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23 January 2014
Science

ISTU student Alena Voytyuk creates jewelry collection on the base of jet

Fourth year student of the Institute of surface management at ISTU Alena Voytyuk creates a series of jewelry with inlays of "black amber" - jet. According to novice jeweler, jet as decorative and ornamental stone is used since ancient times in many nations of the world. However, despite the fact that jet has a number of suitable aesthetic and technological characteristics for jewelry design, it is extremely rare as claimed in inserts.

"Gagate is a kind of coals, between black and brown coal. Externally it looks like black tar with shell-like fracture and bright luster,” says A. Voytyuk. “I was pushed by my supervisor, Associate Professor of the subdepartment of gemology Elena Berman to work with the material. Together we developed the theme, design of future products."

According to students, the history of the Siberian jet goes back to the second half of the nineteenth century. It was used to produce household appliances and souvenirs. In 1894, iconostasis of the Kazan Cathedral in Irkutsk was carved out of jet. A. Voytyuk notes that the largest deposit in Russia of this mineral is located in the Irkutsk region.

"There are a lot of coal deposits in Priangar’e, hence the jet deposits. Irkutsk coal basin is located in the southern part and extends for 500 km along the north-eastern slope of the Eastern Sayan from Nizhneudinsk to Baikal. 16 coal-bearing areas are allocated in the pool, 20 large coal deposits are explored. It is known 17 deposits of jet. Most qualitative grades are located in the Matagansky, Burtinsky and Zorinsky deposits," says A. Voytyuk.

According to her, unlike coal, jet is not fragile, and even has little flexibility in the plates. It shines like glass. It becomes flexible and soft at a temperature of 100-120 ° C, whereby it can be used to produce products of various shapes. It hardens again cooling.

"Insertion of jet can be both opaque and glossy. Since hardness of jet is relatively low, it is well treated and polished. After grinding and polishing stone becomes black despite it is brownish in fresh breaks and filings. Both versions look advantageous. Due to its physical properties "black amber" is taken to any treatment, for example, glyptic, inlays, cut (faceted and cabochon), which greatly expands its scope compared to other gemstones. Correct treatment makes jet of any form," said A. Voytyuk

  As conceived by the young jeweler, modular products with inserts of jet will look original. Thus modules can be both simple and complex. Simple modules constitute one piece of different sizes, such as a triangle. According to this principle there will be created necklace "Crow" and other animalistic stylized decorations.

A series of jet ornaments will be demonstrated to the public in autumn 2014 during the review-competition of creative works of students in the field of "Technology of art processing of materials", which will be held in Irkutsk Technical University .

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