Driftwood and Ferns Take the Spotlight as Jewellery

Mundane earthly materials become extraordinary works of art at the hands of Mish.

By Carolyn Meers 23/10/2018

Fossils and driftwood, meet yellow gold and whiskey quartz. Designer Mish Tworkowski’s talents for pairing unexpected materials with gorgeous gems is on full display with these new earrings. One duo mixes smoky quartz with vibrantly dappled peanut wood (aka petrified driftwood) from the shores of Western Australia, while the other frames slices of fossilised Indonesian coral with 18-karat yellow gold.

Mish’s one-of-a-kind jewellery is famous for the way it captures exquisitely unusual bits of nature. In the past, the designer—who studied fine art and served as a jewellery specialist at Sotheby’s before launching his brand, Mish New York, more than two decades ago—has experimented with Tahitian keshi pearls, luminous white cacholong opal, petrified tree ferns, and 200-year-old tulip poplar wood from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello estate in Virginia.

As with so many of Tworkowski’s pieces, the materials are unexpectedly earthy but appear just as polished and precious as more traditional gems. Creating congruous designs like these earrings from nuanced materials typically takes several years. But a good match is always worth the wait.

“I often buy a beautifully patterned piece of peanut wood or fossilised coral, then hunt for its mate for the next few years at gem shows across the country,” says Tworkowski, who, when he isn’t hunting for haute stones and fossils, is a gardening devotee and sits on the board of the New York Botanical Garden and chairs the Garden Patrons program. “I love petrified wood and all fossil gems and find it fascinating that they began life as a natural substance—like wood or coral—and then over millions of years became a very special gem. It’s a form of beautiful reincarnation for the natural world!”


Subscribe to the Newsletter

Stay Connected

You may also like.

Tiffany & Co.’s 80-Carat Diamond Jewellery Design

The jewellers most expensive design features a flawless central D-color stone,

By Martin Lerma


Robb Read: Diamonds Aren’t Forever

Deep in the outback, the world’s largest diamond mine has produced the most spectacular pink stones ever unearthed. But as the last of them are extracted, what will the future hold for Argyle pinks?

By Mark Ellwood


Tiffany’s Earnings Increased by 52 Per Cent In Q3

Thanks to strong sales in China and South Korea.

By Martin Lerma


Invest In Bold, Colourful And Graphic Jewellery This Season

Whether vintage or contemporary, aim for eye-catching.

By Paige Reddinger


Meet The Man Making Diamonds Out Of Thin Air

British entrepreneur Dale Vince’s SkyDiamonds will be the world’s first carbon-negative stones.

By Rachel Cormack


Buy the Magazine

Subscribe to Robb Report today!

Subscribe today

Stay Connected