Journal

As we enter the birthstone month for emeralds, we turn to our May-born, creative collaborator John-Paul Francis de Lara Pietrus, to celebrate our shared love of emeralds, in an Instagram takeover.

The world’s first fine jewellery-eyewear house, Francis de Lara pieces are all handmade from almost entirely natural materials in very small batches. Most creations are one-offs, made by a team of two artisans, with almost zero wastage, and all materials are ethically sourced and sustainable. The brand’s aesthetic harks back to the Renaissance era in keeping with the founder’s jewellery roots in Florence.

“I want every aspect of my business to be responsible and positive, and I truly believe that positive energy is infused into every single Francis de Lara piece,” says founder John-Paul Francis de Lara Pietrus.

John-Paul has a very like-minded approach to sustainability and responsible sourcing as us and we recently partnered together on Space for Giants initiative, Walk for Giants- a fundraising and awareness-building campaign for African wildlife conservation.

“Gemfields’ philosophy and responsible mining practices make it the choice for me when I am obtaining rubies and emeralds for my pieces,” continues founder John-Paul Francis de Lara Pietrus.

His takeover will see him sharing his loves of emeralds, personal connection to them as a May baby and also the mystical qualities they bestow- growth, new beginnings and fertility.

He’ll also place a spotlight on his passion for photography and the importance of craftsmanship and responsible sourcing, as well as highlight Francis de Lara designs, which take traditional Renaissance motifs such as serpents and ribbons and transform them into a modern vision.

One of his creations ‘All About Eve,’ a high jewellery eyewear piece featuring Gemfields Zambian emeralds, also appears.

Completely handmade, it’s a one-of-a-kind haute couture jewellery-eyewear piece that features two serpents as the side temples. The larger, Gemfields emerald encrusted serpent’s tail curves around the wearer’s ear, and temptingly dangles a juicy tourmaline apple, whilst the gentler serpent, with cognac diamonds, pink sapphires, and 18k gold cabochons, gazes towards the sky. There are also ‘empty’ trompe-l’oeil settings to give the idea of an ancient piece which has lost some gems over the course of time. White enamel details feature on both serpents’ faces.

“I want this piece to look like a well-preserved artefact rather than a brand-new piece. Slight ‘imperfections’ are actually part of the personality of the piece: scratches, matte and discolouration areas, and inclusions in stones. This is part of the soul of Francis de Lara,” founder John-Paul Francis de Lara Pietrus concludes.