AGTA Spectrum Award Winning Oregon Opal Lapidary Work An homage to American Opal from the Juniper Ridge Opal Mine"Cheese"
Juniper Ridge Opal Mine, Lake County, Oregon
By Dalan Hargrave, Gem Artist
Second Place Winner of AGTA's Spectrum Award for 2009 (the jewelry and gem industries most prestigious award) in the Objects of Art category (and 2nd place only because another carving of Dalan's won 1st place)this whimsical composition is meaningful on a number of levels not the least of which is that it utilizes the entire range of hues in which Juniper Ridge Opal is available and comprises an enormous amount of gem material: approximately 2400 carats of opal were used in its creation.
It playfully depicts a pair of enterprising mice attempting to mount a serving dish of cheese topped with two chunks of "brie" formed of yellow opal on which the rind of the original seam of opal was left intact suggestive of the white mold which is typically found on brie. A hunk of " Swiss Emmenthaler" is composed of translucent yellow opal while three slices of "Edam" cheese are carved of transparent and gemmy facet-grade yellow opal. The footed tazza is comprised of sizeable sections of Oregon opal ranging from deep orange opal at the top above a columnar base of translucent yellow opal above a fluted orange opal foot, trimmed with gold vermeil decoration. The two mice are carved of fine translucent orange opal having a frosted matte finish.
This award-winning, highly skilled lapidary work is sure to become a favorite in any lapidary or American gemstone collection. Offered on an African ebony wood base with an applied gold vermeil plaque exclaiming "Cheese".
Overall length: 7in; overall height 6in; mice 4in, 2400 carats of Oregon opal