Monday, June 10, 2013

Water Dreams ring

I'm so lucky that I get to work with some amazing people. I love my customers, they always inspire me to do even better work than I have done before. Recently I had the honor to make an engagement/wedding ring for a beautiful, funny, smart and unique woman. She wanted something inspired by wheat, to remind her of growing up on the plains of Nebraska paired with a low, round bezel to represent the passage of time, the cycle of life. I love to make meaningful work for wonderful people and I'm really proud of how this wheat ring turned out:

14k palladium white gold with a 7mm blue aquamarine

She started as a customer and has now become a friend (and her husband is one of the sweetest men I've never met). So when I created a new ring, I had a hard time putting words to my vision so I went to her for help naming it. She's a writer and found the words for my new ring.

I asked for her help and she wrote, "I thought of this poem, "Water Night," which is adapted by Eric Whitacre from the original Spanish "Agua Nocturna" by Octavio Paz:

Water Night
Night with the eyes of a horse that trembles in the night,
Night with eyes of water in the field asleep
Is in your eyes, a horse that trembles,
Is in your eyes of secret water.

Eyes of shadow-water,
Eyes of well-water,
Eyes of dream-water.

Silence and solitude,
Two little animals moon-led,
Drink in your eyes,
Drink in those waters.

If you open your eyes,
Night opens, doors of musk,
The secret kingdom of the water opens
Flowing from the center of the night.

And if you close your eyes,
A river fills you from within,
Flows forward, darkens you
Night brings its wetness
To beaches in your soul."

Water Dreams ring in sterling silver and aquamarine
 This is another experimentation with CAD (computer aid design) where I do a technical drawing of my sketch, my friend turns it into a CAD design which is printed in resin. Then I hand carve the details to make sure it has the flow and feel of my work. I have all my pieces cast in NYC and then I hand set the stone, oxidize the ring and finish it with a high polish. I love how it turned out and can't wait to make the matching band. And I love the name.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A special silver locket

In my job as a jeweler and entrepreneur, most of my days are filled with administrative tasks, answering e-mails, ordering supplies, fulfilling orders and making the jewelry I offer in my Etsy shop. I love my job and feel very lucky to do something that fills my heart with so much joy.

But once in a while I get to work with a customer one-on-one to create a unique piece of custom jewelry. Over the past few months I had the opportunity to work with one of my favorite people who contacted me and told me a secret: he and his wife were expecting their first child in May. And would I be able to make a super-secret-gift, something really special, perhaps a locket?  Was that something in my 'wheelhouse?'  Not only was I blown away that they were expecting, but he used the word 'wheelhouse.' You can see why I love these people, yes?

After jumping up and down and hollering with excitement, we got to work.  Knowing their love for travel, my Compass Necklace immediately came to mind. I also really like that compasses represent a journey, and that bringing a child into the world with your life partner is truly an amazing journey.

Here is my original silver compass necklace:

He decided to choose a London blue topaz gem for the center, since his wife loves teal blue, and some of the other pieces I've made for her have London blue topaz so it brings a lot of things together.  He also wanted the bail to not be so busy. And he didn't want it to look like a locket.

That was a challenge: how could I make a locket that doesn't look like a locket? I decided to do a rivet hinge from the top, and to create a frame inside that could hold a photo. You can see my original thoughts here, to see if it would even work:

I switched the bail to a more simple and clean one and I created a frame using a flat sheet of silver cut into an oval the same size as the compass part, with another oval silhouette that I hand cut (think of the letter O). Sandwiched in between was an oval made from flat, square wire to create a lip between the ovals-- so that a picture could be held in place.  All told this necklace has 4 layers of sterling silver!

I did a lot of filing to make sure everything fit together seamlessly, riveted the two parts together, oxidized the silver and set her stone and voila. A locket that doesn't look like a locket:

The back was engraved with a special message, and he presented it to her the night before she brought their baby into the world.

I'm so honored to have made such a special piece of jewelry to represent this once-in-a-lifetime event, it was worth it to see him smile when he came to pick it up. I wish the happy family a beautiful life together! Congratulations!