The Art of Carving

By Eileen R. Eichhorn

Gem carving has been around for centuries. Mostly known as either intaglio – incision into stone or deep relief engraving – where the area around the stone is cut away and a raised area is left exposed – this ancient art has risen to a whole new level with the advent of today’s modern tools and techniques.

While in Tucson for the gem show I purchased a lovely carved hummingbird perched on a golden citrine quartz crystal to surprise my husband for Valentine’s Day. It is made of green aventurine quartz that looks like jade with a citrine quartz beak and sterling silver feet.  Displaying at the Tucson show for some years now, the import company in Rio de Janeiro employs artists with a magical gift that many admire – I do. Since my husband, John, loves hummingbirds, I was hopeful the bird would amaze him and it did!

I was in awe of the variety of unique birds meticulously hand crafted of natural and precious Brazilian native gemstones! Strikingly beautiful and rich in details cardinals, swans, owls, eagles, parrots, toucans, pelicans, and other exotic birds can be ordered custom made with authentic amethyst, topaz, crystal quartz, pink quartz, dolomite and other gems indigenous to South America. Found underground in Brazilian soil, in caves or rivers’ margins, large crystals must be obtained to cut to specific parts of the birds.

A vast array of other hand carved sculptures, rough stone jewelry pieces, dolls, and amulets can also be obtained from my supplier bringing one closer to the Brazilian spirit.

We love visiting Tucson the first of February if only for a short trip to purchase gems. This year we enjoyed 82-84 degrees each day. The hummingbird was “our” memento of the spring that we hope is near!

Stop in and see the carved hummingbird at Eichhorn Jewelry, Inc. I told my husband I would put it on display for awhile to share his unique present.