Matrix Lane Jewellery is a treasure trove of intricately designed, one of a kind, bespoke jewels. Opening just four months ago, the store has received enthusiastic reviews from Toowoomba locals. At first glance the shop looks similar to an ordinary jewellery store, but the store is a treasure trove of hard to find knickknacks and jewels.
The store specialises in opal jewellery, a stone with which Matrix Lane owner Dennie Fickling has a long history and fascination. The opals are handcrafted and designed, with affection and appreciation of the stone by Dennie himself. Inspiration for the design of the jewellery is informed by the stone, he says. “The jewellery is made for the opal,” says Dennie. “With opals each piece is different and normally it’s a different shape. I just try and do what is good for the shape of the opal. I figure out if I should use silver or gold; or if I want to add diamonds.”
Dennie is not the average opal jeweller. He cuts and polishes his opals from the ruff, and has approximately 18 years of experience with opals. His family owned an opal mine dating back to the 1880s in central Queensland for approximately 10 years, which is where his interest in the fiery glistening stones began. The stones Dennie uses in his pieces are mined by his family. “I get most of my opals from my brother who mines them out at the Winton opal fields,” says Dennie. Winton is one of the two major opal fields in Queensland; the other field is Quilpie.
The store displays a variety of boulder opals that are only found in Queensland. The Australian boulder opal is mined from iron stone boulders under the ground. Beyond jewellery, the store sells a range of ceramic jewellery, with Dennie’s wife sourcing homewares and clothes, for everyone from children to the elderly.
Dennie says all of the opal jewellery at Matrix Lane Jewellery is one of a kind. “I try to make the designs different, because no two opals are the same. Even if the design of the actual jewellery is the same, the opal will be different.”
Dennie is currently looking into expanding Matrix Lane’s offerings to include antiques. “I am looking into getting Chinese antique furniture in. Like wooden bowls that are antique from China; they look great,” he said. Dennie’s love and appreciation for opals is enduring, and remains at the heart of his business.
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