In 2017 I went to a baby shower, one of the hosts is a Bowyer that works with only hand tools and natural materials. We were chitchatting and he was telling me about a stone that he would like to gift to me if I was interested in using it for my jewelry practice. As a person who struggles with social anxiety, I only heard the word stone and gave an awkward, “okay!” After an hour or so, I left and went home, forgetting about the gift of a stone.
Few months past and my friend had her baby, I wanted to visit her and meet their new baby and bring some food to the family. When I arrived, she goes “I have some rock that Ryan wanted to give to you.” She passes me the stone…I gasped, “this is sacred Pipestone!” I was floored.
I held it and stared at it for a weeks after, my mind blown that this Pipestone travelled all the way to me! As I kept staring, I realized that there was an outline of a pipe. It looked like the outline marked in a darker red. I have outlined it with a black dotted line. I knew when the time was right that I would cut by hand the outline of the pipe and only use the off cuts for jewelry.
Pipestone is a very sacred stone; First Nations use it to carve pipes to be used in ceremony. We believe that the red pipestone is the blood of our ancestors and when used it carries our prayers through smoke up to the Great Spirit. It was widely traded pre contact all over the continent. It even made its way down into Mexico. Our society and trading structures were so extensive, the quarry which was cared for by Yankton Sioux of South Dakota are known as the protectors of the quarry. The quarry is seen as a place for peace and neutral territory for all tribes.
It is now 2021 and I felt that the time was right to make some special pieces to share with the world. Please enjoy this small but powerful collection made with so much love and respect.