Tag Archives: handmade jewelry

Ryan Gardner Shares the Art of Shaping Gemstones

Ryan Gardner shapes an amethyst on a diamond grinding wheel

Ryan Gardner shapes an amethyst on a diamond grinding wheel at his studio in Pueblo, Colorado.

Ryan Gardner stood in front of rapidly whirling grinding wheels in his studio in Pueblo, Colorado. With two hands he held a long nail on which he had super glued a small amethyst. He moved the nail constantly as he touched the amethyst to the coarse surface of one of the wheels. Frequently he took time to hold the nail up where he could examine the shape of the amethyst, which was slowly changing to match the vision in his mind’s eye.

A narrow stream of water was pouring onto the wheel  from a small spout above it and spraying off of it and onto Ryan’s apron. Without water to cool the wheel, heat from friction could have cracked the stone, and powdered amethyst would have been flying everywhere. Continue reading


BeeBull Designs Gets into Gear with Steampunk Jewelry

Steampunk necklace from BeeBull Designs

Allison Freeman and Dana Biebel draw on the Victorian industrial era for inspiration in creating steampunk jewelry for BeeBull Designs. (Photo by A. Freeman)

Journey back in time to the 19th century, when steam powered the great inventions that triggered the Industrial Revolution – but take today’s knowledge of science with you. Let your imagination carry you thousands of leagues under the sea and around the world by every means of transportation possible, like Jules Verne did.

Now you have caught the vision of the steampunk genre.

As for the “punk” part of steampunk, the delightfully imaginative website of The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences explains it like this: “The ‘punk’ in ‘steampunk’ comes from going against convention that, through creativity and declaration of one’s individuality …, sets one apart.”

I didn’t have to understand the steampunk genre, however, to be drawn to the jewelry of BeeBull Designs when I ran across it at Show of Hands late last year. Allison Freeman and her sister Dana Biebel felt the same way when they discovered steampunk jewelry while browsing for fun in shops in Telluride and Ouray in 2013. They were so intrigued, they started studying the genre and decided to make steampunk jewelry themselves as a creative outlet. Enhancing the name of their family of origin, they launched BeeBull Designs in October of 2013. Continue reading