SENTIMENT STONES: The jewelry Austin crafts that predominately feature a semi-precious gemstone with a professed meaning. There is a chart of stones we use with brief meaning and description on the Sentiment Stone page. This jewelry is secured on 4x6 glossy card stock with a label of a commonly given significance and an assigned icon representing the stone. We consider this a novelty and a way to express a wish or feeling you have for another or yourself. Some individuals do find serious meaning in semi-precious gemstones and we recognize that many stones have other meanings than what we provide. We chose the most common from research. The icons chosen to represent the sentiment are not official. The icons are based on research and our preference only.
SALVATION BRACELETS: Symbolic of the key aspects of the Christian gospel. All Salvation bracelets should include six colors of beads. Each color represents a different key aspect of the Christian gospel. Sometimes these bracelets are called "Gospel Bracelets". Packaging explains the Christian symbolism of each bead's color. Austin's Salvation/Gospel bracelets are unique in that he uses genuine semi-precious gemstones for each of the six colors and the stones are encircled by Picture Jasper, a stone which is given the symbolic meaning of "New Beginnings" making it a finer quality piece of jewelry than many that are sold. It is a Unisex bracelet. Detailed information is given in our online store.
AFRICAN BEADS: This jewelry uses a variety of beads that have been directly sourced from African bead-makers to our supplier. The majority are produced by the Krobo tribe in Ghana. Beads are handmade from recycled glass primarily found near the shoreline, wood,, as recycling paper, and metal. Exceptions will be noted in the description. The bead-making process has been passed down for generations. Additional popular beads are cultured sea glass. Very recently Austin made bracelets using beads made from recycled paper sourced from Africa. Recycled paper beads are common throughout the world. The African Beaded jewelry is secured to 4x6 cards that explain the workmanship of handmade beads in words and small pictures that show the process.
ARTISAN SILVER: A select few jewelry pieces include Artisan Silver. Artisan Sterling Silver that has been handcrafted that both Austin and Leigh found especially interesting and have found compliment Austin's jewelry well. This is jewelry that has a rustic, bohemian, and classic "artsy" look. The silver is primarily used as small charms on bracelets. But, there is an intention to make some necklaces as we both very much like some pieces that are larger. One supplier is a family-owned business in the United States that originally started with a mother and daughter making stretch bracelets, so a kindred spirit. They make beautiful jewelry charms and focal pieces by creating hand-sculpted models using the lost art of wax casting. They partner with another family-owned small business in the United States that casts the pieces using recycled/reclaimed sterling silver...adding sustainability. Their silver pieces are 92.5% silver 7.5% copper. We also chose Karen Hill Tribe Silver. It is considered to be the purest kind of silver. The purity ranges anywhere between 95.5 to 99 percent. Because of the high silver percentage, it is lightweight and possesses a bright, satin-like shade. The Karen Hill Tribe is in northern Thailand. Today, the Karen hill tribe lives in proximity to areas alongside the Thai-Myanmar border. They dwell in mountainous highland areas. Many traditional villages can still be found in remote areas of Thailand, where the Karen still live in primitive conditions in bamboo stilt houses. They are renowned silversmiths. Their tools include a hammer and tools for etching designs into silver. Karen Hill Silver is sold on many internet sites. We were concerned about the output and fairness to the Karen Hill Tribe. After much research, the only clue found is that their silver is sold by UNICEF for funding programs for children. We are relying on the ethics of UNICEF.
AUTISM ACCEPTANCE: This jewelry is the same as autism awareness, but I think large organizations and the epidemic of those diagnosed have increased awareness tremendously. I want to move on to acceptance and inclusion. Austin makes primarily bracelets. For some, they are an outward demonstration of support and support for Austin. There are others who treasure the jewelry as it has become a representation of loved ones. Although controversial I believe the puzzle piece remains the best symbol for autism. I do not think it is communicating anything about people with autism. I have always known it to represent Autism Spectrum Disorder and the complexity of understanding why some have ASD, why some have very different characteristics, how can we make the world a more accommodating place, etc. It is also a well-recognized symbol and I believe the years of work to develop that level of instant symbolic reference should not be wasted. Others can use any symbol they choose without judgement.
FASHION DESIGNS : Austin's creative mind at work... Some of these pieces are very random but Austin's eye for unusual but awesome color combinations is obvious. Others are inspired by customer requests. Bead colors often become a theme, a favorite of this type is "Ocean Wave".