Alchemy Stone Designs: Contrast Stones

I originally got the idea for what I now call "Contrast Stones" from the truism that light can't exist without darkness to give it a frame of reference, and from the psychological and spiritual precept that even the the most "shiny" people we meet have their "shadow" sides.

Medium sized stone with contrasting inset
How does this translate into an Alchemy Stone design?

Contrast Stones can be recognized because they mostly look like other designs, except for the fact that there's a small contrasting "surprise" somewhere in the design... done in colors that stand in sharp contrast to the rest of what's going on.

In part, these designs are also inspired by the Japanese aesthetic concept of Wabi-Sabi, which can be loosely described as "beauty in imperfection."

A little bit of the inspiration also comes from a period in my 20's when I got quite interested in the beautiful and colorful geometric patterns of Amish quilts. One of the attributes of these was that these otherwise amazing designs often had a "deliberate mistake" sewn into the pattern as a reminder that seeking perfection is prideful, and scorned upon.


Alchemy Stone Designs: Faerie Stones

Our "Faerie Stones" are the tiniest of all Alchemy Stones, some measuring less than 1/2" across. Being so tiny, they are also the most difficult to create, as there is almost nothing to hold on to.

They originally came about because Sarah wanted to have her marvelous polymer clay Faerie sculptures include a few Faeries holding a small Alchemy Stone... but these stones had to be "in proportion" to a figure standing maybe 5-6" tall.

Faerie Stones shown with a dime for scale reference
The first "Faerie Stone" was purely an experiment (and was not very attractive!), but eventually I made a few nicer quality stones. In time, we took some of them to an arts and crafts fair and they were among the most popular things we had-- especially with miniature collectors. A surprising number have ended up being part of "scale" dollhouse furnishings. A few have also been incorporated into jewelry.

The photo at left shows a selection of Faerie Stones with a a US dime for size comparison.

The supply of Faerie Stones is generally quite limited because we find very few tiny stones smooth enough to accept a miniature design. You might wonder why that is... well, with a rougher ("sandpapery") surface it's impossible to make a sharp and crisp line, so the stone surface must be exceptionally smooth in order for such a tiny design to not look "muddy."

We offer Faerie Stones for just $4 each, which we feel is pretty reasonable for an entirely handmade piece of art. At this time, they are sold individually only through the Red Dragonfly Gallery in Port Townsend, WA... or (when available) in sets of SIX for $20, through our Etsy store.


And now for something completely different: Symbol Stones!

For followers of these pages, you have probably come to see that "Alchemy Stones" are primarily works of exceptional accuracy and detail.

I have always been fascinated by nature and detailed patterns-- when I was a kid, the Spirograph was my favorite toy. When my father gave me my first "serious" camera-- for my 16th birthday-- my interest was not in taking pictures of parties or sweeping vistas... but in trying to photograph the tiny patterns found in the seed settings of a sunflower, or in old fossils in rocks.

But sometimes, all this detail and precision does get to be a little too much!

So what happens when a rock painter basically "flips out" and wants to do something more free form?

Symbol Stones!

Symbol stones are basically free-form pictographs (perhaps inspired a bit by cave drawings?) done in silver, surrounded by "shapes" in a specific color. Cave drawings? Remnants of an alien language stored somewhere in my DNA? Who knows...

I am not sure what-- if anything-- they "mean," but they are unusual and colorful... and because I can make them fairly quickly, they are also fairly inexpensive, at just $3.00 each or $25 for 10.

I haven't previously written about them because they have not been available through our web shops-- only "in person" when we went to fairs and festivals-- but now that we have the Red Dragonfly Gallery here in Port Townsend, they can be found as a permanent part of the Alchemy Stones selection there. In the future, I hope to add them to our web shops, as well!


Alchemy Stones at the Red Dragonfly in Port Townsend!

I am happy to announce that Alchemy Stones are now available through The Red Dragonfly gallery here in Port Townsend!

For those who'd like to see the stones "in person," the gallery serves as a permanent showroom for Alchemy Stones and generally you'll be be able to see pretty much all the different styles I make, including petites, Faerie Stones, Chakra Stones and Chakra Stone sets and much much more. Whereas I always do my best to photograph the stones well for the online Alchemy Stone shops (eBay, Etsy and Amazon Handmade), there's no doubt that experiencing Alchemy Stones in person offers a dimension you just can't get online.

Having a place to "show off" the stones also means more new ideas will be turned into reality. A recent addition to the Alchemy Stones collection is the "Altar Sets," (example pictured at left) created for those who like to take a representative sacred space with them, whenever they travel. These sets of four stones represent not only the four directions-- North, East, South and West-- but also the four elements-- Air, Water, Fire and Earth. Each set comes with a gift bag and descriptive booklet-- Sarah is working on creating "Treasure Bags" for some sets, as well.

Sarah and I are continuing to develop plans for the Universal Piece Project for Peace, which will be the central part of Alchemy Stones' charity and goodwill outreach program during the years ahead. More details here as they become available.

If you'd like to visit us at The Red Dragonfly gallery, it is located here in Port Townsend, Washington, in the historic "Undertown" shops, in the center of downtown. Just look for the green pergola and head down the stairs!


Fey Folk & Fairy Fairs!

The Spring Fairy Festival is an annual event hosted in WA State by Crescent Moon Gifts, and each year, it becomes bigger, brighter and more fun.

We're going to attend with our wonderful "Purple Pop Up" and we have the wings to go along with it too! Plan on attending, rain or shine, Saturday May 21! We'll be there all day with some new Chakra Sets, fabulous coloring books, stone fairies and altar stone sets! Many of these mystical wonders will be snuggled into Sarah's "treasure bags" made from recycled materials and goods found at thrift stores and garage sales.

If you're VERY FEY (like us) you're going to want to camp out for a few days with a bunch of glitter flinging bandits in Twisp, WA later this June at the Fairy & Human Relations Congress. Roll up your sleeping bags, bring a drum (or two) and look for the "Purple Pop Up" again!