About lou ann gems

Hi, I’m Louise and I started Lou Ann Gems from a lifelong love and fascination with opals, gemstones and jewellery. I create all my pieces from start to finish in my home studio located in Portland, New South Wales. I also cut and polish the opals and other stones that I use in my jewellery in house.

I have spent the last nearly 20 years raising a family and working along side my husband in a cabinet making business. It was during this time that I learned valuable skills working with my hands as a qualified cabinet maker. I have spent many years working with hand tools and powered tools and various materials. After taking a step back from the family business I decided that I would take my skills further and fulfill my dream of working with gemstones. I learnt how to cut and polish stones, which eventually led to learning how to silversmith. This was the logical next step and meant that I could use my stones in my own jewellery creations. I have undertaken intensive training in silversmithing. I have also self taught myself many of these skills and I continue to learn and grow as an artist. I believe in practicing sustainability during my making processes, I create each piece with intention and use recycled materials where possible. I recycle my scrap metals and offcuts and re cast into new pieces. I limit the use of powered tools and prefer to finish each piece by hand. I recycle the self-harvested rainwater from my cutting machine back into the garden and I use recycled and biodegradable packaging as much as I can.

I like to create pieces that are unique, individual and one of a kind. I prefer cutting my stones in freeform shapes as I believe this gives them more character and reveals their natural beauty and shape. Opals can vary so much, and it is so exciting when their colours and patterns are revealed during the cutting process. I use a variety of different opals including Queensland boulder, opals from mines in Lightning Ridge and Coober Pedy and beautiful South Australian opals. I never treat my opals; I prefer to keep them in their natural solid state.

In my spare time I also run a small herd of alpacas on my property. I will occasionally offer home grown and Australian processed alpaca wool for sale on here. My alpaca wool is processed in its natural colours in a variety of different ply’s. It is so soft and beautiful to work with. Please check back every now and then as I only get small batches processed at a time.