Friday, April 4, 2014

D is for Druzy, Downton-esque and Design

We're at the Letter D in my ABC series (a not so comprehensive guide to jewellery materials, tools and techniques I use) D is for Druzy, Downton-esque and Design.
Druse crust on white quartz, own photo

Druse, or Druzy, is a natural crusty layer of crystal  formation  on  top of  the fracture surface of a rock.    It most commonly occurs on agate, malachite, quartz, chalcedony, or  turquoise. This pretty  piece  is white  quartz.    The   formation  of   tiny   crystals  occurs  when  ground water carrying dissolved silica gets forced into the porous gaps in a rock then cools rapidly. The  stone does not  glow   like it  appears  here  all the time, but does catch the light beautifully as you move it about.


Metaphysically, this stone is associated with banishment of negative thoughts, said to help you through worrisome or negative times. In Feng Shui is it believed to bring light and life into a dark corner.

This egg-shaped stone will make a beautiful piece of bridal jewellery or a pretty First Holy Communion gift, most likely a pendant. As yet I haven't decided how to approach the design but am leaning towards treating it like a piece of sea glass.

Irish Seaglass Pendant.  Pale Aqua Beach Glass. Dune Irish Seaglass Pendant. Olive Ocean

I have developed my own, light and free style of wire wrapping sea glass and sea pottery that shows off the beauty of the material while making a neat and pretty feature of the wire itself without too much fuss. Above are examples of my sea glass wrapping (the second pendant, Zest, is still available.) I'm pretty sure I can adapt my technique to show off the druse quite easily. In fact, the crusty nature of the rock will probably require less wire on the front to 'stick'.

D is also for Downton-esque...a made up term yes, but lovers of Downton  Abbey will know  what I mean. If you love the TV series as much as I do, you will probably also be madly in love with the early 20th century style and fashion. So far covering the period between the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 to post war twenties, we get to follow the changes in style from Edwardian through Art Deco and Great Gatsby-like glam. Black Earrings. Downton Abbey Edwardian Style. Onyx & Chain. Midnight in Dublin

I don't religiously copy the jewellery of the era but draw on it to inspire modern designs that capture the essence of the period. I am not a fan of diamonte, a 'D' not found in my glossary, preferring to garner a more subtle sparkle from gemstones and crystal. The above earrings left to right are 'Roaring Twenties' made with freshwater pearl and glass, 'Midnight in Dublin' with Onyx and chain and  'Ballroom' with clear quartz crystal with a hint of lacquered enamel.
'Cora' earrings are my current favourite. I used a combination of  rounds, bicones and cones to evoke the angles and geometry of the Art Deco (post Edwardian) movement.

Red gemstone fan necklace
is of course for Design. There are two entirely different ways in which I approach design. The first is the more usual, structured method, familiar to methodical artists. The second, is free style and organic.

Sometimes, particularly when combining gemstones and other beads, I will sketch a few ideas first before drawing the blueprint and laying out the components so I can see where I'm heading. Preliminary sketches are particularly useful with custom orders, where I must interpret someone else's wishes into something workable. Jewelry.  Blue Sea Glass Pendant.  Aqua Pool

When it comes to wire wrapping sea glass and sea pottery I much prefer to let the shape, curves, dips and crests of the nugget dictate the way to go. I am often completely surprised by the end result so I find this method more fun.

This is where I drop the letter D. Back soon with the next in the series....
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1 comment:

  1. Anne Marie...not sure if the comment is done, just in case darling here is once more LOL
    Being in another craftsmanship speciality I must admit know only a few about jewelry but I like natural stones so much ..and I like your wrap on it only a bit of 'hug' that remains as a subtle ornament ..
    Thanks for sharing !