Tagged colored gemstones

A Design a Day – Day 328 (Pretty in Pink – My Newest Take on the Chandelier Earring)

Pretty in pink describes this lovely pink sapphire, amethyst and pearl chandelier earring rendering by award-winning jewelry designer Joana Miranda

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A Design a Day – Day 246 (A Jeweled Butterfly Emerges)

What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly. (Richard Bach)

Watercolor and gouache butterflly brooch rendering with pear-shaped amethyst and aquamarine gemstones by Joana Miranda
Watercolor and Gouache Amethyst, Aquamarine and Diamond Butterfly Brooch Rendering by Joana Miranda

Tomorrow I’ll post the 7th and final animal-inspired brooch rendering in this series.  Tomorrow’s animal is perhaps the closest to the human race in terms of its sophistication.  In fact, some breeds have even been trained to assist quadriplegics and other people with severe spinal cord injuries or mobility impairments. After being socialized in a human home as infants, these animals undergo extensive training before being placed with a quadriplegic.  Around the house, they can help out by doing tasks including microwaving food, washing the quadriplegic’s face and opening drink bottles…

(I think it would be neat to have one of these as a pet, but the closest I’ve ever come is a stuffed toy version.)

Join me tomorrow to learn the identity of this animal!

A Design a Day – Day 204

I really love this time of year when the air starts to feel soft,

we awake to the birds chirping,

and the trees look like they are covered with delicate green lace.

This earring design is inspired by spring:

Watercolor and Gouache "Spring Bud" Earring Rendering by Joana Miranda

Happy Spring!

A Design a Day – Day 161

Another design from my past – summer of 2006, to be precise!  Although I didn’t quite know how to shade the inner facets in colored gemstones at the time, I did capture some of the depth in the pink “sapphire.”  I like this design, but realize now that the gold and diamond wavy component in this necklace needs to be rethought, either with hinges or links, so that the the necklace will lie smoothly on the neck:

Colored Pencil and Gouache Gold, Diamond, Pink Sapphire and Tahitian Pearl Necklace Rendering by Joana Miranda

That said, I still believe that it is very important to design what is in your imagination first and foremost, then figure out how to make it feasible!

A Design a Day – Day 142

Today’s design, the last in my seven-day series of earring designs inspired by the seven wonders of the world, was inspired by the Grand Canyon.  Two hundred seventy-seven miles in length, anywhere from 4 to 18 miles in width, and over a mile deep at its deepest, the Grand Canyon in Arizona is thought to have been carved by the meandering Colorado River as far back as 17 million years ago.  The river continues to erode and carve out the canyon today.

Grand Canyon, AZ

My earring design inspired by the Grand Canyon follows:

Watercolor and Gouache Agate and Silver Earring Rendering by Joana Miranda

I chose to incorporate a red agate stone (carved into a doughnut shape) since the variegated bands of color common in this stone remind me of the layers of colors in the rocks of the Grand Canyon.  I also designed this earring with blackened silver.  Originally, the Grand Canyon was inhabited by Native Americans who built settlements within its caves.  The Pueblo people considered the Canyon a holy place and made pilgrimages to it.  Native Americans have a long and elegant tradition of working with silver; hence my choice of the metal for this design.

I hope my readers have enjoyed my whirlwind journey to some of the greatest architectural and natural wonders of our world!  In closing this week’s posts I’d like to quote Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (French aviator and writer who lived from 1900-1944):

A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

A Design a Day – Day 140

Today’s design, #5 in my seven-day series of earring designs inspired by the seven wonders of the world, was inspired by Bell Rock Lighthouse.  Considered one of the seven “Wonders of the Industrial World”, the 35 meter high lighthouse is located 12 miles off the coast of Angus, Scotland in the North Sea, and was first lit in 1811.  It is the world’s oldest-surviving sea-washed lighthouse and its beam can be seen for 35 statute miles inland.  The masonry work on which the lighthouse stands was constructed to such high standards that it hasn’t been altered or repaired for over 200 years.

Construction of this lighthouse was deemed necessary since the underlying rocks, hidden except for a few hours at low tide, were the scene of many shipwrecks.  The actual construction of the lighthouse ended up going about 50% over budget and claimed the lives of several workers in the process due to storms and accidental drownings.  One worker on the project who had his legs accidentally crushed, ended up petitioning for a job as “lighthouse keeper” which was granted to him.

Bell Rock Lighthouse; North Sea near Angus, Scotland

My earring design inspired by the Bell Rock Lighthouse follows:

Watercolor and Gouache Rock Crystal, White Gold, Blue Sapphire and Diamond Earring Rendering by Joana Miranda

I’ve chosen to use white gold, rock crystal, and gradations of blue sapphires and diamonds in this earring design.  This is perhaps my favorite design in this series, but I’ll let my readers be the judge.  Come back tomorrow to read about the Golden Gate bridge and see the earring design inspired by this Modern World Wonder.

A Design a Day – Day 98

Merry Christmas!

Today’s post could be subtitled Snow Maiden.  I designed this fifth and final brooch in my starry snowflake-inspired series in the Art Nouveau style.  Here is my initial pencil quick sketch:

Art Nouveau-Inspired "Snow Maiden" Brooch Quick Sketch by Joana Miranda

…and the final rendering:

Watercolor and Gouache Art Nouveau "Snow Maiden" Brooch Rendering with Gold, Glass, Diamonds, Opals, Enamel and Baroque Pearl by Joana Miranda

The Art Nouveau period (French for “new art”) which was introduced in 1890s, featured sinuous and curving lines, an emphasis on nature and the vitality of the natural world, and a new appreciation for Japanese art.   One of the giants in this movement was Rene Lalique, whose use of glass together with precious metals and gemstones expanded the boundaries and ethereal look of jewelry.  In addition to the use of molded or enameled glass together with gemstones and enamel, other characteristics of the Art Nouveau style were:

  • Realistic portrayals of nature including butterflies, birds, and intertwining foliage
  • Fantastic creatures such as dragons and other mythical beasts
  • Gems such as pearls, opal, moonstone, aquamarine, tourmaline, rose quartz, chalcedony, chrysoprase, and amethyst
  • Designs of women transformed into mermaids, winged sprites, or flowers

A Design a Day – Day 88

When I set out to design the details on the jeweled box for my parents, I was thinking of the ornate and lavish decorations in the interior of Sintra’s Palácio Nacional.  Many rooms are a riot of color; gilded and painted ceilings paired with blue and white tiled walls which depict various courtly scenes:

Sintra Palace - Meeting Room

One room, in particular, is quite eye-catching.  The entire ceiling is constructed of gilded panels depicting swans in different poses:

Sintra Palace - Swan Room

This motif became the inspiration for the inside of my jeweled box:

Watercolor and Gouache Jeweled Box Rendering by Joana Miranda

I chose to render the swan body as a baroque pearl.  I also gave the swan a pavé diamond neck and emerald eyes.  In addition to having a collar of yellow gold, my swan is standing on a base of malachite.  The inside of the box is finished with maroon and blue enamel.  Here is the finished rendering in its entirety:

Watercolor and Gouache Jeweled Box Rendering Shown Open and Closed by Joana Miranda

I presented this rendering to my parents this past weekend when they came to visit and celebrate an early Christmas with me.  This is one of those renderings that looks even better in real life than it does scanned for computer.  You’ll just have to invite yourself over to tea at my parent’s if you want to see it “live.”