GEMSTONES IN BALI
Creating a Balinese inspired jewelry collection.
If you had told me five years ago that a significant part of my future career would be maneuvering a scooter through rice fields and jungles wearing a backpack filled with gemstones from around the world, I would have laughed in disbelief. However, this was my reality just a few days ago as I made the 20-minute ride from my bungalow in Ubud to my silversmith Made’s studio. I’m currently on my third visit to Bali, and second design trip for Zaleska Jewelry.
The evolution of Zaleska started with my best friend, Danielle Noel. She and I began collaborating on necklaces and rings that featured repurposed vintage findings inspired by her esoteric aesthetic. As the brand evolved, the vision for Zaleska grew into the idea that jewelry had a greater purpose than simply adornments - it could ultimately enhance one’s state of being. Incorporating crystals into the brand came from a genuine interest in metaphysics. Over the past three years, I began studying the countless fascinating ancient and current civilizations that used NICHE columnist, jewelry designer and unapologetic fashionista, Sylvia Tennant is creating her newest crystal jewelry collection, and NICHE has the exclusive story that begins with an inspirational journey to the Indonesian island of Bali, and concludes with the fulfillment of a dream... gemstones for healing and honing energetic fields. There are 4 main gemstones that have always been a part of the Zaleska brand over the years. Each has inspired me because of their beauty (especially when polished and faceted), coloring,
BICYCLING THROUGH BALINESE RICE FIELDS WITH A BACKPACK FILLED WITH GEMSTONES [ day in the life]
and ability to connect their wearers to something greater than just a new piece of jewelry. These are the talismans of my brand.
A fan favorite because of its believed ability to separate one’s energy from other people. It is one of the most powerful protectors in the mineral kingdom. Occurring in igneous rocks, its coloring varies from gray to blue, green to yellow, and sometimes purple.
Predominantly associated with feminine energy and the moon, this gemstone enhances intuition and promotes inspiration. It has become increasingly popular over the years and I’m thrilled to be working with a large batch from India in this next collection.
This gemstone soothes and protects heart energy. In the ancient world, it was dedicated to the goddess Venus for its ability to insure security in love. Emerald has been a source of fascination and reverence in many cultures for over six thousand years and has been highly honored in all major religions for its spiritual power and beauty. Fun fact: it was sold in the markets of Babylon as early as 4,000 B.C.
The boom of bohemian fashion has turned this stone into a classic staple. Similar to labradorite, turquoise is excellent for dispelling negative energy. It is also known to alleviate anxiety and protect its wearer while traveling. It’s one of the few stones that has a valuation is based on origin. Part two of Sylvia’s Bali adventure including local inspiration, design decisions and a look at her Balinese jewelry collection! Inside NICHE - Fall 2017 issue.