Today we explore the lush surroundings of the world's second largest botanical garden, Berlin Botanical Garden in Germany.
Dwelling within the various climate-controlled greenhouses are timber bamboo, orchids, bromeliads, fern, and tropical lilies.
Germany is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Cornelia Goldsmith.
I smile at the thought that the name Goldsmith is so appropriate for such a highly gifted jewelry artist; it speaks unequivocally to destiny.
Goldsmith acquired her astonishing jewelry making and metal working skills in both Germany and the United States.
She studied at the Hochschule, and the University of Hamburg in Germany; the Jewelry Arts Institute; and the Cecilia Bauer Studio in New York. Moving to Sausalito, California in 1985, where she currently lives, Goldsmith established her company Cornelia Goldsmith Fine Jewelry.
Admittedly, her ornate pieces, like the Autumn Tree Brooch for instance, are beautiful but a little overwhelming to suit everyone's tastes. I am amazed with the sheer artistry and dedication that goes into creating jewelry.
Overall, Goldsmith's fine jewelry collections are a grand, opulent display of her artisanship and love of nature. "I felt inspired to design jewelry which combines artistic values such as simplicity, harmony and beauty with diverse symbols derived from nature," she says.
The glorious nature symbols Goldsmith incorporates, subtly or overtly, either from 18-karat gold or platinum are birds, stars, trees, butterflies, and seahorses.
She also implements a technique known as granulation; the placement of tiny grains of metal to the surface of a jewelry piece creating a decorative pattern.
The result is unique gold jewelry with gold granules that resemble tiny pearls. The technique provides an interesting bubble-like texture that adds a spectacular level of grandeur reminiscent of jewels adorning ancient kings and queens.
Goldsmith's ambition is to create jewelry that inspires the wearer. "My techniques are used merely as a tool, likened to something like language," she explains. "Every culture struggles with its quest for deeper life meanings.
I have learned that jewelry plays such a major part in all societies. I strive to capture the preciousness of life and its unpredictable flow with elegance and simplicity."
Goldsmith's award-winning designs have been featured in such publications as AJM, Lapidary Journal, and Ornament Magazine. She is also a member of the American Jewelry Design Council.
For more on Goldsmith, watch her slideshow that features the jewelry designer at work in her studio.
Photo 1 (top right): Platinum and 18-karat Granulated Gold Heart Pendant with Diamonds, and Sapphire
Photo 2 (bottom left): 18-Karat Yellow Granulated Gold Circle of Light Pendant with Diamonds