ONCE UPON A JEWEL™
A Tourmaline Labor of Love
In the Spring of 2010, I took on the challenge of immortalizing one man’s love and devotion to his wife for their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. The end result, after three long years of hard work involving an extensive global gem search, meticulous examination of thousands of gems, delicate yet precise gem cutting that also won First in the competitive “Cutting Edge Awards”, and expertise in color, creativity, custom design, and craftsmanship, was the masterpiece we know now as the “Torii” necklace …
“Now I know where Prometheus hid the fire he stole from the gods,” was a friend’s reaction upon seeing fire opal for the first time. It probably wasn’t the best hiding place.
Opal can burn with a vivacity that cannot be extinguished. Opal tempts poets to create myths and jewelry artists to make inspired designs. So, when a client came to Cynthia Renée with one of these fire-breathing opals asking her to design a pendant, Cynthia wanted to give it a setting that would let its hot embers glow.
Rebirth: A period of new life, growth, or renewed activity
Cynthia Renée, trained geologist and jewelry artist, was touched by the amazing cycle of life when strolling with her young daughters by a sycamore tree. She explains, “A mother barn owl had nested in a hole in the tree, and we’d watch her babies grow to fly. Once a month, the full moon would rise, silhouetting the tree…”
The colors and unique personality of parrots have been captured in storytelling, imagery, and the decorative arts since ancient times. So is it any wonder that when artist Cynthia Renée turned to the natural world for inspiration, parrots captured her imagination? “When I designed these earrings, I wanted the removable drops to be reminiscent of feathers – or even flames. The imagination, and the space for that imagination to soar with the birds, is present within the drop’s motif,” says Cynthia…
Love not of this World
For many years, I have been captivated by the Torii Gates found in Japan. They are commonly located at the entrance to Shinto shrines to mark the transition between the everyday, mundane world and entrance into the world of spirit. The gates possess gentle, yet complicated curves as well as clean straight lines, retaining open space throughout. It seemed the perfect underpinning for this pendant — something boasting openness and space that could be worn in the most mundane of tasks as well as the most special occasions in life.
Continuity out of Chaos?
A gem collector came to me with a wonderful assortment of rare Demantoid garnets he had been gathering. Demantoid garnets, primarily mined in Russia and Namibia, bend light similarly to diamonds and appear fiery. He aspired to showcase this collection of gems in a piece of jewelry …
This client travels the world gaining knowledge about tanzanite, diamonds, and sapphires. She is more aware of gems and jewelry than most people in the trade! A well-traveled New Yorker, she shops the world – if only to gather awareness and keen her eye. She is attracted to gems in bright and vivid colors, and not afraid of bolder rings and earrings. Over time, her collection has evolved within a similar vivid color palette so it all mixes and matches …
Everyone’s a Genius in Hindsight
Everyone’s a genius in hindsight. More valuable is foresight – the ability to predict and take action based on insight into a future chain of events. This client envisioned a stunning pair of earrings combining the compelling sunset hue of Garnets with the Caribbean blue of Zircons…