Tag Archives: alexander mcqueen

November Birthstones-Citrine and Topaz-a tragic love for a play on words

Topaz and Citrine are hot stones to keep you November babies warm if you choose to stand on balconies to watch any fireworks or family feuds unfold.

Sometimes misidentified as each other in their yellow form, Citrine is a yellow variety of quartz and Topaz is a silicate mineral and a more valuable gemstone. Topaz can display similar strength to corundum (the gem family that includes Ruby and Sapphire) but can fracture under excessive pressure. To add to the confusion Amethyst, after heat treatment, can be turned yellow masquerading as Citrine in disguise. These ‘burnt amethysts’ or artificial Citrines can be identified by a tinge of red. Citrine can be found in a range of yellow to dark reddy/brown shades. While Topaz has a wider colour palate of yellow, green, pink, orange and the rare blue with its purest form occurring as a colourless stone.

Two gemstones, both alike in clarity, in fair November where we lay our scene.

Many a jeweller tells their own story of love for these gems, though with the potential mistaken identity, the makers’ tale doesn’t have to have to have a Shakespearean tragic ending.

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Earrings and ring in Citrine by Chris Boland. With his bold yet transparent technique of setting, what you see is what you get and what you get is a neat treat.

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The honey coloured hexagonal topaz formations for this Alexander McQueen beehive cuff would make any worker feel like a queen.

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Ryan Nelson has pincered an icy blue Topaz in place at opposite corners to look create this industrially striking ring. Whereas this roughly set pink topaz ring with rose gold from by Angeline has a softer appearance.pink topaz ring

Please excuse one last attempt at wordy theatricals for these two heroes of our romantic tale, if I conclude with…

Never was a story of more glow than this of Citrine and Topaz(eo).

If you feel like these gems in any other frame should surely be as sweet, try one of our stone setting courses.

 

 

 

Jewels for Halloween – It’s a kind of magic

Halloween in the Adams Family household was never a small Thing, my personal style may have gone from Cousin Itt to Pugsley in the last 25 years but my enthusiasm for this dubious holiday has not wavered. So in the spirit of celebration of the unknown and creepy, we can also embrace the magical and mysterious and even some veg to bring us back down to earth.

This year there has been an appearance of magical, mystical motifs on the catwalks and looking beyond the stars and moons there are otherworldly delights to be found.

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Chanel A/W 2017

Shelley James makes 3D printed and cast glass sculptures from her base in Cockpit Studios. These pieces, some of which can be worn as necklaces, change colour in different light conditions.

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There are some more traditionally spooky treats to bewitch us too, like this beautiful bat out of the blue ring by Lydia Courteille.

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These cheeky eight-legged freaks have got their fangs into some of Alexander McQueen’s signature skulls.

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It doesn’t take Halloween to get under your skin to use skulls as a way to get a-head with your jewellery designs. Susan Elanora uses this as a regular motif for her cute and creepy jewellery. And our tutors Natasha Williams and Sophie Arnott have also used the skull as a reference in their work.

Natasha has used Computer Aided Design and 3d printing in wax to get to create this angular cranial knuckle duster in silver.

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While Sophie has favoured engraving for this silver signet ring.

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I am growing to love Halloween even more since discovering that its roots are in harvest festival traditions. I have a great appreciation of vegetable jewellery. The pumpkin may be the go-to-veg for these times but this pumpkin coloured Romanesco cauliflower brooch by Barbara Paganin (AKA Space Cauliflower, usually the unearthly colour of Slimer from Ghostbusters) from the epic collections at the V&A is just what the witch doctor ordered.

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Don’t let your creepy creations (Uncle) Fester indoors, here are a few magical, curious or kooky things to see and do over at this frightful time of year:

Harry Potter- A History of Magic Exhibition at The British Library. Until Wednesday 28th February.

Screening of The Addams Family with orchestral accompaniment at The Royal Albert Hall. Thursday 26th October.

Halloween Fair at the Horniman Museum, Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 October 2017.

Virtual Reality Haunted Cinema in Covent Garden, from Wednesday 25th October-Sunday 29th October.

Halloween Fright Night party at The Quarter of Curiosity Shop in Soho, Thursday 26th October.

Or Go(mez) wild and book onto one of our magical courses to get that memento mori made.

Lil Adams is the London Jewellery School Sundays Studio Manager. Lil studied Fine Art in Leeds and lived in Melbourne before travelling about and settling in London. She now works at the British Architectural Library and enjoys making jewellery with found and natural objects and is shamelessly addicted to casting.