Remember Molecularmuse? That was silver jewelry inspired by the molecular structures of caffeine and even neurotransmitters which affect our moods and appetite. Sarah McLellan and Kristina Ortega, the Los Angeles designer friends behind Mctega jewelry also have science and pre-med backgrounds.

Their designs are a modern day alchemy mix of resin, dyes and sometimes gold leaf. Their hand poured polyester resin jewelry range from coloured chunks which resemble crystals to carbon ring inspired necklaces. Their approach includes trial and error experimentation to get their ideas to come to life.

Would you believe they actually ditched science part way through college to study fashion? Jewelry is their first collection. They hope to eventually launch their own clothing line. Small baby steps lead to big steps! Their jewelry can be bought directly from their website.

The use of gold leaf in their creations is inspired! Their work reminds me of alchemists long ago. These early chemists tried to create the legendary "Philosopher's stone" which they thought could transmute base metal into precious ones like gold and silver. The ultimate goal was less so for riches but an elixir of life which could cure all ills and impart immortality. Nicolas Flamel (featured in the first Harry Potter book) and his wife Perenelle, were real 15th century alchemists, best known for the alleged creation of the Philosopher's stone. The couple were wealthy and people naturally thought the source of their riches came from their alchemy experiments. Both were definitely mortal.

Although alchemy is no longer a proper scientific discipline, it was seriously studied centuries ago. One of the world's greatest physicists, Isaac Newton (1642-1726), who defined gravity, actually spent half his time obsessed with alchemy! Imagine what he could have accomplished if he spent ALL his time on physics.

Perhaps we can consider ourselves alchemists in a way as we are in pursuit of transmuting base materials into precious jewelry!

The Beading Gem's Journal

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