Long ago I had an instructor tell me. “Michelle, learn the rules then you can break them.” I’ve never been one for following direction and this is particularly true in my lapidary work. My grandfather founded the Corpus Christi Gem and Mineral Society and I learned to cut using tried and true techniques; the rules were tradition. But to me this defines craft and art is about redefining the rules and forging your own path.
In my work I have abandoned the use of the standard template based shapes; the shapes I create are my own, many inspired by the Deco period. I enjoy designing with the natural “flaws” in the stones, working with them rather than trying to polish or cut them out. And contrary to my training, I don’t believe a stone must be polished to a mirror finish or cut to precision. I love the look of a stone left with it’s naturally occurring character; a tribute to the beauty of nature, undisturbed.