The Ozone is a gallery that doubles as a jewelry studio where Karen Britt creates hand crafted art jewelry designs daily. Karen finds rough Oregon native stones and performs the lapidary (hand polishing) to make them into gems. Each gemstone is ‘one of a kind’ so every hand fabricated jewelry piece is a unique and artistic statement.
Bring the Thunder of the Summer:
In a brilliant flash of excitement, a Priday Thunder Egg from Central Oregon burst open with the flashiest Quartz Crystal Druzy. Blue tinted Agate formed around amber colored reed-like minerals before the quartz crystals grew like sugar on top. These are view-able through the open back setting as well as the varying hues of the Washington Amethyst. I hardly ever use other folks found stones but this ‘friend-stone’ has been so pretty to work with (and is so purple!). Hand sculpted Fine and Sterling Silver flow like the terrain to make the rest of this unique setting.
Out of the ‘Blue Bed’ in Central Oregon, this powerful Thunder Egg Agate begged for a bracelet setting. Earth-tone rhyolite peaks up through blue agate like islands in the deep blue sea. Fine Silver holds the gem and Sterling Silver backs it. A copper cuff holds this to your wrist with islands of silver and copper dappling it as well.
Thunder Egg Agate never ceases to amaze. Every one has utterly distinct colors, fortification lines, and other unique features. This large ‘Priday Bed’ gem cleaved off the ‘mother lava bubble’ in an almost perfect arrowhead configuration. Fine Fortification lines work their way from blue at the top, through clear and champagne tints to hazelnut down below. The second gem is a blue tinted Druzy Quartz on Agate Thunder Egg from the same seam of the bed! They were in bed together! Carved Silver and Copper finish the flow of this powerful duo.
This Pink Plume Agate from the Central East border of Oregon was plucked from the high desert like a rose. Swirling shades of pink are joined by sunshine yellow, clear and white agate. Glimmering like dew drops on its petals, this stone is graced by a Quartz Crystal Druzy seam through the center. The surrounding silver landscape is hand carved Fine and Sterling silver with a Sterling Silver band to poise this rock rose to your 8.75 sized finger.
This is some of my favorite Plume Agate from one of my favorite places. A variety of pink tones from ballet slipper pink to Rose’ wine intertwine in ribbons of complexity while clear agate and white common opal collaborate within the artist expression. Pockets of Druzy Quartz add glittering punctuation joining the sparkling flow of the Fine Silver, Sterling Silver, and Copper setting. The mixed metals are layered and hand sculpted with care to create the mountain terrain and glossy flowing texture to catch the light.
Not all petrified woods are just stones. Some of them are ‘gemmy’ and this one is a good example. The wood grain striations are not just opaque but translucent and light is held in the cells in a luminous way. I recently viewed some petrified wood under an old microscope, using a mirror instead of the light-bulb for light. The scene was magical; every cell that had been crystallized lit up with the spectrum! These woods do light up the forest. On top, a 5mm Thunder Egg Agate shares the same colors but in a bulls-eye pattern, that of tube agate. These two stones are lovely and earthy to look at and even more exciting on close inspection.
Out of a very special cache of Common Opal Petrified Wood, some particularly yellow-green pieces emerged. The top 5mm cabochons glow with fresh light like blades of grass in the sun. The lower, dark Moss Agate boasts thick tendrils of olive colored branches through clear Agate. These organic stones are pulled together with carved fine and sterling silver in an undulating landscape reminiscent of their origin. These forests are ready to hang from your ears with sterling silver earring wires.
We owe it to the minerals how the stones find each other’s hues so nicely. An olive green Moss Agate is the perfect tone match to the common opal, grass green Petrified Wood. The rich, varying color within both stones make their interaction even more exciting. A white and clear Angel Wing Plume Agate is a great contrast and shows off how lovely the green agates are. Set in Fine and Sterling Silver, this 7 3/4-8 Ring is a delightful statement piece for your finger.
A recent trip to the Central Oregon Ochoco Mountains produced some lovely duo-tone moss agates with crisp detail. Deep olive and acid green dendrites wander through crystal clear agate. A rare Green Opal Petrified Wood 5mm cabochon rides next to an Angel Wing Plume Agate 4mm cabochon for contrast and continuity. It’s amazing the similar palette that nature uses in unique geology from different locals.
In the deepest Southeast reaches of the Oregon High Desert, there lies Thunder Egg Agate and Jasper that contains purples, mauves, maroons and other rare hues to be found in our local. This stone is both Jasper and Agate, boasts all those colors above, and even a glittery stream of Druzy Quartz running through it’s sweet heart. Above, an old stock, blush-pink Baroque Pearl exchanges light and color from the lower stone. Carved Sterling and Fine Silver create the flowing asymmetrical setting.
With fresh, contemporary lines, these Moss Agate drop earrings are dazzling when back-lit. Each of the Central Oregon Moss Agates has complex tendrils of forest green dendrites cruising through clear and blue-green tinted Agate. Fine and Sterling Silver hold the gems in a stylized, carved rendering of the water’s edge and silver bubble spheres. Sterling earring wires dangle these little worlds from your ears.
This pairing had to happen. The Moss Agate from Central Oregon is so generously sized that there is an entire world of detail within. Cloudy and blue-green agate alternate fortification lines creating designs amid emerald and forest green mossy dendrites. A blue-green Crystal Opal (from Australian old stock) with emerald green flashes was added to carved Fine and Sterling silver creating a waterfall, cascade, and bubbles in this delightfully water-themed, yet abstract ensemble.
The first out of a new batch of Moss Agate, fresh from polishing, I just couldn’t wait to set this stone. It cleaved in an elegant diamond shape with deep facets. Emerald to forest green dendrites drift through clear to blue-green tinted Agate. Above the Moss Agate, an Angel Wing 5mm cab offers contrasting texture and color. Set in Fine Silver with a Sterling Silver base, the ‘wing’ below is carved by hand from the metals and a Fine Silver sphere balances on the opposite side.