Welcome, October!

Welcome, October, and your birthstone the Tourmaline.  Today we know October as the tenth month of the "modern" Julian and Gregorian calendars. But it wasn't always this way.  In the period of the Roman Empire (which straddled the lifetime of Christ), October was the eighth month—made apparent by October's root word, "Octo" (which means "Eight").  Interestingly, in France, Octobre is sometimes abbreviated as "8bre." October's birthstone, the Tourmaline, is a semi-precious gemstone, a "crystalline boron silicate mineral."  It can be infused with traces of a wide variety of different metallic elements—each of which results in a different color possibility.  Thus, tourmaline can be mined in many different colors: black, brown, and every color of the rainbow (red through violet) and even bi-colored variations....

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Hand-Raised Copper - part III

Here's something a little different: a "Lotus Bowl" with nicely-scalloped sides. Raised from a single ingot of copper—just like the vases we've shown—it was made "freeform" with just a pair of tongs, hammers and an anvil. Click on the photo above to learn more about it.   More hand-hammered copper items in the days to come.     Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well!  Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (  We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques ( or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane ( Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only)....

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