Very often, much of my inspiration comes from nature. Plants, the environment around us, the colours, shapes, textures and proportions of waves or clouds or leaves or water all inform and inspire the jewellery that I create. Whether it is the leave of a tree, or the surface of a piece of water worn sandstone, the opportunity for design ideas exists all around. Sometimes, however, it is the much more immediate inspiration of particular gemstones that gets the creative juices flowing.
On rarer occasions, just very now and again, the thing that really sets the imagination blazing is the sheer awe inspiring work of another jeweller or jewellers. Recently, I was lucky enough to see the jewels of the San Gennaro collection. Even to describe them simply as jewels seems too trivial but much as Bilbo Baggins was without words when met with the sight of Smaug’s hoard I am not sure I actually have the words to do them justice.
The jewels and statues and tributes that form the San Gennaro collection are simply breathtaking. From really rather massive emeralds, amethysts, sapphires and peridots, to acres of gold, and dozens upon dozens of diamonds….and so far I have only just described the necklace of St Januarius. So what of the inspiration? Well, I tend to be quite sparse with my use of gemstones, I like space and light around them. For me, the genius of much of the gem set pieces in the San Gennaro collection was that although they were encrusted with gemstones, it wasn’t in an edge to edge pave set way of much modern commercial jewellery, it all had a beautiful spacious light touch to the positioning of the stones, despite the gemstones being scattered all across the surface. And that is a skill I want to acquire! I don’t imagine the turn around will be quick, I think I may need a fair amount of drawing board time to reach the place I’m aiming for, but for the final effect, I am going to give it a go.
In the meantime, why the pearl and amethyst birthstone bracelet photograph? Well, despite the high and lofty inspiration, birthday gifts still have to be created and this pretty February birthstone bracelet is a perfect gift, especially as it is one of a kind! With only three of the little flat teardrop amethyst beads to my name, I’ve created the bracelet above and a pair of matching earrings, so once they are gone – they are gone!!