January 30, 2017
It's safe to say that Onetribe would not be the company that it is today without our wood production. From my initial domestic production of wood basics, to being one of the first companies to start making our overseas produced ornately carved styles in the same safe woods we used in our domestic workshop, to our innovative and elaborate mixed media projects, wood has been a staple at this company for almost 15 years.
Just as our world is constantly growing and changing, so is any small business, and the time has come to say farewell to wood. Our wood workshop employee James Ginnell, who's been with us for years, will be leaving our wood shop soon and that leaves me with a decision to make.
December 15, 2016
I've realized during my 14 years working in natural body jewelry that many stones that I and my customers love are not often collected. Unlike the crystals popular with collectors, most agates, jaspers, jades, and others stones form in erratic sizes and tend to show their beauty only when opened to reveal the natural colors and patterns hidden within. For this reason, I have created a unique new way to collect stone specimens: Specimen Coins.
November 23, 2016
March 08, 2016
Stone has had enormous impact on us both creatively and technologically. Minerals gave us the first chance to paint our lives with color and story, and take it with us for others to see. It turns out that aside from things which are alive (birds, bugs, plants), colors in nature, and particularly jewel tones, are actually very rare. Most vibrant colors are either the result of environmental light play, such as sunsets or the color of a lagoon, or they are biological - flowers, butterflies, etc. In either of these cases, the color is not permanent. It is location specific, temporary, or sadly, it dies.
December 29, 2015
Amber is the fossilized tree resin of now-extinct trees which grew millions of years ago. It is a material which has been highly valued by cultures around the world, and it has been used for tens of thousands of years in jewelry and craft objects. Amber is one of our favorite materials to carve, and we produce several styles of amber plugs and ear weights using this gorgeous ancient material.
December 01, 2015
These plugs are one of my favorite Southeast Asian styles and this specific pair is one of my prized collection pieces. I love the shape, and the patina these have taken on over the years is exquisite. These plugs are worn by women of the Karen, a collection of ethnic sub-groups (sometimes referred to as "Hill Tribes") from the Golden Triangle region of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar (Burma).
November 30, 2015
The ears had immense significance to the Maya. They were believed to be conduits for spiritual energy, and thus ear flares had considerable value and importance in culture. Forms of obsidian, shell, ceramic and stone were worn in ear perforations. Some designs for daily wear are similar to standard solid plugs or thin tunnels of today, but the most prolific reminders of Maya body modification are the large ear flares shown in sculpture and craft.
November 30, 2015
Ear flares have been part of human expression and body modification throughout time and across cultures. The flare’s physical purpose was to stretch the skin of the earlobe into an elongated circular shape; depending on each culture’s standards, this modification could meet physical standards of beauty, represent traits of character, or reflect a combination of the two. The material used to make the ear flare also played a large role in the owner’s social prestige. In the Mayan world, an ear flare derived from jade, a mineral more precious than gold to the Mayan people, was a display of wealth and power by the elite of the society.
November 22, 2015
Labradorite is a low key gray stone with a big surprise. When cut correctly for proper angle, high quality material displays a bright flash of color(s). Colors from the blue and yellow-orange portions of the visible light spectrum jump forth from the darker base stone. Only a small percentage of all of the labradorite mined is of high enough quality for our body jewelry.
November 08, 2015
Inspired by my love for ethnobotany, the study of the human relationship with plants, the Somnia ear weights are a tribute to the history of Papaver somniferum, the opium poppy. This controversial plant has seen ancient ritual and medicinal use, been used as the economic basis for war and the addiction and enslavement of an entire country, and most recently has provided medical science with the single known natural source for lifesaving opiate medications. Follow the story of this beautiful flower from ancient use to the inspiration for our new Somnia ear weights.
November 02, 2015
Three pairs of bronze ear weights with select cuts of "Red Creek Jasper" reminiscent of the surface of Jupiter's moon "Europa." I've been working on this weight design concept for well over a year now, and I'm thrilled to finally make them available in their full size glory (I previously released several half-sized test pieces). Europa represents the first limited quantity run in a continuing release schedule of unique stones set in these beautiful bronze ear weights.
November 01, 2015
This project was commissioned by a customer interested in reproductions of a pair of Mayan aventurine square front ear flares from my antiquities collection. While making them to his size with modern flares, I stayed true to the cultural references with Guatemalan jadeite material and identical front face contours matching the antique plugs.