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Purple Haze - Differences Unite Us


#1

Materials: sterling and fine silver, sugelite, amethyst
Dimensions: Center drop amethyst is 1.5 cm across. Earrings are 3 cm tall.

Necklace and earring set. Hand fabricated in sterling, and linked together with a hand-woven fine silver chain. Purple bezel- and prong-set gemstones are cut en cabochon and faceted.

Different mineral species (sugelite and amethyst) united by a common purple color come together in this necklace and earring set. While color is frequently used to distinguish gemstones, it can be misleading, and reminds us to look beyond first impressions.

Photo credit: Leslie Gordon (artist)

Leslie C. Gordon
Menlo Park, CA. USA

Trained as a geologist, I draw my inspiration from natural gems, fossils, and metals all Earth materials. Using traditional metal fabrication techniques in silver, my jewelry designs are centered around geologically interesting and unusual specimens. Designing a piece starts with the stones, and the metal becomes a vehicle for bringing together and showcasing the various colors and textures of the natural gems. I prefer the white-metal color of silver to show off the gemstone colors, and I enjoy the direct contact, the moving and shaping of the metal involved with fabrication and forming techniques. In addition to jewelry, I make small metal boxes and bowls, utilitarian objects, and sculptural forms, usually ornamented with gemstones and fossils.

When selecting gemstones, I look for free-form or asymmetrically shaped stones, and gems with natural “flaws” and blemishes. I frequently use minerals in their natural crystal forms, and create unconventional and unexpected combinations of gemstone colors and textures. Each piece of jewelry tells the story of the dynamic forces behind the extremes of time, temperature, and pressure that created each gemstone, and the eons of time it took to preserve each fossil. The stories behind each stone, its geological significance, history and place of origin, inspire me to capture and wear the natural beauty of Earth’s treasures.


Ganoksin hosts the jewelry list Orchid, with over 13,000 list members from all over the world, speaking from a wide range of technical and aesthetic experiences. The exhibition theme grew out of a desire to celebrate the creativity encompassed in this wide variety.

Artists were free to interpret the theme in any way they chose. Each artist could submit up to six pieces. Interpretations include uniting different materials into one cohesive form; intellectual and emotional “unitings”, where the meaning of the piece unites multiple concepts; the uniting of time - past, present and future; and a number that focus on the harmony created when uniting multiple materials and/or concepts.

The work submitted involved a wide range of jewelry techniques, from very traditional to very cutting edge, as well as using materials from traditional precious metals and gemstones to “re-purposed” and “up-cycled” materials.

The exhibition showcases 330 images chosen from entries from over 111 artists representing 26 countries.

Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Greece, India, Israel, Italy, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Serbia, Spain, Trinidad, Turkey, UK, USA, Venezuela, and the Virgin Islands

Many of the participants began their interest in jewelry at a young age. Some are relative newcomers to the field, and some have over 35 years of experience as professional jewelers and goldsmiths. While some grew up in families that were goldsmiths, and followed in those footsteps, others only began creating jewelry as adults.