This summer is turning out to be sweetly magical. I've enjoyed my share of fresh corn, chanterelles, peaches and strawberries, but I have one more goal before summer's end. I am absolutely determined to get an excellent shot of a dragonfly or ebony wing damselfly. Life is good and I am grateful. I hope each of you feels the same way this summer.
MANDARIN GARNET, DENDRITIC AGATE
AND GOLDEN KESHI PEARL EAR PENDANTS
Dendritic agate continues to captivate my imagination, and the mirror images of this matched pair are a designer's dream. This pair is opaque and the landscape stretches horizontally. Each ear pendant centers upon an oval cabochon dendritic agate from Kazakhstan, surmounted by a marquise-shaped spessartite garnet cabochon, further accented by a button-shaped golden keshi cultured pearl fringe. The garnets are Namibian and the cultured keshi pearls are from the waters of the Philippines. These ear pendants are like wearing a sunset on your ears. The light from the orange garnets illuminates the landscape. All the gem materials are 100% natural, and the ear pendants were made right here in New York City. They are mounted entirely in 18K gold.
The stark, dramatic simplicity of these earrings makes me feel elegant and powerful. Although they seem heavy, they are light enough to wear throughout the day.
DIAMOND AND 18K GOLD QUATREFOIL EARRINGS
These are a further exploration of the Renaissance quatrefoil ring from my last newsletter. I wanted to make a matching pair of earrings. These earrings are set with matching French-cut diamonds weighing approximately 0.70 cts., and mounted entirely in 18K gold. While I love the quatrefoil setting, it is the back of these earrings that make my heart beat faster. It is a secret union of intricacy and detail. We used 3D printing technology to create a matching quatrefoil plate for the back using the fleur de lys motif. The setting and the fleur de lys motif are centuries old, but the technology used is cutting edge.
For the finish, I prefer a matte look. For these, we matched the finish of this Wedgewood dish, and sandblasted the earrings to give them a granular texture.
NATURAL CABOCHON CEYLON SAPPHIRE
I purchased this sapphire as part of an Art Deco diamond ring, and unmounted the sapphire. It was badly scratched up and needed to be repolished. After repolishing, the final weight of the stone is approximately 16.48 cts, and now it has a mirror-like finish. The stone was born in Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and is natural, without any treatments. It is a medium blue color and is really quite gemmy.
I didn't think the original mounting was worthy of the quality of this stone. Instead, I would love to build an Egyptian stylized blue lotus ring setting for it.
COGNAC AND FANCY INTENSE YELLOW DIAMOND
The card is a personal favorite from Open Sea Design Co., and is a richly detailed lover's eye brooch. Swoon.
CARRÉ-CUT MINT TOURMALINE PARCEL
The mint green colors of tourmaline coming out of Afghanistan and Mozambique are fresh and crisp. These carré-cut tourmalines measure 4 mm square and are perfect for channel settings. As you move to the back of the sorting board, you see the color go from minty to lagoon-colored blue-green, or indicolite colors. Sitting and sorting layouts of these for a ring, or a matched set of eight for a pair of earrings are a play activity for me. It's a rabbit hole I love to fall down.
The flowers in the foreground of the photo are called kangaroo paw, and the name charmed me into buying them. The pair of petal settings on the right are a work in progress. Still not quite done. That quatrefoil setting is too flat and lacks volume. Time for another edit. You'll see them finished in the next newsletter hopefully.
I've worked to balance work, introspection and socializing this summer, and am pretty happy with the balance I have struck. These are my entertainment recommendations. In movies, I'm looking forward to Gurinder Chadha's Blinded by the Light, and plan to see this (opening) week. It's inspired by the memoir of journalist Sarfraz Manzoor and his love of the works of Bruce Springsteen. I have thoroughly enjoyed her other movies, especially Bend it Like Beckham, and if the reviews are any indication, I'm going to love this one too.
All of these are essentially about finding out who you are, where you belong and finding your tribe. My take away from these series is be unabashedly yourself, and the world will rise up to meet you.