Opal group

11 05 2012

It’s probably pretty clear that the pendants I’ve made for ‘Oh Opal!’ are responding to the wild colouring of the individual opals.

Opal07, Opal03, Opal04; image not to be reproduced without permission

In my initial thinking:
The opal does seem to be the ‘uncool kid’ -­‐ wearing way too many colours all at once and not playing well with others.
In researching opals I found that like many gemstones, they have also been subject to laboratory creation.
Synthetic opals are ugly, though seem strangely pixellated and immediately reminded me of my woven paper and silver.
The woven panels respond to the natural opal -­‐ splitting out the colours and pixellating them with fine silver.

The choice of a pendant is intended to reflect the Art Nouveau era, when the opals were at their height of popularity. Also, as the pieces are made from paper and doublets, then they wouldn’t wear well if handled too often, so a ring or bracelet was out of the question and even a brooch was marginal.

A couple of images of synthetic opals may be helpful for comparison:


Not very nice are they? Well, I’m not a big fan of them.
But I do thank them for the inspiration!

Actually, my very first thought was to ‘replicate’ an opal with just the paper weave … but then wasn’t sure if it would be suitable for a piece in an opal exhibition not to actually have opal. Though on further thought that’s what artistic interpretation is all about yes?

I’ll write more about their construction shortly.



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