Boulder Opal and Gemstone Necklace by Patricia Kolodny
"I have chosen to speak about this particular piece because it exemplifies the inspiration of gemstones in my work. Gems inspire me to use color and be more creative in my designs.
After several years of exclusively working directly with metals, I began taking wax carving classes. I also felt the need to expand my design horizons.
Over the last 15 years I have increased my knowledge of gemstones by attending the Tucson gem fair. After looking at opals for many years, I felt ready to make a purchase. The boulder opal for this piece comes from an Australian vendor located at the Lightning Ridge mine. The rectangular stone is backed in wood to secure its stability.
The stone’s organic and undulating shape intrigued me. I immediately realized that its rectangular shape lent itself to a pendant design.
I carved the bezel for the pendant out of hard green wax. While I was carving, the idea to surround the opal with melee stones came to mind. I felt the design would be enhanced by adding colored stones. The stones that I selected mirrored the colors of the opal.
I cast the wax model in 22 karat gold. Although using 22 karat gold increased the cost, the rich gold color definitely added to the beauty of the piece. Just before the covid shut down, I completed the piece.
Much thought went into the selection of the opal, the idea for the design and the work that went into its creation, The journey produced a special piece, inspiring me to work with more gemstones and expand my knowledge in the process."