written by Sarah Glynn
Mystic is a village and census- designated place in Groton and Stonington, Connecticut. Mystic was known for being a significantly historical Connecticut seaport with more than 600 ships built over 135 years, dating back to 1784.
Founded in 1654, on its quick rise to prominence as a shipbuilding center during the clipper ship era, Mystic is more recently acknowledged for its quintessential New England charm. It is also home to one of this issues’ feature artist, the renowned and phenomenally talented jack of all trades gem; miner, sculptor, facetor, and many additional skill sets; Robb Darula.
Addressing one finely honed skill of his at a time, gem cutting lies pretty high on his scale of talents. Along lies his eye for faceting, with it. Robb transforms raw gemstones into jewels of adornment and unique quality, enhancing their beauty with meticulous and tedious crafted settings. Robb quite literally transforms his gems From Earth to Art, harmoniously with his unique vision and his skilled hands.
Robbs love and passion for crafting metals sparked and announced its immense presence in his family’s workshop. Robb began to show just how intuitive his display of crafting simple, yet luxuriously elegant jewelry truly was.
Inevitably, his passion for crafting stone led him to Bali. Where he then started working side by side with native masters, honing his medium. In 1988, his studio, From Earth to Art, was born from the artist’s internal desire to create classically inspired, elegantly modern, brilliant works of masterpiece.
In 1990, a prospecting journey to Tanzania led him to an advantageous partnership in a mining company, and thus the birth of JUA Gem. The mines produce Tanzanite, Tsavorite Garnet, Sapphire, Chrome Tourmaline, and Rubies of phenomenally mystical quality. Robbs commercial gem business provides to jewelers on a global scale, thus providing our featured artist with a very wide personal stash of the finest gemstones to work with for his pieces of art-to-wear. Only one of the many impressive attribute tidbits about Robb is that many of the raw materials in Darula’s creations are actually pulled from the prehistoric rivers and volcanic pipes of Tanzania by his own hands.
Upon seeing Robbs’ works of art, you begin to understand that there is an obvious undertone of an understanding for elemental energies and their flow. This was developed through captaining his sea-going sailboat, his practice of T’ai Chi, Nei Kung and daily yoga rituals. It is very evident in these understandings that Robb shows a unique and natural eye for both form and function in his artistic flow.
Recently Robbs’ skill of designing and creating pieces of art-to-wear reached a new height. Darula was commissioned to produce a Pectoral Cross and Episcopal Ring for the Consecration of Pierre Welte Whalon, the Bishop in Charge for the Convocation of American Churches in Europe. The one of a kind Pectoral Cross is lobed and transparent, inlaid with antique cushion cabochon cut amethysts.
Robb welcomes both public and private showings of his masterpiece works, and thrives for the design process of developing new schematics for his clients. Another feat adding to Darula’s already impressive list, is that Robb was recently awarded first place at the Mystic Art Festival for the second consecutive year. From his studio, overlooking the Mystic River, in Mystic Connecticut, Robb creates jewelry of unsurpassed quality and timeless beauty. Robb Darula is quite the mystical gem in today’s jewelry industry if I do say myself.