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All about rubies

The word ruby comes from the Latin "rubens" which means red.

Rubies are made of corundum. Corundum comes in many other colors, but the other colours are all classified as sapphires! Ruby gets its red coloring from trace amounts of chromium within the corundum. Ruby is a very hard stone, measuring 9 on the MOHS scale, the same a sapphire and only beaten by diamonds. This is one of the reason that they are considered to be one of only 4 precious gemstones, the others being sapphires, diamonds and emeralds.

 

Rubies symbolize power and protection. When worn as a talisman, ruby was believed to help protect warriors in battle. Even Dorothy had ruby slippers in the Wizard of Oz!

 

So you can see, rubies are not just the gorgeous red/pink stones we love for their beauty. They are so much more! So next time you’re choosing a piece of jewellery why not have a look for my one off, raw ruby pieces or commission me to make a design featuring ruby, for strength, power and protection. We could all do with a little of that!

 

Tidal Gallery - Kingsbridge

Tidal gallery is celebrating its first birthday, it’s a wonderful little gallery boasting a lot of quality art by local artists. I have sold my work through the gallery since they opened; as the gallery owner, Anna is a fellow maker and lovely friend.
Tidal gallery is right by the estuary in Kingsbridge and is located in beautiful Victorian building. Inside, Anna has curated work from many disciplines including but not limited to ceramics, illustration, jewellery, glass and sculpture. The variety and quality never ceases to amaze me.
Tidal gallery is bright and airy thanks to its high ceilings but it is a small, intimate gallery. Don’t let this fool you however, it is filled to the brim with so much variety, you’re sure to find something to your taste.
So when you’re next near Kingsbridge, why not swing by and see the beautiful Tidal Gallery.

How Louella Jewellery went plastic-free

Plastic use is such a big issue right now it is on many business owners’ minds, how we can reduce our plastic consumption; personally, and as a business. This is quite a tricky issue for many small businesses as packaging and sometimes materials themselves, can be so much cheaper and easier to source if they are made of plastic!

I made the conscious decision to go plastic free with my business as far as possible and these are the measures I have taken so far.

·         My work is now sent out in the post in cardboard boxes placed with tissue paper, both of which can be recycled. I use white paper tape which can also be thrown in with your paper recycling.

·         New business cards and postcards will not be coated with plastic and where possible will be printed on recycled paper.

·         I am now requesting that my suppliers send my gemstones in paper envelopes rather than plastic bags. if I am supplied with plastic bags, they are kept and reused again and again.

·         I am currently looking for an alternative to the sponges in my jewellery boxes as they are not currently recyclable.

I am always looking for eco friendly alternatives and have found some great solutions so far. I see it as a journey and eventually hope to be 100% plastic free!

 

January & Garnet

“January blues” is a term I keep seeing on social media, the post Christmas anticlimax, the dark evenings and the cold weather. January might be on average the coldest month of the year but I find it cathartic. There’s something about gaining a new year that feels like a new beginning, a fresh start. There is a whole year laid out in front of you ready for you to write and create whatever you want.  The Latin word for January is “Ianuarius” which comes from the Latin word for door; it is the door to the New Year and is conventionally thought of as being named after Janus, the god of beginnings and transitions.

Garnet is the birthstone of January; garnets come in many colours but the most common and most popular are reddish hues. Garnets were the most commonly used gemstones in Roman jewellery and they have been used in jewellery as far back as 3000 BC but they don’t seem to be losing any popularity.

Throughout time there have been many traditions and symbolism attached to garnets. In medieval times it was thought to protect against bad dreams and diseases of the liver. The red colour is also linked to romantic relationships and they hold energy for passion and desire, also symbolising permanence, security and durability.

Whatever you do this January, I hope you are warm & healthy. I will be emptying cupboards, making endless lists and sitting by the fire with a cup of tea.

 

Merry and Bright

Christmas for me was always about family. I grew up with a much older sister and brother who had both left home when I was 7 and I missed them chronically.  My favourite thing about Christmas was that they (and their partners) would all stay at the farm on Christmas Eve and that’s when the magic began.

I remember lying in bed and listening to them in the kitchen, chatting and laughing, the music would be playing and it felt special. The memory of that feeling has never really left me, it’s a sweet nostalgia that comes back to me each Christmas at the farm.

I’m a sentimental soul and my love of jewellery began in that way. For my 16th birthday my mum gave me a silver bracelet which triggered a collection that now has now reached 20 bangles that I wear each and every day.

I think jewellery has a way of holding feelings, moments and memories. My collection triggers so many memories and emotions, a couple of my bangles were gifts from people long since gone and wearing it holds them close to me.

At the very least jewellery should be something that makes you smile and brings you a little joy. After all isn’t that what it’s all about?

Whatever the holidays bring, I wish you a beautiful festive season.

 

 

Jewellery cleaning tips

One question I often get asked is “how can I clean my jewellery at home?”

There are so many different cleaners out there, but sometimes you just need something simple and easy to get the job done.

Trick 1 : Alka seltzer….

This is best for any jewellery that’s looking a bit dull. It won’t have a huge impact on metals with built up tarnish but it’s great for a quick sparkle.

Just drop it in a fizzing glass, leave it for a couple of minutes, rinse and go!

Trick 2: Toothpaste….

Toothpaste is perfect for stones, if your sapphires are soiled or your diamonds are dingy just get an old toothbrush, liberal amounts of toothpaste and scrub away. Give it a good brush under water to get rid of the residue and BOOM your stones will bling again.

Trick 3: Vinegar and baking soda….

This is great for more tarnished metals, add 1/2 cup white vinegar to 2 tablespoons of baking soda, don’t worry about the measurements too much….gently rub the past over your grubby silver and gold, and then rinse.

I love this technique as it’s natural and so effective! Please don’t use this on jewellery with gemstones or pearls as it can damage them.

Hint:

Sometimes lovely soft stones such as amber and malachite can lost their sheen and become dull because of lots of surface scratches. I find the absolute best way to combat this is toothpaste again! I use a smokers toothpaste as it’s a little more abrasive. I apply the paste with a cloth and rub, quite hard over the surface in small circular motions, you can do this over and over again until your stone is looking as good as new!