Discussing Unique Gemstones With William Llewellyn Griffiths
Continuing on with our focus on the work of William Llewellyn Griffiths, we visited his Melbourne studio to discuss his passion for unique gemstones, plus we got to see him custom-cutting some of his beautiful gems! Read on as William discusses the gems he's most passionate about, and why.
PO8: What are your favourite gemstones to work with and why?
WLG: I really like tourmaline, because of the colour range they come in. You can have one stone, but it can have three colours within the one stone. Almost like a piece of Neapolitan icecream. I also like sapphires too, because of their wide colour range.
I like cutting stones as well, I quite often cut my own gemstones. Usually because I can’t necessarily get what I want - for example, the shape I want - so I have to make it myself.
Quite often I just do things myself rather than get someone else to do them, because people don’t really do it the way I want it done. I’m very particular about weird little things.
I'm not a gemologist but I love gemstones, and when I'm buying them to put in my jewellery, I'm looking for interesting occurences like rainbow effects and unusual reflections. I love inclusions in gemstones - they're imperfections, making the stones a bit 'rough around the edges' - just like me.
PO8: Many of your gemstones are set upside down, which is a detail unique to your jewellery. Why do you choose to set them like this?
WLG: Quite often I set my gems upside down because it looks more like a roof, which suits the architectural aspect of my pieces.
PO8: Tell us about the Tucson Gem Show?
WLG: I visited the Tucson Gem Show in February this year. It was my first time there, and there was just so much to take in. So many amazing fancy cuts and unique gemstones. My mind was blown; I met so many amazing artists and was incredibly inspired.
I saw a skull that was carved out of a meteorite that was 4 billion years old, weighing 18 kilograms. It probably travelled light years through space. It could've hit any planet in the Universe but it hit earth and someone carved it into a human skull. It's quite bizarre if you think about it, really!