Ultimate Design Challenge: Grandpa's Worry Stone

Yesterday, my husband's grandpa gave me his 61 year old worry stone. He found it in 1949 while walking the fields in Deerfield, Ohio. He was looking for Native American arrow heads and the best place to build his home. In the early 1950's he hand dug the foundation for a cozy three bedroom ranch overlooking the field where the stone was found. Grandpa and Grandma have been married and lived in this house for 55 years. Every morning they drink tea together while watching the sun rise over the field. Their home is one of my favorite places.

Grandpa said he felt compelled to give me his stone because I "would know the perfect thing to do with it and make something really pretty."

The stone measures 56 x 40 x 15mm. It has a gorgeous color gradation and when held to the light the lighter areas are translucent.

I'm thinking that I'll turn it into a pendant, perhaps with some gold, unless the stone "tells" me it wants to be something else.


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Tags: design, grandpa, michelle, pajak-reynolds, stone, worry

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Comment by Michelle Pajak-Reynolds on December 30, 2010 at 6:19pm

I finished Grandpa's stone just in time for Christmas.  He was thrilled with how it turned out.

Here's the finished piece.  As you can tell, I'm not a photographer, so please forgive the less than amazing image.

 

This is the field where Grandpa found the stone.  

 

This is the little house Grandpa built 50 years ago in front of the field pictured above.

 

Grandpa admiring (inspecting) my work.  This was a very emotional moment for both of us.

Comment by Michelle Pajak-Reynolds on December 11, 2010 at 3:45pm

Now that the fall semester is over, I've been hard at work designing the piece I will make with Grandpa's Worry Stone.  I found these wood beads that look like the trees in his backyard.  I'll be using 24k gold leaf to gild the "cut" edges of each bead.  The stone will be set in an oxidized fine silver "turtle" setting.  The plan is to have this finished within the next week, so I can wear it to his Christmas Eve dinner.  I hope he'll be pleased with outcome.

Comment by Michelle Pajak-Reynolds on September 12, 2010 at 4:44pm
Thanks Julie. I'll be sure to share my progress. Something this special might take some time......
Comment by Julie M. on September 12, 2010 at 11:13am
I like this. Good idea. Please write about what you will be doing.

A modern metalsmith/metal artist can be found working in traditional metals as well as in nontraditional materials. The designs can range from the classic to the extravagant, and the techniques can either be centuries old or decidedly current.

The wide range of expression preferences, design options, materials, and processes has lead within our field to unfavorable misconceptions, misunderstandings and in some cases even outright disdain between artists. Can the metal and jewelry field overcome its division and send out a much-needed signal?

We appreciate and respect our historical past and acknowledge that current materials have a rightful place in jewelry/object making!

Arriving at this message is the goal of this traveling exhibition opening at the SNAG conference in Boston 2015, Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco, CA - Aug 19 - Sept 20, 2015, Equinox Gallery, San Antonio, TX - Oct 16 - Nov 15, 2015, Baltimore Jewelry Center, Baltimore, MD - Dec 11, 2015 - Jan 08, 2016, Brooklyn Metal Works, Brooklyn, NY - Feb 5 - Mar 4, 2016.

DETAILS on exhibition premise, call for artists, submission guidelines.....

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