Articles written about the Cotton
Carved in stone
Texas jewelry designer captures cotton in gold and quartz
by Shannon Linderoth Texas Farmer-Stockman
Ivory besides being illegal
to import wasn't white enough for Chris Chaney's
vision of cotton-inspired jewelry. Neither was white gold. A pearl looked
like a bead inside a setting, and bone was too porous.
if this sounds demanding, you won't say so after you've seen his
creations of cotton jewelry. The pieces look so true to life, you'll want to
touch the open bolls to be certain they're not real.
"I wanted to use something that would look like cotton" says
he explains the origins of his creations. "I've lived around the cotton industry
all of my life and I wanted to create fine jewelry to represent it. I want
to know cotton's quality"
His mission, based on a customer's request, was not an easy
After almost two years of working on an authentic-looking
cotton boll pen-
dant, Chaney finally discovered snow white quartz, and his ideas became
reality. "Snow white quartz naturally has the appearance and texture of
cotton, which is really an asset." Chaney notes. "And, it's also durable."
Research and time were the key to finding the right
material. After tossing
aside other boll possibilities because they weren't quite right, Chaney tried
last measure. "I went to the world's largest gem show in Tucson, Ariz., to find
out if anyone was carving stones," Chaney says. "At that time there were only
about eight people in the United States who were carving." But, they were
using the element Chaney needed to make his designs work.
Beyond normal design.
He spoke with several carvers before trying his
own hand at the craft. "It was difficult to learn because there was no one to
go to for help." says Chaney. "There's a reason there wasn't any cotton jewelry
out there--it goes beyond normal jewelry design. It incorporates sculpting,
another art form."
Chaney gives cotton bolls his Golden
by Mary Jane Short Lubbock Avalanche Journal
Dainty 14kt. gold cotton bolls hanging from gold chains are just
of the wares Chris Chaney sells at the 96th annual Texas Cotton Ginners
association's annual meeting and trade show.
Chaney has a booth for his company Agrijewelry by Chris Chaney Creations.
He has been making cotton jewelry since 1994 but has worked in the jewelry
industry all of his life.
He says his handmade cotton jewelry designs are exclusive, and he enjoys
to the TCGA show so people can see his creative designs. He has come to the show
every year since 1995 and said the TCGA show is especially accessible for him
because he is from Big Spring.
"Everyone has really enjoyed all my cotton jewelry designs" he said.
In addition to cotton, other lines of jewelry Chaney makes include
corn, wheat, rice, grapes, soybeans, and many other agriculture related items.
Chaney said that although he does well at the TCGA show, it was too early
to gauge how this year's sales will turn out. Tough economic times for farmers
directly affect his sales, he says.
The trade show will be open from 9 am to 2:30 pm today at the Lubbock