Gillion Carrara, who as a designer, professor, and fashion expert is one of the city’s greatest cultural assets, is fascinated by the texture and mass of the unusual materials, such as briar root and bone, that she uses to create futuristic yet organic-looking jewelry and accessories. Her new collection includes bangles and rings molded out of lead crystal and stained glass that look simultaneously delicate and sturdy. Their beauty derives from their relative fragility as well as their striking appearance and smooth coolness—a reminder that nothing we can own is forever.

Carrara’s jewelry is available at June Blaker, the Modern Wing Shop at the Art Institute of Chicago, and i.d., as well as by appointment.