Today it’s all about “Aurora”. There are a handful of regular collection and limited edition beads that are unmistakably “Aurora”, and until fairly recently I thought we had to be content with this narrow selection of designs. However, lately I have noticed quite a few unique designs which feature that distinctive, hazy shimmer.
For the most part, these beads display a more subtle version of the Aurora effect, which has opened up new design options for me. I find now I can combine my softer Azure Bubbles with paler traditional Aurora designs and the new subtle uniques for a fresh look. Add a hint of dichroic glass and a couple of luminous stones and it’s a complete design.
The pair of stones that I have employed in this design are the smooth, retired form of “Chalcedony” and a treasured, very translucent “Dendritic Agate”. I’ve had the Chalcedony for many years, but the Dendritic Agate is a very recent addition. I came across it just before the Challenge began, so it managed to slip into the collection just in time. Dendritic Agate is a variety of Chalcedony Quartz, and is often found with deposits of other types of Chalcedony. This relationship is easy to see in a translucent example such as this, where the two stones are nearly identical, save for a few traces of Dendritic Agate’s distinctive fern textural markings. Imagine how difficult it must be for stone cutters to predict how to cut and facet these stones to best display their hidden branchlike patterns… years of experience and well honed instincts must be required!
These Azure bubbles play nicely with others…