Monday, December 19, 2011

Be dazzled by beach gems

GLIMPSES of the Maldives, Margaret River, Rottnest and Bali have been captured in Scarborough jeweller Keiko Uno’s latest collection, Ocean Intrigue.
The premier jewellery collection, which was launched last month, features 18 carat gold and platinum bespoke jewellery with fine diamonds, South Sea pearls and colourful gemstones and is currently being exhibited at Claremont’s Greenhill Galleries until Wednesday December 21.
The artist said her latest collection was perfect for WA, where a large portion of the population living on the coast engaged in activities centred around or influenced by the water.
“These pieces are sophisticated, yet express vitality and energy which is the essence of the Indian Ocean surrounding our shores,” she said. “If you love the ocean, you’ll love the exhibition as all the pieces are inspired by the sea.”
Ms Uno, a qualified gemologist who has been creating jewellery for as long as she can remember, said her love of design and fashion came from her grandmother, a major influence as she was growing up.
“My love for creating began during my junior school days when I would put together chunky bracelets, rings and pendants using all sorts of materials found around home and at Boans,” she said.
“But my passion for luxury jewels was ignited while watching my grandma get ready for important state functions.
“I used to love as she’d make the magical transition from my loving and much loved everyday grandma to this lady of distinction.”
Uno’s latest collection took years to create, with one of the pieces – Sea Breeze – taking the designer four years to put together.
“While the initial sketches for this piece were down on paper over a long weekend, it took over four years of searching to source the right material to depict the mood and feel of the ocean at the instant when the sea breeze brushes over, turning the surface from glassy to choppy,” she said.
“For this piece, and others in the ‘Ocean Horizon’ series, I collaborated with a fifth generation master stone cutter from the Idar Oberstein region in Germany who skilfully shaped then etched into large crystals of blue topaz and Bolivian amethyst that I sourced to perfectly capture the scenes of an ocean sunset, sunrise and sea breeze.”
Visit www.greehillgalleries.com or to see other works in the collection visit www.keiko-jewellery.com.
Keiko Uno

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