Tuesday, July 14, 2009

'Behind the Scenes': The Dreamtime Collection

(To the left: Neptune's Garden - Australian boulder opal on AAA amethysts and 18K gold)

I love color. The first thing visitors to my 85-year old red-tiled “Hollywood” bungalow notice are the bold jewel colors throughout the house and in the yard. And what could be more colorful than Australian boulder opal? A double Libra whose birthstone is opal, the moment I saw my first boulder opals in 2003 I began visualizing the result: the Elle Schroeder Dreamtime Collection, named in honor of opal’s origin as well as the infinite spiritual cycle Australia’s original inhabitants call “the dreaming.”

“Bolder opal is talismanic to me, more deeply ‘earth-connected’ than any other gem I work with, each is a piece of the oldest continent on earth. Opals speak to me of diversity and strength. Like opals we are each on the surface unique, but under a thin fa├žade of difference we are more alike than not, sharing the same basic fears, hopes and concerns. And, just as boulder opal’s natural ironstone backing makes it much more durable than its solid opal counterpart, so do we individually and collectively possess a powerful strength and durability.

Opals are so spectacular in their own right that my job is simply to enhance the natural beauty already present. Choosing the perfect gem colors and shapes to pair with each opal is a challenge that never tires me. Completing the mix is 18K gold whose rich earthy yellow complements boulder opal‘s organic look and feel, giving each piece a casual, yet luxurious air.”

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