I love working on milestone pieces; pieces that celebrate big anniversaries, like this 25th anniversary and big birthdays, like this 50th birthday. It's so fun to see how the process unveils and how meaningful art, design, and creativity are to capturing and preserving memories, so they can last for generations. Read on to see how this Birthstone Beauty came to life...you won't want to miss it!
The waves of inspiration
My client and her husband came to me with an idea to create a piece celebrating the birth months of very special people in their life. We knew we had 8 birthstones to incorporate in two different sizes: 2 bigger stones for the husband and wife (aka my clients) and 6 smaller stones for their family members - like their kids, her brother, her mom, her dad, etc. We started with the central diamond, which came from my client's mother and set the groundwork for the two bigger stones. We then moved to the smaller stones and began figuring out how to incorporate those as well. My client saw another one of my commission pieces, the River Ring, and really fell in love with the elegant undulating curves. I knew that would be the perfect way to incorporate an organic aesthetic, while maintaining a smooth and organized orientation of gemstones.
The tiniest tweaks make all the difference
For her design, CAD (computer-aided design) was going to be the best process to see this vision come to life. With these details in mind: size 6, 14 karat yellow gold, use mother's diamond, add husband's ruby birthstone, add 6 birthstones for family members, make it comfortable, make it elegant, make it everyday wearable...I had to get my design game on. I started by modeling the main details into CAD. From the above images, you can see when it comes to design how tiny little tweaks really make all the difference. My original band design had a little bit more open feeling and the profiles were slightly more rounded. My client asked me if there was a way to “smoosh” the profiles down and tighten up the design...which, of course, is totally possible! I love when my clients get involved in the design process with me and we create collaboratively. That's the best part of what I do! Through several rounds of tiny revisions, the design really came together.
Once the design was finalized, it was off to prototyping and casting. Although the raw casting came out looking a little bit rough, she was still ready for her time to shine. Through rounds and rounds of polishing and detailed finishing, I prepared all of the settings to receive their birthstones. One at a time I set each stone carefully and methodically until we got to the final diamond - the mother's diamond. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't super excited to set that final stone and see just how perfectly everything meshed together.
The perfect balance
As you can see, this Birthstone Beauty came out wonderfully. She's smooth, elegant, flowing and undulating, yet refined. Her colors go together wonderfully, which could be an issue if not planned out so well. Incorporating garnet, emerald, diamond and ruby all together requires a lot of planning in terms of placement, so that everything looks and feels balanced. I think we nailed it! When I presented this ring to my client and her husband, with family members looking on, I got this feeling that we did it just right! But take it from the client herself and her husband too…both had raving reviews!
“In honor of two big milestones, our 25th anniversary & my 50th, my husband gifted me the experience of creating a family ring. My dad had one made after we lost my brother & mom that became mine. When it was stolen the day after we had his Atlanta memorial, I was heartbroken. Working with local artist Kristen Baird Jewelry has been healing, hopeful and a joyous celebration of family! The diamond, my birthstone, is from my mom’s wedding ring. The same size ruby is Adam’s birthstone. The other stones are my parents, brother, and our children’s birthstones. I could not be happier with the final creation that lets me carry them all with me. Thank you Adam and Kristen. 💕” - SK
“Thanks for your time and attention to this process and attention to detail. It has all kinds of meaning to it, and Suzanne is going to be thrilled. We really appreciate it. Your piece is exactly what we hoped it would be – beautiful, unique and meaningful. Much appreciated.”- AK
Do you have an idea for a special project celebrating a milestone or an event in your life journey? If so, I'd love to chat! This is one of my favorite things to do - using my artistic talent to bring joy to my clients. Reach out and let me know your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you.