow in all sorts of directions... mostly directions where I don't want paint.

The mandala patterns on Alchemy Stones are extremely accurate and detailed... so it's simply not possible to paint them on a "rough" surface. That said, some of our large "Garden Stones" often have less smooth surfaces... it works because the level of detail on Garden Stones is much lower.

Occasionally, a pale stone will appear to be very smooth. I'll bring it home and wash it... and then start painting, only to discover that it actually has thousands of minute "fissures" (cracks) in the surface. Paint-- being liquid-- will follow any path open to it... so what starts as a straight line will look "feathered" within 10 seconds as the paint flows to fill these tiny cracks. Again, these just can't be painted well, so I generally avoid them.

By contrast, many dark stones are formed as a result of very finely powdered silt (like fine grain clay) turning into rock in the course of millions of years. These very tiny grains of silt allow for an extremely smooth and crack-free surface to form, clear of any tiny cracks to "misdirect" the paint.

One final issue I come across is that many pale stones (especially in the granite family) are not a uniform color-- they are actually patterned and multi-colored, like a granite kitchen countertop. Why is that a problem? That's a matter of personal aesthetic preferences, I suppose-- I just can't get it to "look right," a bit like trying to wear plaid and stripes together-- it hurts my eyes!

All that said, I do occasionally come across pale stones that turn out to be smooth enough to paint... and they offer a lovely contrast background for darker paint colors, as show in a couple of examples here.

Occasionally I hear "Why don't you just put the pale rocks in a rock tumbler?"

Well, whereas that might work-- in the functional sense-- it goes against our intention that Alchemy Stones are "natural" and come to you unaltered, with nothing but surface decoration added.


How Many Alchemy Stones are Made?

Somebody wrote in and asked "how many Alchemy Stones there are," and how many I make.

After considering for a bit-- and because I am an art collector, myself-- I realized that the question was indirectly asking whether Alchemy Stones are collectible and have a "value."

To be perfectly honest, Alchemy Stones really haven't been around long enough to have established a track record in that sense. That said, we already have at least a dozen people who have bought multiple stones over time and must have somewhat of a "collection" by now.

So the short answer to this line of thinking is "If you like 'em, buy your favorite ones and collect 'em!" That's how it has been for me, when I have accumulated a number of a single artist's art pottery pieces, for example.

To arrive at a more "serious" answer, I would have to respond by saying "come back and ask that question again when Alchemy Stones have been in the public eye for 8-10 years or more. And in that context, what I can tell you is that I have been working with these patterns for almost 50 years-- the last four using beach stones-- and I have no plans to stop now. So the stones will continue to be around-- this is no "temporary diversion" for me.

Now, to get back to the root of the original question, the answer is "not very many."

Keep in mind that each stone is entirely hand painted, and that creating the stones is not my "day job." Also keep in mind that each stone is not just "about the painting," but has to be found, then painted, then dried, then signed and given a finish coat... then photographed and listed on one of our web sites. This all requires a considerable time investment and puts a definite cap on how many stones can be made.

Alchemy Stones will never be a "mass production" gig... and-- perhaps-- in that you can also find part of the answer as to whether the stones will become "collectible."

Are painted stones "collectible?" Well, I'm by no means the only person who paints on beach stones, and some of my fellow stone painters do really excellent work-- so painted stones, as a whole, might be a really interesting and unique thing to build a collection of.

Now if you are just looking for the "cold hard facts," the answer is (so far) "fewer than 250 stones a year." Which is just not a whole lot, no matter how you look at it.


Alchemy Stones: What the different sizes "mean"

We have had a few people send in questions, specifically asking what the different sizes we use in descriptions-- petite, small, medium, large, etc-- actually mean. Is there a general rule we use? Is size "relative?"

Well, that's a pretty good question, so here are some rules of thumb-- although we are not terribly strict about adhering to them at all times!

"Petite" stones are generally less than 1 1/4" (30mm) on the longest dimension. The small size also means the designs tend to be fairly simple-- there's just not that much "acreage" to work with.

"Small" stones generally fall in the 1 1/4" (30mm) to about 1 7/8" (48mm) range, again using the longest dimension. The designs can be a little more complex. Most stones still fit within the realm of being good as "pocket stones."

"Medium" sized stones run from about 2" (50mm) to just shy of 3" (77mm) on the longest dimension. This is the size we most often sell as "meditation stones" because they tend to be a size that fits nicely in the hand. On this size stone, some of the designs get quite complex.

"Large" stones run from about 3" (77mm) up to about 4 1/2" to 5" (125mm) on the longest dimension, depending on the shape of the stone. These are "paperweight sized" for sure; some keep them as centerpieces on their personal altars or simply as pieces of art. Large stones have the most intricate patterns and take a really long time to create.

"Jumbo" stones are generally 5" (128mm) and larger, and I very seldom create them as "regular" Alchemy Stones because of the time involved and the rarity of completely smooth stones in big sizes. Accordingly, most really big stones I paint are "garden stones," which have far "coarser" designs and are designed to be kept outside.

Naturally,the above are merely rough guidelines and not meant to be absolute rules.


Heart Stones

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, you might be wondering how it could possibly be appropriate to give the love of your life a ROCK as a gift.

Does seem a little odd, right?

But a "gift from the heart" doesn't always have to be the obvious: Chocolate, jewelry, flowers and so on. Not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you.

But getting back to rocks, we do actually have some Alchemy Stones that are "about the heart." These are designs that were inspired by Love while I was painting them-- sometimes because I started with a heart shaped rock, sometimes not... and they can definitely be given as gifts with lasting meaning. Let's face it, few things are more "permanent" than rocks!

Typically, the most popular Heart Stones are in the "pocket stone" size-- guys carry them as personal talismans, and they serve as a constant reminder (and quite tangible) reminder of their sweetie.

Of course, you can also go a completely different route and pick up one of our Heart Chakra stones, specifically designed to help balance and soothe the Heart Chakra.

Either way, an Alchemy Stone could be the perfect gift for this Valentine's Day!


Alchemy Stones partners with Radio Nahmaste

We are very happy to announce that we have entered into a sponsorship agreement with Radio Nahmaste, a weekly radio show on iOM.fm, catering to the worldwide "Conscious Community." Alchemy Stones will be the primary sponsor of the show for the rest of 2015, and hopefully beyond.

This is an exciting development, as it will allow us to reach out to an audience interested in the unique combination of art+mysticism that is a central part of what the stones represent.

As part of our sponsorship, we will also be contributing an Alchemy Stone every month to be awarded for the show's "Nahmaste Award" given to individuals and organizations for exceptional contributions to human consciousness.

Since we are a show sponsor, we also hope you'll listen into the show-- hosted by Sarah Nash and billed as "A Different Brand of Enlightenment," it offers something for every taste within the realm of self-development, spirituality and consciousness raising. You can catch the show every Thursday at 3:00pm US Eastern/12:00 noon Pacific/9:00pm Central European time.