Tag Archives: chrysocolla

Chrysocolla Family Reunion

Some more about the Impressionist chrysocolla (and its sisters).

A treasure trove:

Dusty's Find of a Lifetime

The fantastic Dusty found two slabs of chrysocolla amongst other treasures in a thrift store and had one cut into cabochons. She sent pieces from the same slab to a few different wireworkers. I thought it’d be fun to show several pendants in different styles that were not just from the same type of stone, but from the same original slice.

I wrote about my nympheas piece the other day.

Here’s the one of the pieces Dusty made from her fabulous find.

A lush profusion of color (and skill with spirals that I so envy) is a hallmark of Jennifer’s work. I mentioned her wirework in passing when I was showing off her wild bird photography, so I had to eventually do her jeweler side justice 🙂

Jennifer's Shades of Chrysocolla


And the third beauty by the always elegant Krista.

About the stone:

Chrysocolla is a copper silicate. Because of the copper its colors stay in the green/blue range with occasional black or brown inclusions. Unsurprisingly for a silicate it is often described as having a glassy luster. (Sometimes it’s unflatteringly described as greasy.) It is a relatively soft stone without much of a solid structure. It can be a pseudomorph, like pietersite, replacing other minerals that have been dissolved away. Chrysocolla is often associated with other copper ores like azurite, malachite and limonite.

(A variation found near Eliat in Israel is called Eliat stone, it is chrysocolla with malachite and turquoise.)

Trista's Malleable


Chrysocolla is most commonly found in Chile, Israel, Mexico, Peru, Russia, the American southwest and Zaire. It’s name comes from the greek words chrysos (gold) and kolla (glue) because it resembled the material they used to solder gold. (I don’t know what the ancients used for soldering, but color me curious…)


Filed under Crafts, Gems, Natural Science

An impression of Impressionism?

I got a lovely surprise this winter in the form of a package with a large slab of chrysocolla from Dusty, an amazing wire worker. (You’ve seen her coral and geode pieces on here before.) The colors in it reminded me of some of Monet’s large and more abstract water lily paintings at Musee de l’Orangerie  (take the interactive tour) so I wanted this to be a nod to those. The lily pad is part of the frame, I made that part first then guestimated around it. The stem came out a bit short, something I’ll keep in mind for next time. I used silver, gold and brass coated copper to try to catch the opulence and depth of an old frame.

What’s really odd is that from a distance the colors blend into a really proper gold color, and the bronze lily pad didn’t stand out enough but didn’t match either, so I tried to wrap it to blend in a bit more. And added a dragonfly charm with sheer pale green nail polish spangled wings. I’d gladly take any tips/ideas for balancing the size/shape/way to enhance the water lily effect!

What’s kind of funny to me is that so much of Impressionism is in capturing light using adjacent colors, and that’s what I had so much trouble with in this piece.

I made color samples by wrapping the colors of fine wire I was contemplating using around thicker wire to try to get a feel for how they would look as a frame. It helped me rule out some combinations, but didn’t really prepare me for the final effect.

I’m still trying to figure out light and color I guess.


Filed under Art, Crafts