Fifteen years ago he made special pieces for his private clients. In all that time he had never made a piece of opal and asked me how I came to do that and more importantly why.
I explained to her that each opal was different from the others and that was very important. If one of us as an artist is looking for rubies or sapphires for example to place a ring or ring we spend a lot of time looking at each stone under magnification to find the two or three stones we need they will be exactly the same color and durability. But that is not the case with opal.
Since every opal necklace is different we want the opposite. We want those individual qualities that make it different from any other stone. We look at that burst of bright color or that intricate pattern or that mass of different colors arranged in its own unique way.
I explained to him that since every opal is unique and comes in several varieties from different parts of Australia you have to develop specialized knowledge to really understand it. Then as a sculptor and sculptor of these stones I have gained knowledge of the years and years of the opal complexity in the work surrounding it.
Imagine if you had been sitting on a bench for a few years and you were staring at magnified lenses at a certain stone and every day you spent hours deciding how to get the best out of a few stones and then spend days. cutting yourself. Well you wouldn’t develop some technology with these stones would you? I asked him how many hours he spent staring at one citrine or one emerald?
Opal is a stone you can love. I asked her if she could date other species. Can they fall in love with amethyst or rubies? The answer was no as they are basically stones that all look the same and have no qualities that make you want to test them for hours on end.
That’s why I love working with opals and making opal jewelry. I love stone and have a real passion for making a piece of jewelry for this precious stone that I work with.
When I make a ruby ring a customer might give me a two-carat rubble and measure the stone at each location and set it aside to make a piece of gold. I don’t look at the stone again and I don’t even think about it. When I have finished working with the metal I then take the ruby and put it on the piece.
But when I make an opal ring all my focus is trying to get the best out of opal. The stone never goes out of place when I make the metal part. I keep picking it up and seeing where it will sit on the piece to make sure I have nothing to say. I keep whispering things like: “My God, this is going to look fun!” You would not do that if you did not like stones.