Larry Woods is an amazing stone cutter, and "that's a fact, Jack," as our associate Aline would say.
A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of having Larry visit the store and bring a bevy of loose stones, as well as some beautiful finished jewelry designed by his wife Stacia Woods. The luncheon was buzzing with excitement as clients drooled over the rainbow of gems that littered the cases.
Later in the day, when the crowd died down, I had an opportunity to chat with Larry about the path he took to become one of the world's premier stone cutters.
As it turns out, Larry was a rock collector even as a kid. He started working in construction fresh out of high school, but his love of stones was reignited when his brother became the manager of a new jewelry store. There, Larry learned the art of cutting and faceting gems.
After mastering the basics, Larry began developing his carving skills (which were self-taught), and he even began making his own tools out of wood and diamond powder to make sure he could achieve exactly what he envisioned for his designs. He admitted that although the carvings are more challenging, he enjoys them the most. The designing is more fluid, everything is one-of-a-kind, and the whole process of organic design is a lot like doodling. Shaping the rough to hide and remove inclusions can take mere hours, but carving can take days. He equates carving to waxing a car with a q-tip. You have to go through 5 steps to get to the final polish stage and each stage must be complete before moving on to the next, a very meticulous process indeed.
One of our gemologists decided to put Larry's skills to the test and sent him back to Texas with a 33.92 carat aquamarine. The results just arrived this morning, and they were nothing short of spectacular.
Take a look for yourself...