Cuff Combo

Kristen Baird

I love working on romantic and sentimental pieces that are part of a couple's love story. This is the perfect example of that! My client reached out wanting to create a cuff combo for his love by incorporating a load of symbolic parts and pieces into the design. So while he had a ton of ideas, he also trusted me to bring some (if not all) of those ideas to life. It was very much a collaboration, but as I always tell my clients, the more involved they are, the more fun it is. We truly had a blast and I was even asked to be at the big reveal, which was even more rewarding for me. Read on to see how this Cuff Combo came together with all of her symbolism and personalized meaning.

Cuff Combo - Inspiration and Design by Kristen Baird

Birthstones, and florals, and Gaelic…oh, my!

Like I mentioned, my client was very involved in the Inspiration & Design process of this versatile cuff stack being created for his love. He wanted both of their birthstones: Amethyst and Sapphire, incorporated into one of the bracelets; a floral element of Gardenia Motif worked into the design and, he wanted to include a phrase in Gaelic as well. 

We decided to create a three-part storytelling piece, with each of the cuffs containing a part of the phrase, written on the surface in different methods. In summary, one cuff would be floral-based, one cuff would be birthstone-based, and the third cuff would have a more of a nature-esk, outdoorsy and Bohemian feel to it, which just happens to be a form of my signature Galaxy Cuff. Oh, and with diamonds too! There were a lot of interesting ideas and elements to incorporate into these pieces, but I was up to the task.

Cuff Combo - Materials by Kristen Baird

The perfect mix of metals

We agreed on using sterling silver for the bases of the cuffs, but decided to add various accents in 14 karat yellow gold to each of them. This was the perfect mix, so that the recipient could wear these pieces with all of her yellow gold and sterling silver jewelry, in any combo she wishes. You know how much we love versatility around here!

Cuff Combo - Fabrication by Kristen Baird

Fabrication of the Birthstone Cuff

The staple piece of this Cuff Combo would be based on my (coming soon!) Ripple Bangle. I've been wanting to try out a new style which I call a “bubble cuff”, using the Ripple Bangle as the base and using the 14 karat yellow gold accents as settings - which happened to work perfectly for our birthstones. The Gaelic phrase “part 1” was done using stamps, to give the text a block-type-like appearance.  

Cuff Combo - Fabrication 2 by Kristen Baird

Fabrication of the Floral and the Galaxy Cuffs

For this fabrication round, it was all about the sterling silver and 14 karat yellow gold accents for both the “Gardenia Floral Cuff” and the “Galaxy Cuff”, tailored to fit the stack and splashed with diamonds. Keeping in line with the goals, both of these cuffs also had different parts of the Gaelic phrase incorporated into the surfaces.

Cuff Combo - Stone Setting by Kristen Baird

Stone setting for the Birthstone “Bubble” Cuff

First came the “bubble cuff” with 5 Sapphires and 5 Amethysts. We chose a monochromatic palette incorporating Pink Amethyst, Brazilian Amethyst, and African Amethyst. For the Sapphires, we used 3 shades of blue sapphire to give that monochrome look. Each “bubble” of 14 karat gold was drilled to fit the exact size gemstone…one at a time…intricately…and precisely.

Cuff Combo - Stone Setting 2 by Kristen Baird

Setting for the Galaxy and Floral Cuffs

Now it was time to set the stones into the tailored version of my Galaxy Cuff.  For a little extra shimmer and sparkle, we incorporated diamonds into several of the 14 karat yellow gold accents.

Cuff Combo - Final Images by Kristen Baird

So polished!

Since the “floral” cuff didn’t have any gemstones, we moved on to the polishing phase. Many, many rounds of polishing took these cuffs from raw to smooth, elegant, refined and ready-to-wear!

Cuff Combo - Final Images 2 by Kristen Baird

And here they are…

As you can see, these cuffs came out wonderfully. They can be worn together as a sentimental stack, with each part of the Gaelic phrase making an appearance on each cuff - or they can be worn individually to coordinate with various outfits and compliment other jewelry pieces. We love versatility, and this stack certainly has that.

This cuff trio was really fun to work on and I’m proud of how amazing it turned out. But don't take it just from me, check out the review, below, from my client. Oh, and like I mentioned, I was asked to be a part of the grand reveal. I had never met either my client or his love in person, but I was invited to surprise them on their trip to Savannah. I showed up at the coffee house and sat down at their table – to which my client’s love was completely confused. I handed her a box and said, “this is for you”. Slightly questioning  and a little concerned, she opened the package and there were immediate tears of joy. Okay, so I may have teared up a little as well. I love seeing how my work is involved in people's daily lives and I'm so grateful for clients who put their trust in me, and see the value in what I do!

“Wowza! I expected a reaction but nothing like that. She had to step away to collect herself. You are amazing! I couldn't be more grateful for you taking time to share the story with us. I would have gotten choked up. Thank you!” -RR

Do you have a special project you'd like to work on? I'd love to talk with you. Whether it is creating a surprise piece and arranging a fantastic delivery to create an experience that will never be forgotten, I'm here to help. Looking forward to chatting soon! 

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