Hi, welcome to my blog! Here you can follow my inspirations and new projects as they take shape... Please, take the time to visit my Etsy shop: AkkenaJewelry

Loctudy, my little paradise

Hello! Today I want to present you my little world, the place where I lives and works. Located in the west coast of France, Loctudy is a harbor in Cornwall, in the western Brittany peninsula. Our fishermen fish delicious scampis called "Les Demoiselles de Loctudy" (Loctudy's young ladies). Also known as the Bigouden country, this Breton county has taken the name "Bigouden" from the traditional feminine headgear (basically a near-cylindrical piece of lace).

With less than 5000 inhabitants, Loctudy is very quiet, and as a jewelry designer I really appreciate this natural environment, far from the stress of life and so much inspiring! Surrounded by the ocean and the forests, I like walking on the beach and collecting what I call "my small sea treasures": sea stones, sea shells and sea glass tumbled by the waves, drift wood... So many organic or mineral materials which feed my imagination by their colors, textures and forms.

My studio is located a few steps away from the harbor and the seashore. I feel so lucky every day, when I see how beautiful are the panoramas offered by the nature, with its changeable sky and tides which transform ceaselessly the seascape. There are many photographers who fall under the charm of this place. I invite you to discover their works published on Flickr:

Iolite: gem of the Vikings

When Leif Eriksson and the other legendary Viking explorers ventured far out into the Atlantic Ocean, away from any coastline that could help them determine their position, they had a secret gem weapon: iolite. The Viking mariners used thin pieces of it as the world's first polarising filter. Looking through an iolite lens, they were able to determine the exact position of the sun, and navigate their way safely to the New World and back.

Midnight Blue, necklace in silver and iolite
Midnight Blue, hoops earrings in silver and iolite

The property that made iolite so valuable to the Vikings is its extreme pleochroism. Iolite has different colours in different directions in the crystal. A cube cut from iolite will look a more or less violet blue, almost like sapphire, from one side, clear as water from the other, and a honey yellow from on top. In the past, this property led some people to call iolite 'water sapphire', though the name is now obsolete.

In this ring, made in sterling silver and gold, the iolite appears brown from one side, and violet-blue from the top.
Pleochroism may have been helpful in navigation but it certainly makes life difficult for the cutter. If iolite is not cut from exactly the right direction, no matter what the shape of the raw crystal, its colour will not be shown to its best advantage.

The name iolite comes from the Greek 'ion', which means violet. Iolite is usually a purplish blue when cut properly, with a softness to the colour that can be quite attractive.

Iolite is readily available and surprisingly affordable. The richer the blue, the better. It is mined in India, Sri Lanka, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Brazil. The Vikings probably mined theirs from deposits in Norway and Greenland.

Iolite is relatively hard but should be protected from blows. With its attractive colour and reasonable price, it may become a jewellery staple in the future.

You like iolite jewels? Visit my Etsy shop !



Hi there!

This weekend only,I am pleased to offer FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING in my Etsy shop!

Valid from Black Friday 11/27 thru Cyber Monday 11/30

*************All items will arrive boxed and ready for gift giving!***************

Mady, my most beautiful jewel!

Hi there! I'm back home, after having given birth to my most beautiful jewel, a little girl called Madelon. She was born on August 19th with 5 weeks beforehand, weighed 2,440 kg and was 43 cms. She is well and grows quickly, and doesn't let a lot of time to her mom to work on the jewelry studio!

New arrival of gemstones

Directly from the lapidary workshop in India! Iolite, aquamarine, moonstone, apatite... but also cornaline, garnet, honey quartz, tourmaline. Now I am going to set to work, to prepare you a lot of attractive jewels!