As far as we humans can figure, the Universe we call home is 13.82 billion years old. Our beautiful Milky Way Galaxy, 13.21 billion years old. Planet Earth, the precious and gorgeous blue dot near the outskirts of our galaxy, in it’s slow celestial dance with our sun, 4.54 billion years old.
When the universe exploded and began it’s rapid expansion via what we call the big bang, the first subatomic particles began to form primordial elements. These were gas clouds of mostly hydrogen and helium. These gases eventually began merging and coalescing thanks to gravity, to form the first stars and galaxies. The heavier elements were formed either inside of stars or in some cases as a result of stars going supernova. Everything that exists today, all of it, was present then.
The stuff that our universe is made of, the “Star Stuff” as some call it, is the very same stuff that would eventually lead to us, humans, way down the timeline... “The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” -Carl Sagan, Cosmos
During the formation of the Earth we know today, before anything existed on this planet that had eyes to see, precious metals and minerals were present. Precious metals are created from particular types of massive supernovas, and while some gold and other precious metal was present at the Earth’s formation, most of it was pulled into Earth’s molten core. The rest that exists on Earth was delivered here via meteorite bombardment when Earth was a wee 200 million years old (about 4.3 billion years ago). No new precious metals form on Earth, what’s here from way back then is what’s still here today.
Minerals were forming from the very beginning following the “hot gasses” phase of Earth’s life, the oldest we know of being a zircon mineral dated at 4.4 billion years old. To further put that in perspective, dinosaurs existed between 230 and 65 million years ago, the first humans showed up on the scene between 5 and 7 million years ago. The original metals and minerals have more than 4 billion years on us as residents of Earth.
Earth’s metals and oldest stones have been here for all of it, from the very beginning, the entirety of the existence of Earth and the life present on it. As time has passed and new minerals have formed, they continue to record and reveal the chronological story of an ever evolving, ever changing planet and it’s inhabitants. They are, quite literally, a geological record of our long history of becoming.
With all of that in mind, I approach jewelry creation with the strong belief that just as life is precious, and our beautiful blue dot called Earth is precious, every single stone and every piece of metal used to create a work of jewelry is extremely precious and not to be taken for granted. The fact that we get to unearth these treasures and use them as raw materials to tell our own personal story is just... incredible to me. It blows my mind to think about how the silver or gold in a bracelet you might have on right now, was born in the heart of a star. How even the youngest of diamonds in an engagement ring are at least a billion years old and can be as old as 3.3 billion years... around to bear witness to the first microbial life on the planet, the rise and fall of the dinosaurs and the birth of humankind. How even the quartz crystal in my favorite necklace is most likely around 100 million years old, being of the “newer” mineral formations.
Humans have been using metals and stones to tell their stories and record their legacies for as long as human history itself. It is a truly amazing and beautiful thing. As far back as we have any written record of, ancient civilizations revered and knew the precious value of these materials. Today, that same recognition and reverence is at the core of what I do. With absolute love and appreciation for this divine universe, our spectacular galaxy, and our most precious Earth, I put my two hands “in the clay” and use the incredible raw materials to tell a story... my story... your story... our story. My jewelry pieces are about how amazing and divine it all really is. It is my sincerest hope that you feel that awe and see that grand celestial dance when you look at my work.
With much love and acknowledgement of the incredible and precious being you are, I thank you for stopping by to visit and experience the very small but very passionate gesture that is one human’s creative process, using the raw materials on Planet Earth.