Tag Archive | wedding

Through the Loupe with…Genna Delaney

Regular readers will know that we like to take the opportunity every so often to get to know someone connected with the jewellery industry a little better!  This month we have the enormous pleasure of going “through the Loupe” with Genna Delaney of Genna Designs.  Genna has been super busy this year (including exhibiting every day at the Edinburgh Festival!) so we’re really pleased that this award winning designer had some time for us:

Have you found it difficult to start your own business, where did you go for help?

Setting up in business is hard work, to be a jeweller like me you need a lot of equipment so I had to write a very strong business plan so that I could get funding. I was lucky enough to get a studio space at WASPS, Meadow Mill, shortly after I graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee. The cultural enterprise office were a great help with the start up of my business, as was Business Gateway. I got a loan and mentor for 3 years from PSYBT. They were also a massive help in my business.
 
[Feeling confident in the business side of the industry of one of the harder sides of being a jeweller, it’s really great to know that you got some great support from this great organisation.  You can hear Genna talking about starting up her business here]
 
Do you make your own jewellery?
 I design and make jewellery for all occasions including wedding and engagement rings, kiltpins, cufflinks. I enjoy taking on bespoke commissions and design something unique for each client. Everything is individually handmade.
 
Though I am currently experimenting with new technologies in my work using lasers and etching with my perspex collection and working with Cloud 9 to create a new 3d collection. I work from my studio at WASPS, Meadow Mill, Dundee. I love my studio.
[this is officially the first mention of kiltpins on our blog…we hope it’s not the last!]

 

Examples of Genna Designs beautiful perspex jewellery

Examples of Genna Designs beautiful perspex jewellery

You use some great stones and materials, but Perspex isn’t something we’re used to seeing in jewellery – what is it like to work with and what made you decide to try this out?
 
Perspex is a durable, lightweight and colourful material. It’s easy to file and sand and is much cheaper to use than precious metals and stones. I incorporated it into my work to add colour and to cut costs.

 

PerspexCuffPendant-small

Perspex cuff and pendant

 What are your influences?
 
Architecture, the Scottish landscape, the countryside, nature, the sea and natural rock formations.
 textured-collection-bracelets
 framelayerpendant - gold leaf - small
 
What’s your favourite gemstone?
 I love aquamarine and different types of quartz. I love using stones that are unusual shapes and have unique inclusions in each stone, such as dendritic quartz, rutile quartz, each piece is like a little picture, then I design around the stone and create unusual settings.
  GennaDesign-rutile quartz square ring angle
[This amazing rutile quartz ring is such a beautiful example of the raw natural beauty of the gem contrasted with the really unique setting of the ring – this piece is so beautiful and unusual it has to be one of our favourite items from Genna’s collection]
 
What are your aspirations for the future?
 
Would love to have my work in international galleries abroad, would love to gain high profile press coverage and would love a celebrity to wear my jewellery. One day I would like to have my own gallery and workshop.

Thank you so much to Genna for giving us an insight into your work – if there is anyone out there who can offer Genna some high profile press coverage we think you should jump at the opportunity before someone else gets there first!

Genna makes such a great mix of beautiful jewellery that we really hope you have enjoyed the post and will look out for her in the future, can we take the opportunity to highly recommend following up with visiting her YouTube page it’s really exciting to get a close up view of the creative process.  You can also find Genna on Pinterest, Twitter (@gennadesign) and Facebook.

 

If you are a designer, jewellery or work in any aspect of the jewellery or gemstone industry and fancy coming Through the Loupe with us please do get in touch at adventuresthroughtheloupe@outlook.com.

 

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The most precious of metals…?

Gold and silver have been the “go to” metals for jewellery for a long time, but there are alternatives (we’ll be taking a look at some of the newer ones in future posts) but we thought we would look at that premium metal which is becoming ever more popular with wedding jewellery…Platinum.

Platinum Nugget, picture from Wikipedia, copyright  Heinrich Pniok.

Platinum Nugget, picture from Wikipedia, copyright Heinrich Pniok.

The history of platinum dates back more than three thousand years, beginning with the ancient civilisation of Egypt. Archaeologists have found Egyptian gold pieces from as far back as 1400BC that contain traces of platinum.

Platinum came to the attention of European scientists in the mid 1700’s but remained fairly obscure till the 1890’s when French jeweller Louis Cartier started using it. It became more popular in the 1920s and 30s especially in Art Deco jewellery. It also became popular for engagement and wedding rings a trend that continues still today. It is the most expensive precious metal due to its rarity; platinum is one of the rarest elements in the earth’s crust, above gold and silver. It is dense and hard wearing, which makes it the strongest and best setting for precious gems; it also requires only minimal cleaning.  Unlike silver, it does not tarnish and it has the advantage over rhodium-plated gold, in that it does not wear away with time.

Platinum & other materials pin set by Lacloche Freres, from the V&A Collection, bequeathed to the museum by Miss J.H.G. Gollan

Platinum & other materials pin set by Lacloche Freres, from the V&A Collection, bequeathed to the museum by Miss J.H.G. Gollan

Due to its desirable characteristics, there has been more of a push in recent times to have the metal seen not just for classical wedding jewellery but as a metal used in innovative design and trend based jewellery. The Lonmin Design Innovation award was set up 11 years ago to recognise and reward outstanding design in platinum. A previous winner of this award in 2012 was Laura Strand the head designer at Purejewels for their Platinium Heritage Collection, this range asks up-and-coming designers to submit platinum design ideas for the PureJewels range, and the collection is something to behold so please do check out the link!

Platinum has it all beauty, rarity, longevity and purity (nothing else has to be added to ensure its high shine and whiteness) but it also has a hefty price tag! Of course this means that we area always on the look out for an alternative and a strong contender can be found in the form of its cheaper relative Palladium! More about this lookalikey metal in a future post….

Does it have to be a diamond…?

Whilst there are many different colours of diamonds (which we’ll come onto in a different post) we’re going to look specifically at alternatives to the colourless diamond.  Common replicas include Cubic Zirconia, Moissanite, Petalite, Zircon and Topaz.  For even cheaper prices clear glass or acrylic is often used in high street jewellery.  These can all be found in incredibly clear and brilliant examples, they’re cheaper, many look similar, so how can you tell what is real?  Take the well known crystal brand Swarovski, this beautiful necklace (below) is stunning in many different lights, can you really tell that it’s not diamond; Wedding necklace and if you can does it matter?  In the cases of white Zircon, Topaz and Petalite, among others, you’re still getting a real gemstone, similar mining processes and cutting, but paying nowhere near the price of a diamond.  In any event to be fair can anyone really tell whether the rock around your neck is actually synthetic crystal or diamond anyway. Disadvantages of the alternatives So the obvious disadvantage of anything that isn’t diamond or one of the other really desirable gems is that it is likely to lose value, a real diamond is more likely (but not guaranteed) to gain in value over time, particularly good quality gems which are well looked after.  However, turning this on its head of course you probably won’t have paid anywhere near as much for a moissanite or CZ so does it really matter, to each their own. The other obvious disadvantage is that unless you’re wearing a diamond you are not wearing one of the hardest gems known to man…this could make your item easier to scratch or damage…you might not be able to use it to carve your name onto furniture… On a serious note each gem (real or synthetic) has different refractive/fluorescence and brilliance or sparkle.  This is where the real trick lies in trying to distinguish real from fake but in reality without close examination it’s unlikely that even an accredited jewellery professional is going to argue if you tell them your CZ is a diamond. There are also advantages to none diamond pieces, unless you’re particularly precious about your precious gems, synthetic or less pricy gems means you can afford either bigger pieces, or more items than you might be able to with real diamonds.  They can look just as stunning (I wore CZ on my wedding day so no arguments please, but cue an opportunity to flash some wedding bling!) Wedding bracelet and chances are most people you pass in the street won’t be able to tell.  After all how many of us have spent our journey to work staring at someone’s engagement ring wondering whether that giant rock is real or not…?! Ooh more importantly this means it’s more difficult to tell if that rock he got for you is real…hmmm that’s when it’s good to know a gemologist 😉