Stones Teaching Us To Heal by Liz Baudler – Steve Adams appreciates the art of making things. A “designing freak” (he’s done window displays and theater sets in the past), he always finds himself returning to the jewelry and stone work for which Life Force Arts Center values him so much. “There’s a reason why I keep going back to it,” says Steve, “and that’s because it’s healing for me.” Adams shares his knowledge with others by leading jewelry making workshops at LFAC.
There’s something essential about stones. The world is full of pigment and color, both of which come from stones. Stones were ground up in the first paint and were the first tools. Their use in jewelry, especially healing jewelry, has been documented for centuries.
Teaching groups is unusual for Adams, as he mostly works with students on a one-on-one basis. Some of his classes have just taught basic jewelry making skills, like wiring and stringing, but this one has a special consciousness. “Twisting of wires together and beadwork is a talent in itself, but you have to know the energies of the stones and what doesn’t go with what, otherwise you’re looking at the piece and going, ‘That doesn’t look right’. Like with everything, you need to know what you’re working with,” says Adams, and it’s that awareness he wants to impart to his students.
To that end, Adams plans to have reference materials on hand during the workshop: books and charts with information on the stones, their energies, compositions, and how the stones might interact or connect with each other. Most importantly, there will be references as to how stones can help certain ailments. Participants can create a stone pendant for someone who needs healing, or for themselves. In fact, there is an added benefit to creating a piece for oneself, because of the added personal energy you will receive from wearing it.
There are other things to keep in mind when creating a piece of jewelry, such as the shape, divisions between the stones, and their arrangement. “Crystals that have different energies might be divided by metal or a grounding stone, so that the piece flows with energy,” Adams explains. Many factors, such as the shape, can change the composition and ultimate effect of the piece. “Circles have to do with eternity or forever. Squares are more male, they’re more grounding, stability.”
In addition to using crystals in his jewelry and art pieces, Adams has also incorporated them into his tarot readings. It helps him not only pick up on his client’s energy, but to heal them, and he says, “it’s an attraction for what I do. People look over, and they just can’t help it, they’re drawn to me. The energy of the stones is drawing them to me to help me heal them.” He also uses these readings as a way to educate others about stones. “I want to spark their inspiration and thinking as to what they need.”
Adams hopes students come away with an understanding of how stones, crystals, and their properties can and have changed our daily lives. “This isn’t just looking at the stones and going, ‘Oh, how pretty!’ There’s a reason certain energies are in a certain stone, the chemical composition of the stone is why it works on a specific ailment. Like lepidolite with pink tourmaline. Lepidolite has lithium in it, it’s lavender in color and it lifts your spirits. Lithium is touching you, you’re looking at it, and it’s beautiful. Pink tourmaline is about healing your mind. But you don’t know that, you just think it looks really pretty. I’m trying to get people to take stones more seriously, to know what they mean and why.”
Unsurprisingly, the stones have helped Steve himself. He jokes that he is a dragon, because he loves to be surrounded by stones. He does healings with them and uses them to treat various ailments that crop up from time to time. Even though he doesn’t wear a lot of jewelry himself, he says, “I love to run my fingers through strands of stones and have them all around me. I basically feel that people need to bring the stones into their lives to create the energies they need.” His class is the first step towards that goal for many people.
Liz Baudler (http://lizbaudler.virb.com/) former editor of LFA’s online journal Pantheon, is a freelance journalist and book reviewer for Newcity and Windy City Times. She’s written in the past for Ms. Fit Magazine, Chicago Literati, Examiner.com (Chicago Memoir Examiner), and the Jet Fuel Review. To sustain her extravagant lifestyle, Liz works at the Museum of Science and Industry on the U-505 submarine. She still has trouble believing she works on a submarine.
A Spiritual Artist’s Path by Steven Blaine Adams – I knew Life Force Arts Foundation was going to be part of my life the first time I heard Executive Director Joan Forest Mage say “where art meets spirit.” This motto resonated with me because I have always tried to infuse my art with that added dimension, and LFA seemed like the ideal venue to both display and nurture my talents.
As a teenager, I learned astrology and the tarot from my mother. My mom was the classic “Earth Mother” and helped raise the whole neighborhood; it must be that Gypsy Italian blood! She was a spiritual church leader, astrologer, and tarot reader, so I was brought up to be open minded when it came to spiritual matters.
I followed in her footsteps and now enjoy reading for others. My friend and teacher Demetria Nanos has been another important influence on my spiritual development. Attending her tarot and astrology classes prompted me to find my own spiritual path, the path I still follow today.
I have explored many artistic and spiritual practices and worked in many professions, but in times of stress I found myself always returning to stones and crystals. While designing jewelry, I found that different beads made of crystal or stone, their colors, shapes, and textures, were definitely having an effect on me, but it was when I started studying the ancient beliefs and customs surrounding them that I really fell in love.
I design jewelry by blending different energies for healing or magical purposes. Stones and crystals can connect with our body chemistry and help us on all levels. For instance, lepidolite has a high lithium content and is widely used by crystal healers to relieve stress and anxiety. In recent years I’ve shied away from selling my jewelry in typical commercial stores because I make jewelry with meaning and purpose, not just for aesthetics or profit. LFA’s mission ensures that the spiritual meaning is not lost.
I am privileged to have been part of LFA’s unique vision from the beginning. I have worked with stage and set design for many years, but as LFAC’s store designer I have a special opportunity to create space with spirit in mind. I love helping LFAC transform and evolve to reach its potential.
In turn, I have found a place that fosters my own spiritual and artistic growth and inspires new personal goals. Through LFAC I discovered that the same crystals and stones I love to use in my jewelry also make ideal materials for creating sacred mandalas for use in meditation, and I have exhibited in almost all of the 24 shows LFA has produced. I am excited and grateful that LFA gives me a forum for showcasing my art and continually challenging myself in creative ways!
LFAC is a beautiful space for visual, literary and performing art, truly a temple! It has encouraged me and others to step on a path of healing and love, and I hope sharing this will help you achieve your own goals. I want to thank Joan and everyone who works with and attends LFAC for helping me achieve mine.