(SOLD) Leland Slag and Branch
4cm tall x 8.3 cm long
The stone (cabochon) rises 1.3 cm above the base.
Hangs on an 18″ sterling silver (oxidized) rolo chain
Created in Bayfield, WI
Out of stock
Out of stock
This piece of Leland Slag is mighty. It needed something more than a flat plate to set it on so I got busy and created some texture and irregular "crumpled" edges. A cast birch twig is the final finishing touch on this piece.
Not a true gem, not really sea glass, Leland Slag is in a category all its own. Truth is, Leland Slag is byproduct of smelting iron-ore, which they don't do anymore thank god. It's waste. Tossed aside into Lake Michigan like an old chunk of coal. 145 years later, it's a beautiful stone that has earned a spot in my lineup. Read the nerdy, yet necessary, natural history below.
LELAND BLUE (ANTIQUE FOUNDRY GLASS) c. 1875-1900
This unique “gem” is a byproduct of the short-lived days of smelting iron ore in Northwest Lower Michigan. The ore from the Upper Peninsula’s Mesabi iron range arrived in Leelanau Co. by schooner. A charcoal made from beech and maple hardwoods plus a local limestone flux were used to refine the ore; the slag byproduct was considered waste and dumped into Lake Michigan. This material ranges in color from black to green, to blue and purple, with the various shades of water-like blues being the most prized and rare. Under 2% of the slag created was blue, depending on environmental factors. The lucky and determined beachcomber may still find pebbles along the shore.