As the proprietors of Soul2Shine, Eric and Susan are very hands on when it comes to the carvings they create. Nearly every piece that is offered for sale went through their unique carving process. Firstly, they source rare high energy gemstone rough for carving from mines and miners all over the world; continually updating their stockpiles, and spending long months waiting for multiple shipments to arrive before moving to the next step. When the time is finally right, usually once per year, they spend about 2 months selecting through each stone by hand, putting eyes on and feeling into each raw piece, deciding what it will ultimately yield. The process of creation for all of Soul2Shine’s finished gemstone and crystal products is a long one! Sometimes it takes years before finally making a decision to carve certain stones at all, and at the minimum, it will be at least one complete year before a single rough stone makes its journey from raw unfinished stone to its finished carved state.
During Eric’s teenage years, he worked in a lapidary studio producing his own special creations. His favorite style of carving came from letting the stone take its own shape and form during the carving process. These creations were called free forms. He also made plenty of others carvings including spheres, designer cabochons, pendant beads and wands from all types of rough lapidary materials. His favorite two stones to work with were Sugilite and Gem Silica. During this time he learned a great deal about carving rock and how rough stone would react to the carving process. He then began working with carvers overseas and eventually found a family whom he began to work with exclusively. This enabled Eric to design and produce extremely high quality complex carvings from his own hand selected materials.
In the mid 90’s Eric and Susan met and fell in love. Knowing that they each shared a deep passion for the natural world and the Mineral Kingdom alike, it seemed only appropriate that they would begin to work closely together in the gem and mineral business. This was also a time of exploration and discovery. In the spring of 1994 Eric introduced Susan to the idea of Crystal Skulls. Crystal Skulls were a new and unknown territory at that time, especially for Susan! Eric had been carving Contemporary Crystal Skulls since the mid 80’s, but the idea didn't really take off until around 1997, as more people were connecting online through the internet.
Because Eric & Susan manage their own carving company, they can also take special orders. For instance, if you have a favorite stone that you found on a hiking trail or on a particular journey, and would like to see it carved into a gemstone heart, sphere, or crystal skull, they can do that! This is also true for any Special Rough Stones that you have purchased and would like to turn into beads or any other shapes you can imagine. All Eric & Susan need is a finished sample of the ideal shape that you would like to have carved if that particular shape is not currently offered in their store.
This Highly Detailed 12" Sugilite carving of the Maya Stela H is a special order Eric & Susan are particularly proud of:
This gorgeous Mayan Stela was commissioned to be carved from this large single piece of Sugilite rough (pictured below) that Eric procured specifically for the project. With painstaking attention to detail Susan created the images that the carvers ultimately used as a reference for finishing this incredible piece. It is truly one of a kind!
Eric & Susan literally have TONS of rough material for carving stored in their stockpiles. In fact, it could be said that their favorite part of the gemstone business is BUYING raw materials like Crystals, Jaspers, Agates, and other rare, unusual, and hard to find stones for the purpose of carving. It has become something of an obsession!
All we can say is, WOW!
Now the real work begins…. This is our largest shipment in many years. It will probably be 3 weeks or more of 12 hour days before we are ready to unveil the new stones…
We are absolutely beside ourselves; we’ve been opening boxes seemingly non-stop. The sheer volume of what we are unpacking is quite staggering. But we are so very pleased to see all the shining new faces! The new stones are incredible! Each piece we have unwrapped has been intricately carved with the best polish we have ever seen. Our carvers have really blown us away this time.
Above is a little teaser pic of our new Fire Quartz. This is clear quartz included by beautiful sprays of Red Hematite. It is known by many names, including Strawberry Quartz, Harlequin Quartz, Hematoid Quartz, and Red Quartz.
New stones from this shipment include: Black Moonstone, Red Quartz, Golden Healer Quartz, Pyrite Included Quartz, Rose Quartz, Lavender Quartz, Moon Quartz, Blue Calcite, Tiger Eye, Labradorite, Polychrome Jasper, Kambaba Jasper, Red Jasper, Septarian Nodule, Aquamarine, Ruby in Zoisite, Ruby in Kyanite, Sunstone, Ruby Feldspar, Carnelian, Ajoite, Meteorite, California Blue Chert, Big Sur California Blue Jade, Madagasi Agate, Royal Maya Agate, Fossil Dinosaur Bone, Blue Chalcedony, Blue Apatite, Atlantisite, Lapis Lazuli, and Obsidian.
We carved some really cool new shapes this time around too! You can expect to see new Tibetan Phurpa's, Gemstone Hearts, Rock Stars, Crystal Lucky Cats, Goddesses and Goddess Beads, and lots of new Focal Beads! And this particular selection of Crystal Skulls has really inspired us! Also new are a large selection of gemstone carved Frogs, Panthers, Snakes, and even Sharks!