All posts tagged: colored gemstones

A Design a Day – Day 246 (A Jeweled Butterfly Emerges)

What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly. (Richard Bach) Tomorrow I’ll post the 7th and final animal-inspired brooch rendering in this series.  Tomorrow’s animal is perhaps the closest to the human race in terms of its sophistication.  In fact, some breeds have even been trained to assist quadriplegics and other people with severe spinal cord injuries or mobility impairments. After being socialized in a human home as infants, these animals undergo extensive training before being placed with a quadriplegic.  Around the house, they can help out by doing tasks including microwaving food, washing the quadriplegic’s face and opening drink bottles… (I think it would be neat to have one of these as a pet, but the closest I’ve ever come is a stuffed toy version.) Join me tomorrow to learn the identity of this animal!

A Design a Day – Day 161

Another design from my past – summer of 2006, to be precise!  Although I didn’t quite know how to shade the inner facets in colored gemstones at the time, I did capture some of the depth in the pink “sapphire.”  I like this design, but realize now that the gold and diamond wavy component in this necklace needs to be rethought, either with hinges or links, so that the the necklace will lie smoothly on the neck: That said, I still believe that it is very important to design what is in your imagination first and foremost, then figure out how to make it feasible!

A Design a Day – Day 142

Today’s design, the last in my seven-day series of earring designs inspired by the seven wonders of the world, was inspired by the Grand Canyon.  Two hundred seventy-seven miles in length, anywhere from 4 to 18 miles in width, and over a mile deep at its deepest, the Grand Canyon in Arizona is thought to have been carved by the meandering Colorado River as far back as 17 million years ago.  The river continues to erode and carve out the canyon today. My earring design inspired by the Grand Canyon follows: I chose to incorporate a red agate stone (carved into a doughnut shape) since the variegated bands of color common in this stone remind me of the layers of colors in the rocks of the Grand Canyon.  I also designed this earring with blackened silver.  Originally, the Grand Canyon was inhabited by Native Americans who built settlements within its caves.  The Pueblo people considered the Canyon a holy place and made pilgrimages to it.  Native Americans have a long and elegant tradition of working …

A Design a Day – Day 140

Today’s design, #5 in my seven-day series of earring designs inspired by the seven wonders of the world, was inspired by Bell Rock Lighthouse.  Considered one of the seven “Wonders of the Industrial World”, the 35 meter high lighthouse is located 12 miles off the coast of Angus, Scotland in the North Sea, and was first lit in 1811.  It is the world’s oldest-surviving sea-washed lighthouse and its beam can be seen for 35 statute miles inland.  The masonry work on which the lighthouse stands was constructed to such high standards that it hasn’t been altered or repaired for over 200 years. Construction of this lighthouse was deemed necessary since the underlying rocks, hidden except for a few hours at low tide, were the scene of many shipwrecks.  The actual construction of the lighthouse ended up going about 50% over budget and claimed the lives of several workers in the process due to storms and accidental drownings.  One worker on the project who had his legs accidentally crushed, ended up petitioning for a job as …

A Design a Day – Day 98

Merry Christmas! Today’s post could be subtitled Snow Maiden.  I designed this fifth and final brooch in my starry snowflake-inspired series in the Art Nouveau style.  Here is my initial pencil quick sketch: …and the final rendering: The Art Nouveau period (French for “new art”) which was introduced in 1890s, featured sinuous and curving lines, an emphasis on nature and the vitality of the natural world, and a new appreciation for Japanese art.   One of the giants in this movement was Rene Lalique, whose use of glass together with precious metals and gemstones expanded the boundaries and ethereal look of jewelry.  In addition to the use of molded or enameled glass together with gemstones and enamel, other characteristics of the Art Nouveau style were: Realistic portrayals of nature including butterflies, birds, and intertwining foliage Fantastic creatures such as dragons and other mythical beasts Gems such as pearls, opal, moonstone, aquamarine, tourmaline, rose quartz, chalcedony, chrysoprase, and amethyst Designs of women transformed into mermaids, winged sprites, or flowers

A Design a Day – Day 88

When I set out to design the details on the jeweled box for my parents, I was thinking of the ornate and lavish decorations in the interior of Sintra’s Palácio Nacional.  Many rooms are a riot of color; gilded and painted ceilings paired with blue and white tiled walls which depict various courtly scenes: One room, in particular, is quite eye-catching.  The entire ceiling is constructed of gilded panels depicting swans in different poses: This motif became the inspiration for the inside of my jeweled box: I chose to render the swan body as a baroque pearl.  I also gave the swan a pavé diamond neck and emerald eyes.  In addition to having a collar of yellow gold, my swan is standing on a base of malachite.  The inside of the box is finished with maroon and blue enamel.  Here is the finished rendering in its entirety: I presented this rendering to my parents this past weekend when they came to visit and celebrate an early Christmas with me.  This is one of those renderings …