10 Jewelry Designs with Texture You Can See

Many moons ago when I was a little kid, I was mesmerized by smooth, shiny surfaces. I didn’t think of things that felt uneven to the touch as richly textured. I thought of them as bumpy, lumpy, and rough. At the time, brightly polished wasn’t the greatest thing in my opinion alone: the culture as a whole placed refinement way up on the prestige list. The revolution embracing rough-hewn, distressed, and natural surfaces was still years away.

Above: Lexi Erickson’s Blue Cloud Drusy Pendant, July 2017 Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist; photo: Jim Lawson

But arrive texture did, and it has been riding high ever since. Here are 10 jewelry designs from recent pages of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist whose textures play an important role in the jewelry’s success from my perspective. I hope you find these jewelry designs as inspiring as I do.

Blue Cloud Drusy Pendant

Lexi Erickson’s pendant shown at the top is a dreamy skyscape, inspired by that botryoidal (bumpy), drusy (finely coated with tiny crystals), amazing quartz cabochon. “It was love at first sight with this stone. It’s so suggestive of an evening sky filled with puffy clouds. The design was immediately in my mind: a carved ivory moon face, stars, the clouds outlined with wire receding into the back plate,” Lexi said.

jewelry designs Lexi Erickson drusy

First Lexi tried the ivory moon face, but decided it distracted too much from the drusy cab. Then she felt the reticulated silver disk alone wasn’t enough for the moon. Finally she settled on adding gold ink to her moon; photos: Lexi Erickson

As you can see, she changed her mind about that ivory moon more than once! (I like the reticulated silver moon best, but that’s the thing with jewelry designs: you can do what you like.)

jewelry designs and gems with texture drusy

The drusy crystals on the blue cloud cabochon are so fine they shimmer in the light more than sparkle. Greg Genovese’s drusy quartz gems have that bigger but not too big size that makes them dazzlers. November 2017 Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist

 

Lilac Impressions: Jewelry Designs Inspired by Nature

jewelry designs inspired by nature

Lara Ginzburg’s Lilac Impressions pendant, December 2017 Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist; photo: Jim Lawson

Also in a romantic vein is Lara Ginzburg’s pendant inspired by a lilac bush in bloom. She achieved the swirling pattern that suggests clusters of blossoms using a texture plate and metal clay. The colors are kiln-fired enamels.

Reticulated Silver and Variscite Ring

textured jewelry designs ring by John Heusler,

Jewelry project by John Heusler, January/February 2017 Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist; photo: Jim Lawson

“Inspired to make my wife a variscite ring to match a tufa-cast bracelet that I built for her, I went to my stash of the finest Australian material,” John Heusler described the start of this piece. “Nothing is too good for my baby!” (Aw, sweet!)

“It didn’t take me long to find rough that I could cut into a great cabochon, but I did have a challenge finding the right tufa stone.” The texture just wasn’t working, and eventually he chose to reticulate the silver instead. Now the silver suggests the patterning in the gem, “complementing it without overpowering it.”

Quick Soldered Wire Ring with Cabochon

jewelry designs ring by Roger Halas

Jewelry project by Roger Halas, March 2017 Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist; photo: Jim Lawson

Smooth is also a texture. Roger Halas’s ring features gleaming polished silver–with contrasting open space between the coils of heavy-gauge wire and a polished gem inlaid with contrasting materials.

Pierced Overlay Silver Pendant with Opal

pierced jewelry designs by Marie-Chantal Nadeau

Jewelry project by Marie-Chantal Nadeau, May/June 2017 Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist; photo: Jim Lawson

This design takes open space to another level, literally. You can look down through the pierced top tier of silver onto the uninterrupted layer beneath for an immediate sense of depth. With its dark patina, the bottom sheet makes it obvious that the bright silver above lies on a different plane.

Marie-Chantal Nadeau was interviewed from her Costa Rican cloud forest perch, May/June 2017 Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist; photo: Terri Haag

Marie-Chantal Nadeau was interviewed from her Costa Rican cloud forest perch, May/June 2017 Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist; photo: Terri Haag

Tube Set Stone-on-Stone Pendant

stone on stone jewelry designs by Jeff Fulkerson

Jewelry project by Jeff Fulkerson, March 2017 Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist; photo: Jim Lawson

You can also build layers using stone, as Jeff Fulkerson did here. He added more texture using a texturing hammer on the silver back plate and a stamp for the border design. The patina on the back plate and the darkly patterned stone directly above it leave the bright turquoise on top clearly front and center.

Fordite and Silver Pendant

textured jewelry designs Jewelry project by Lexi Erickson, April 2017 Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist; photo: Jim Lawson

Jewelry project by Lexi Erickson, April 2017 Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist; photo: Jim Lawson

The thin layers of auto plant paint in this fordite cabochon are all about the pattern of colors they create. I also love the bright lines Lexi has hammered into the top of the silver wire around it, like a bank of footlights illuminating the main action on stage.

Etched Silver and Colorado Diamond Necklace

etched jewelry designs: pendant by Betsy Lehndorff

Jewelry project by Betsy Lehndorff, September/October 2017 Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist; photo: Jim Lawson

From a distance, the silver panels of this necklace look enriched with an abstract pattern. Get closer and you’ll see a maze of little lines and tiny ridges. Betsy Lehndorff etched the design of a topo map to re-create the elevations of the Kelsey Lake area of Colorado into this piece. The topography in silver forms a clever background for the small Kelsey Lake diamond crystals on the panels. The necklace is her tribute to the small cache of diamonds found in the area.

Colorado diamonds by Betsy Lehndorff

Betsy also tells the story of the Kelsey Lake diamond find, September/October 2017 Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist

Silver Dust Granulation Appliqué Earrings

textured jewelry designs by Michael Anthony Cheatham,

Jewelry project by Michael Anthony Cheatham, September/October 2017 Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist; photo: Jim Lawson

Just look at the velvety texture on these earrings — hard not to think that’s pretty. Silver dust granulation sounds exotic and looks it. It’s also a smart way to use scrap — fusing filings onto sheet.

Leather and Metal Clay Blossom Bracelet

leather jewelry designs by Jill MacKay

Jewelry project by Jill MacKay, March 2017 Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist; photo: Jim Lawson

You can make metal look soft a number of ways (think a true Florentine finish), but it’ll still be metal. On the other hand, you can work with materials that are soft, such as fabric — or leather. Jill MacKay’s bracelet is made of a pebbly, soft leather layered into flowers that are held together with metal clay and seed bead accents.

Everything’s O.K. Found Steel and Turquoise Cuff

Jewelry project by Kit Carson, August 2017 Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist; photo: Jim Lawson

Jewelry project by Kit Carson, August 2017 Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist; photo: Jim Lawson

But maybe soft isn’t your thing. Maybe you like the idea of old, rusty steel getting hammered, drilled, painted, and engraved into an eye-popping cuff like this.

 

jewelry designs: designer Kit Carson

The cuff looks a little Western, you say? It’s by Kit Carson, his real name, so he swears, shown here in the Arizona studio where he creates his jewelry designs. Doesn’t get more Western than that! Photo: Terri Haag

–Merle White
Editor-in-Chief of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist

Find All These Jewelry Designs

Conveniently packaged as pdfs, now you can quickly download all of the 2017 issues of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist in one compilation. And you can see more of what’s in the compilation in the Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist 2017 Collection Lookbook.

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