In a Flash is a trade name of Utah residents Tony and Eric Thurber. Their Application is as Artisans in opal inlay jewelry. Their products consist of original handmade opal pendants, necklaces, and earrings. All pieces are made entirely by the Artists themselves, and are produced locally. Prices range widely, from $50 to $5,500.
Host materials include jades, jaspers, petrified woods, limb cast agates, and other semi-precious materials from Utah, nearby states, and abroad. Precious opal is obtained from Australia, Ethiopia, and Idaho.
Our objective is to create pieces that are attractive, unique, simple, organic, and devoid of frills that distract from the natural beauty and compatibility of the materials. The materials are selected for their beauty, rarity, durability, and preferred local provenance.
The process involves over 40 separate steps. Sawing, cutting, excavating, and polishing is done entirely with diamond saws and tools. Drilling is accomplished by an ultrasonic device.
Our pieces are available at the new Natural History Museum Store. Several local stores and galleries have handled our work for many years. Our regular shows include Quartzsite and Tucson, Arizona, and several Utah rock and mineral club shows.
Tony Thurber learned the basic process from the late master carver Kreg Scully and Park City Jewelry artist Ken Whipple. Tony has trained a number of individuals (including his son Eric); presented seminars in Utah and elsewhere, and written articles about the basic process and his innovations for Rock & Gem Magazine. One of his articles was used as a cover story.
To our knowledge, no one else is currently producing opal inlay pieces with similar methods and materials. Each or our pieces is unique. There are no duplications, except for earrings. And each piece is guaranteed not to crack, craze, or come apart.
Our pieces are intended for discriminating people who want something dependable, different, natural, of high quality, and organic.
Tony Thurber is a retired attorney living in Ogden, Eric is Tony's son, and lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. Eric is a former bartender and restaurant manager, who now produces art, photography, and inlay jewelry.
Tony's interest in opal began early. A meeting with the late master carver Kreg Scully led to the current line of opal inlay jewelry. Tony's production began a few years before Kreg's untimely death. Eric later expressed an interest, and received his training in 2007.
Their object is to produce a setting for fine Australian opal that compliments but does not distract from the opal. They use gold and a variety of host materials including chrysoprase, jade, chalcedony, and limb cast agate, petrified wood, landscape jasper, and several types of quartz. They never duplicate a piece (except for earrings). They believe that since every fine opal is different 'just like people'; every piece of opal jewelry should be different as well.
They recently counted the total number of steps involved from rough to polish. To their surprise, there were 42. Tony has written an article about the process for Rock & Gem, and given several seminars, but has found that most folks run out of enthusiasm after the first 10 or 15 steps. It is painstaking work, demanding total attention and lots of patience.
A guarantee goes along with all their pieces, mainly to counter the myth that opal is fragile or unlucky. The way it works is that if anything cracks, crazes, or falls out, they will repair or replace the piece free of charge. It's a lifetime guarantee: their lifetime. That way, the customers should be wishing them well.
Regarding the myth, Tony believes the only thing 'unlucky' about fine opal is not having one! No 'bad luck' events have been reported; and all the buyers who have reported in appear to be alive and happy.
Tony's latest 'how to' article is posted on this website, and in Rock & Gem October 2009 issue. Anyone interested is invited to read the article and give it a try. Calls from those who get 'stuck' are welcome, and come in fairly often.
New inventory and production improvements will be posted on this website as they develop.
Tony and Eric