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In the Light of a Turquoise Dawn

Turquoise Dawn Earrings

This morning was an anomaly, at least compared to most days thus far this winter: It dawned white. Earth and sky the same shade, darker grays aswirl around the peaks; only the faintest hint of coral peeking out above a cloud in the one open sliver of sky to the south.

After weeks of no winter weather (and a high of fifty-six yesterday), we have six inches of snow on the ground.

The earth rejoices; it has been thirsty for far too long.

To the southwest, though, Father Sun is now waging a valiant battle, one he will win, in all likelihood, before night falls. We may not have been visited by a turquoise dawn this day, but we will have a turquoise sky before sunset.

Still, the forecasts have been so desperately, terribly wrong all season that it should come as no surprise that we half-expected this prediction to fail, too. At this time yesterday, I would likely have laid money that we would awaken today to bright blue skies and abundant sunlight. Wings and both expected today’s featured work to suit the day in literal terms, not merely metaphorical ones Given how sunny winter mornings manifest in this place, though, it certainly suits the spirit of the season, if not the reality of its real-life counterpart on this particular day. From its description in the Earrings Gallery here on the site:

Turquoise Dawn Earrings

One of the jewels of the desert is the turquoise dawn. Wings invokes its beauty and power with these classic earrings, wrought in traditional fashion of silver and stone. The sterling silver settings are formed of bright oval medallions, polished to a mirror sheen and edged all the way around in hand-stamped sunrise symbols to catch and refract the light. At their centers, in spare, low-profile bezels, rest a pair of stunning free-form Turquoise Mountain cabochons, brilliant sky blue and dusted with bits of earthy red-gold matrix. Each earrings hangs 1-5/8″ long by 1-3/16″ across at the widest point; each cabochon is roughly 7/8″ long by 1/4″ across at the widest point.

Sterling silver; Turquoise Mountain turquoise
$775 + shipping, handling, and insurance

These have fast become one of my new favorites. The stones are brilliant, intensely blue examples of the new product now coming out of Arizona’s Turquoise Mountain mining district. Where once the stone from this area was consistently lighter sky and robin’s egg blues with pale gold spiderweb matrix, now it’s manifesting in electric sky blues a shade or two off the color of classic indigo dye, accented with bold blocky patches of matrix in deep reds, rich browns, molten bronze and gold, even brilliant greens. It’s taken on a wholly new identity, and while it’s very much a departure from the classic look, it’s spectacularly beautiful.

These cabochons are free-form in shape, matched closely in color but not in outline, and their surfaces are not perfectly smooth domes; they were cut to permit the stones’ natural form and texture take center stage. And in Wings’s hands, take center stage they have: In a throwback to a very old traditional style, updated for contemporary wear, he paired them with concha-style medallions long enough to accommodate their length and unusual shapes, yet sized proportionally so as not to overwhelm the stones on any side. The sunrise symbols that embrace the cabochons serve to reveal their true nature and identity — the Skystone, hardened bits of heaven fallen to earth.

Even as I write, the sky is slowly clearing to the west. Turquoise lines are already showing through between the bands of gray. Tomorrow will arrive on the tail of today’s fierce horizontal wind, bringing with it intense cold, intense sunlight, intense blue skies. Winter will at last be fully present, and a newly-sated earth will rest comfortably in the light of a turquoise dawn.

~ Aji








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