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.
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.)
Lilac Impressions: Jewelry Designs Inspired by Nature
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
“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
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
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.
Tube Set Stone-on-Stone Pendant
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
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
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.
Silver Dust Granulation Appliqué Earrings
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
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
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.
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.
Never Miss a Thing
Subscribe to Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist now and stay on top of what’s trending, always in style, and jewelry designs on the edge.