We are pleased to invite you to visit our new show
Tourmaline Creations, with an opening reception on
Saturday, October 15th from 5-8pm!
The show focuses on tourmalines, and all the many color color varieties and varieties. There will be new pieces from Kevin Duris, Laura Blanc. Petri Kymlander, Janet Blake, and Josie Moore.
Keep reading to learn more about one of October's birthstones!
The word tourmaline comes from 'toramalli' which means "mixed gems" in Sinhalese, which is a language with origins in Sri Lanka. This is a term that the Dutch merchants coined for the gem pebbles being found in the area of Ceylon, which is now known as Sri Lanka.
As early as the 1500's in Brazil, a brilliant green tourmaline was mis-identified as emerald. It wasn't until the 1800's that tourmaline was discovered to be a distinct mineral type. As a result, people have probably used tourmaline as a precious gemstone for centuries, mistaking the brilliant colors for other stones such as rubies, sapphires, or emeralds.
There is an ancient legend that says tourmaline is found in all colors because it traveled along a rainbow and gathered all the rainbow's colors in it's path. It is easy to see why it is commonly mistaken for different gemstones with colors that range from black, blueish black, brown, rusts, yellows, shades of blues from dark to almost neon, dark green to light green, reddish, pinks, and almost colorless. There are even bi-colored varieties such as watermelon tourmaline which is found formed with green tourmaline surrounding pink, and can be cut to look like a watermelon slice!
Tourmaline is predominately mined in Brazil and Africa, but is also found in the United States (Maine & California), Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and other locations as well. Some varieties of tourmaline even have their own names, for example Rubellite is a pink/red hue, and Paraiba is an intense blue color found in Paraiba, Brazil. Chrome tourmaline is a vibrate green, colored by vanadium which is the same element that gives many emeralds their color.
The above photographs are courtesy of Azurz, friends of ours who are wonderful gem dealers and stone cabochon cutters right here in Rhode Island. We are lucky enough to have some great stones from them to turn into wearable works of art for the show, as well as having some loose gemstones available for fun custom projects!
information has been sourced from The GIA
Pearls can be a mysterious and confusing thing to purchase at times, so we have compiled some information to share about pearls - from the basics and a bit beyond.
Pearls have been sought after and coveted as symbols of wealth and status for thousands of years. The oldest written mention of natural pearls was by a Chinese historian in 2206 BC. In more modern times, natural pearls were still highly valued - for example in 1917, Pierre Cartier traded a double strand necklace of natural pearls for a mansion on Fifth Avenue in New York City. With the innovation of culturing or farm raising pearls, they have become more affordable and much more accessible.
As you explore our Pearl Bar at Duris Studios, we hope that you find the following information helpful.
There are natural pearls which form without any human intervention, and then there are cultured pearls - most pearls bought today are cultured. This just means that the pearl forming process has been initiated and monitored by people in a sustainable manner.
The methods and science behind culturing pearls are often highly guarded secrets within the companies and pearl farms.
There are four main types of cultured pearls
- Akoya - If you picture the classic white strand of pearls, this is probably the type of pearl that you are thinking of - produced in Japan and China, these are saltwater pearls typically seen in shades of white, or blue/silver
- South Sea - these are usually the largest and most valuable pearls - cultured in a larger mollusk, in saltwater, mainly in Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. These pearls are typically shades of white to golden.
- Tahitian - These saltwater cultured pearls primarily from the islands of French Polynesia (including Tahiti), are usually darker shades nearing black, frequently with overtones of silvery green, peacock, grey.
- Freshwater - These pearls get their name from being cultured in freshwater lake or pond farms, with China and the United States being the main sources. They have the widest range of shapes, sizes, and colors available, and are typically the most affordable. Most of our Pearl Bar are selections of freshwater cultured pearls.
As what is considered an organic gem, you cannot care for pearls the same way you would a metal piece of jewelry. They can be damaged by many chemicals found in household cleaners, cosmetics, perfumes, and hair care products.
Never clean your pearls with any type of ultrasonic, steam cleaner, or chemical cleaner, or store them in a plastic bag, or in a place where they have a direct exposure to high heat.
The best way to store pearls is in a soft cloth or pouch, or box, protected from rubbing against metal jewelry which can abrade the pearl surface over time.
To clean your pearls, only use jewelry cleaners labeled safe for pearls if you must, but the best thing is simply to wipe them with a soft cloth just moistened with water (not dripping wet so as not the damage the strength of the silk cord.)
A good rule of thumb is that pearls should be the LAST THING YOU PUT ON when dressing and the FIRST THING YOU TAKE OFF.
Lastly, pearls like being worn! The natural skin oils help keep pearls from becoming too dry, so enjoy them, and wear them!!
all charts and information have been sourced from the GIA - the Gemological Institute of America
Spring has been an exciting time so far for us here at Duris Studios!
The door is open and a nice breeze is filling the shop as I write this, with people enjoying the beautiful day walking up and down Thames Street.
We are happy to announce that thanks in large part to photography by the talented Azur Mele, we now have several jewelry collections live and for sale here on the website!
The medium waterdrop and freshwater pearl chain necklace pictured to the right is a fun spin on the classic pearl necklace, and customers enjoy the versatility of the many ways it can be worn. Our newly designed fluted ring pictured to the right has been very popular since we began making it last month. It is a classic, yet modern design that is wearable and looks stunning in either sterling silver or gold.
As always, we are in the process of photographing even more work and adding new pieces frequently.
We have also added a few featured products by one of our gallery artists, the talented Petri Kymlander. In our SHOP Gallery Artists page we will be featuring select works, many one of a kind, from the artists we have in the gallery. We have three gorgeous pairs of earrings from Petri in the online shop at the moment, including these stunning diamond starfish earrings pictured to the right. Of course, we have these and MANY more great pieces in the gallery, so please stop in to visit if you are in Newport, RI.
There will be a new addition to the artist lineup in the gallery this summer, with jewelry by Janet of Quiet Rebel Design making a home amidst our other great selections. Janet's series Calm & Chaos features swirling lines of metal surrounding one of a kind stones that are gorgeous shades of ocean blues and greens. We look forward to having her work at the shop! In the meantime here is a sneak peek of her work.
The Pearl Bar that we began last summer has received such a great response in the last few weekends that we have decided to 're-open' the pearl bar full force a bit sooner than we planned! This means that if you're in Newport stop by to design your own custom strand! If you're unfamiliar, our pearl bar is essentially a design-your-own center for all things pearl! We have a great selection of freshwater pearls, and with a building variety of saltwater, tahitian, and south sea pearls. Once you've picked out a strand of pearls, simply pick from our selection of handmade clasps, a variety of colored silks, and your choice of length - then we do the rest! The pearls are hand-knotted, which means that a tiny knot is made between each pearl for security, and to protect the pearls from wear. We can also work with customers via phone or email to create a strand and have it ready to ship or pick-up if time is limited! Contact us for more information.
We hope to see you soon at the gallery!
-All of us at Duris Studios
We've been busy here at Duris Studios this winter; working on lots of new projects for the coming year!
We are in the process of photographing new products to expand our website offerings, so there will be many new additions in the coming months. Also, many new designs are underway and we look forward to sharing them with you online soon, or in the shop if you're in the area.
One of the most exciting ventures that we began this winter is the design of many bridal samples for our new bridal collection. At the shop, we really enjoy working with people to design engagement rings, either as a surprise, or when the happy couple comes in together to get that perfect ring. Later on, it is a pleasure to create wedding bands to complete the set. We are creating even more sample sets of a variety of engagement ring and wedding bands that will always be on hand to help visualize the design process. There are many samples already finished and in the shop, so contact us if you'd like to come in and have a conversation about custom rings! We will be making more samples and of course adding them to the website soon as well.
Looking ahead to springtime and summer, there are several shows and events in the works that will be announced as temperatures get warmer.
-The team at Duris Studios
We are delighted to invite you to our 1st annual holiday tree lighting at Courtyard on Thames, which will take place on Small Business Saturday, November 28th, 2015. It will be a great day to explore the shops on lower Thames, see the fun and lovely new things we have in the shop, and to have some cider and cookies with us while we light the tree at 6pm!
Throughout the day there will be opportunities to meet some of the artisans behind our handcrafted items, pick out that special jewel for under the tree, and to share in the spirit of encouraging a season of shopping small, shopping local, and shopping custom.
We look forward to seeing you there!
We're very excited to share our latest show Uncommon Gems with you!
You've heard of diamonds, sapphires, & rubies; and probably know peridots, amethyst, & citrine. But have you heard of ametrine? Ametrine occurs when both amethyst & citrine form at the same time, and occur in the same piece of stone. The result is a beautiful combination of purple & yellow within one stone, each one-of-a-kind!
Tourmaline, ametrine, beryl, azurite, sugulite, peitersite, plume agate, fossilized corals, spinel, green aquamarine - we have all these and more!
We invite you to spend an evening with us to see new pieces, stone specimen sculptures, and learn about some amazing gems; or speak with one of our artists to design a custom piece from our collection of loose gemstones!
All of our gallery artists will be showing new work featuring rare, unusual, and lesser known gemstones.
Owner & Artist Kevin Duris will be showcasing new work and classic favorites featuring unusual stones, such as this sterling silver cuff bracelet with amazonite.
Amazonite gets its name from the color of the Amazon River in South America, despite the fact that there are no deposits of the stone in that region.
Ask to see our loose stones to design a custom Amazonite piece!
Petri Kymlander works with many unusual stones, including the yellow beryl found in this pendant.
Beryl is one mineral with many varieties that are distinguished by color; emerald & aquamarine being two of the most well-known.
Lisa Mele has a stunning collection of rare gem jewelry, including these opal inlay & diamond rings.
One of the traditional October birthstones, opal's flashes of color are unparalleled. The majority of opal is mined in Australia, which is where the material in these rings is from.
Maxine Rosenthal showcases many unusual stones in each of her pieces, including this beautiful rutilated quartz piece.
Rutilated quartz is a transparent quartz that has golden yellow rutile inclusions within. These inclusions can be thin, thick, parallel, crisscrossed, & everything in between. Each stone is entirely unique. Come see our selection of Maxine's piece to pick your favorite, or choose from our loose stones to have something special custom made.
Laura Blanc uses nature as inspiration in her jewelry, often using colored gemstones to highlight her designs; but in this piece the rare carved watermelon tourmaline fish is the star.
Tourmaline is sometimes called the rainbow stone because it is found in every color from colorless to black, with pink, green, and watermelon being the most well-known.
We invite you to the opening reception of The Living Jewel: Pearls to share as we celebrate the pearl in today's jewelry.
Perhaps it was Mikimoto that said it best, "a pearl is a living jewel" and we couldn't agree more.
For thousands of years the pearl has held a place in history; from legends of Cleopatra and Rome, to the Gilded Age residents of our very own "summer cottage" mansions here in Newport.
According to legend written by Pliny the Elder of the Roman Empire, Cleopatra won a wager with Marc Anthony that she would be able to consume the wealth of an entire country in just one dinner by crushing a pearl into wine and drinking it. Such was the value of pearls that an entire countries' wealth could be deemed comparable.
Inside the "summer cottages" of families such as the Vanderbilts on Bellevue Avenue in Newport, you can see portraits of the ladies of the house; painted with lavish strands of pearls gracing their necks.
In today's society pearls are still dominant and beautiful additions to any jewelry collection. They can be seen as classic statements, or more modern & glamorous. The process of culturing has turned the once extremely elusive natural/wild pearl into something far more accessible, with the birth of cultured saltwater & freshwater pearls. We will have a selection of both natural and cultured pearls for you to peruse.
All of our gallery artists will be showing new work featuring many varieties and colors of pearls. Or speak with one of our artists to design your own strand of pearls or earrings from our collection of loose pearls and strands.
Owner & Artist Kevin Duris will be showcasing new work and classic favorites featuring pearls, including this Compass Rose Pendant with a gorgeous Mabe pearl.
Mabe, or blister pearls are pearls that have been gown flush against the inside of the oyster shell, so they form as half-pearls. This shape of pearl is great in many designs where a cabochon style setting is used.
Pick from our selection of loose pearls, and work with Kevin to create your one-of-a-kind piece.
Laura Blanc exposes the diversity and beauty of freshwater pearls by mixing white and colored pearls, colored silk, and shell clasps to create the classic strand of pearls - with a modern twist.
You will find combinations such as large white pearls with coral silk knotted in between, double strands of peacock pearls with violet silk, or any combination you can dream of!
Laura enjoys working with clients to create custom strands of pearls.
Lisa Mele incorporates gorgeous South Sea pearls into intricate 18k gold pendants decked out in diamonds and gemstones to accentuate each pearl.
South Sea & Tahitian pearls are known for their exceptional beauty, quality, and size. They are frequently regarded as the rarest and most prized pearls to be found in jewelry.
Maxine Rosenthal incorporates some of her signature sterling forms into beautiful clasps, creating necklaces where you want the clasp to be seen!
These versatile pieces allow you to wear the clasp in the front or back, and many are long enough to double, increasing their versatility.
Petri Kymlander incorporates Tahitian pearls into gold earrings for stunning statement pieces, crisply designed with diamonds in his signature style.
Pictured above are some of the varieties, shapes, & colors of loose pearls and strands that we have waiting for you to pick out your custom piece or necklace strand!
We had a great time on this rainy Tuesday afternoon hanging out with Andrew Mau of Mau_House - he is the design mind behind these great oyster bottle openers that we are now carrying. Great design, they work great, and at $50 a great value too! Please email us or call the shop at 401-849-1540 to order these guys. We're very excited to have the first batch of these in time for our Pearl show August 21 - we hope to see you there! There will be amazing new work from all our artists focusing on the "living jewel" - PEARLS! More details to come.
Duris Studios is excited to announce that in mid-August we will be having a gallery night focused on pearls and all their gorgeous variations! The artisans are busy creating some wonderful new pieces that we are thrilled to share with you. Things are in the planning stages now, so there will be many more details to come in the next few days. Stay tuned for more exciting news!