From Lola Brooks’ ethereal dendritic quartz lapel pin to Gabriella Kiss’ 18k gold and banded agate articulated wasp earrings, patterned stones in smoky hues and shades of amber are stepping into the spotlight for fall.
“The agates and dendritic quartz I choose are like singular poetic landscape miniatures inviting one to wander among otherworldly environments,” says Brooks of the ornate stones defined by their inclusions of magnesium, iron and other metallic oxides that resemble the outstretched branches of a tree. For Kiss, whose work is often steeped in nature, visions of anatomy that first come to mind. “Our veins, when laid out, look like a tree in winter,” she says. “I love the notion that these stones are tiny encapsulations of the veins of the earth.”
But it’s not just the natural beauty of the stones that lures in legions of jewelers. It’s the stories they tell, too, with each stone bearing the hallmarks of where it is mined and cut. “The dendrites from Brazil are bawdy and sexy,” says Kiss. “Those that are mined in India look like miniaturist paintings.” Brooks, meanwhile, leans towards thinly sliced agates, primarily from northern Kazakhstan, for her encapsulated narratives. “They tend towards a more dramatic representation of the natural world, fractals painted in oxides of iron and manganese within a canvas of chalcedony,” she explains.
And both jewelers agree, gold is the best complement to these artistic expressions by Mother Nature. “I frame them in gold in order to wrest each stone from its immediate surroundings, creating a minute world to disappear into, forever containing the quiet serenity within,” says Brooks. “They need no further embellishment,” adds Kiss.