/ Jeremy Bryant: Devoted to Australian Opal /
We're so excited to unveil a luxurious new collection of opal jewellery this week, from incredibly talented designer and artist Jeremy Bryant.
To shine a light on October's birthstone, the opal, we asked Jeremy to explain his love for this special Australian gemstone, which he holds in high regard above all others. If you're keen to learn more about the history and care of opals, head to Gem School.
PO8: Your jewellery highlights the unique and often misunderstood beauty of Australian opals. Tell us about your love for this special gemstone.
JB: I’ve always been obsessed with the play of colour in opals. There is something otherworldly about them, I think they have their own character and emotion. I think opals are misunderstood because they are too often made into ugly jewellery; they went through a very long time when they were paired with the most hideous of designs. It's not surprising that people didn’t understand them, they just thought the jewellery was awful. Opals to me respond best to minimal, paired back design, it needs to be very considered and complimentary to the stone.
PO8: Your new Colossus collection uses matrix opal. Can you explain what matrix opal is?
JB: Matrix opal is where the precious opaline silica occurs as a network of veins or infilling of voids between grains of the host rock (ferruginous sandstone or ironstone). It generally shows fine pinfire colour in the natural state.
PO8: How do your collections begin - with the sourcing of unusual materials, such as opals, which in turn inspires new designs? Or do you design new pieces and then search for the perfect materials to realise those ideas?
JB: It’s either the material or the idea; one can come before the other, I can never tell. Usually the idea comes first and I play with the opals and other materials to suit my vision.
I really enjoy cutting opals into new shapes and moving away from ovals or freeform shapes. This is a little sacrilegious when it comes to opals as you want to get the maximum amount of colour. Although I think a little bit of colour can be sacrificed for a more attractive and dynamic piece at the end of the day.