Carl Weiseth finds a surprise ‘jewel’
About a year-and-a-half ago, Carl Weiseth was hiking Central California’s coastline. It was a gorgeous day—perfect sunset, flowers everywhere, hummingbirds buzzing around, and the clouds were rolling in. As he descended to head back to his campsite, Weiseth happened upon something that would change the entire course of his life: a pinecone. “It was big, perfectly symmetrical, and spiky,” Weiseth says. “I could barely hold it in my hand.”
It was as if it were sitting there waiting for him right in the middle of his path. He carried it back home with him to Santa Cruz, after his camping trip, and set it on a windowsill. Months passed, and over time, the sunlight hitting it “cured it.”
On impulse, Weiseth decided to whip out his electrical handsaw and shear off a section of the pinecone. “I was a little taken aback,” he says. “I was surprised and in awe of the continual beauty of mother nature.”
The cause of his epiphany? Inside the pinecone was a geometric design, something he’d never seen before, and, frankly, something most people haven’t seen.
From there, Weiseth was inspired to apply a glaze on the pinecone slice, and attach a necklace fixture to it. And … voila! He had created a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry. “I realized this was something I could turn into a business,” Weiseth says.
“A pinecone is symbolic of the ‘third eye’ and enlightenment,” Weiseth adds. “[The third eye is] often considered to be our pineal gland, the seat of the soul, where our soul resides.” He goes on to say that the pinecone is also often featured in imagery and symbols along with serpents, and what’s even more ironic is that he has a tattoo on his back of intertwining serpents. The synchronicity runs deep, and encircling.
Since his first discovery of finding out what’s inside a pinecone, then creating a necklace, Weiseth has spent the more recent months honing his skills as a self-taught jeweler. He’s expanded his tool selection, found more abandoned pinecones, and has created an entire line of necklaces and solo pendants, all from slices of pinecones; some of his designs are encrusted with precious stones and beads, and some necklaces are more elaborate than others.
He sells the work online in an Etsy store (pinealpinecones), on his website (conesandstones.com), and at several local stores, including Bead It in downtown Santa Cruz, Monkey Girl Beads on 41st Avenue, and Gaia Earth Treasures in Capitola. Prices for his jewelry go from $40 to $240.
To see this seasoned work come out of a beginning jeweler is impressive. It’s also particularly astonishing to hear about the painful journey that brought him to this satisfying place in life. Five years ago, Weiseth was camping in a tree- house in Washington state, when a huge wind storm came in and swept him (inside his one-man tent) off the tree house platform to the ground, 90 feet below. For the next eight hours, he crawled through the woods, intermittently spitting up blood, and eventually finding a road where a passerby discovered him and got him to a hospital. There, he recovered for months, having broken six vertebrae, ruptured his spleen and lungs, and ended up losing an inch of intestines. Years later, yoga, meditation, and now his jewelry work have all played a healing process in enabling him to be a healthy person—one who can go on hikes and find surprising treasures; one whose “third eye” is fully intact.
For more information about Carl Weiseth, visit conesandstones.com.