This piece is quite the intricate one. From the inspiration of the DNA double helix - paying homage to my Client’s grandfather and his scientific career, to the arrangement of 12 birthstones representing various family members, to the two-toned 14K yellow gold and platinum fabrication, this piece is full of intentional, sentimental detail. Let me just say, a lot of planning went into this one-of-a-kind design, so let's jump right into this creatively calculated masterpiece!
I love when a Client comes to me with an idea and appreciates my design aesthetic enough to allow me to run with their idea. What’s even better is when a Client wants to collaborate and be involved in the process, which makes my creative design process that much more fun! And this piece is the perfect example.
My Client challenged me to create a birthstone ring using her grandmother's original birthstone ring, while adding in additional birthstones for newer family members. In total, the piece had 12 birthstones interwoven through the DNA Double Helix-inspired waves. Also of importance, my Client lives an active lifestyle in Alaska, of all places, so she wanted a piece where all the stones were secured in bezel settings, so that the piece would be ready to go on all of her adventures. Designing to fit a Client’s personal lifestyle is one of the most important things of my job and I take that very seriously!
Something old, something new
One of the coolest parts of reusing materials is implementing them directly into the new piece. Take, for example, my Client's grandmother's wedding band, as seen above. I started by cutting the original wedding band into two equal parts which are then formed and fashioned to create the “double helix” look that you see in the final piece. For some reason, the creative in me just loves seeing how a band can go from one solid piece into a uniquely formed interlacing set of waves. All by being transformed by hand - how amazing!
Let's just say this type of transformation takes time! Interlacing the exterior and the interior...well, that took a lot of refining...and fixing...and processing...and developing.
Another interesting part is that every single stone setting in this ring was hand-fabricated using additional gold from my Client. As I often say, most times, settings can be bought pre-fabricated from suppliers, but that doesn't allow the original metal to be reused and it can often lead to the piece looking more commercially made. Although sometimes that may be a good fit, most times I find that my Clients really appreciate the fact that we can reuse their metals to give their piece that intentionally handcrafted feel. There’s nothing better than having something made by hand!
Rounds and rounds and more rounds of detailing, cleanup, polishing, stone setting installation, drilling, fitting, and prep work - OH, but the satisfaction of seeing an idea come to life - priceless!
The final touches
Once the settings were prepared, it all came down to the final touches. This is a very methodical, calculated, mathematical part of the process - one stone at a time, one clean-up at a time, one finishing at a time...and so on! But the final result is always worth the wait!
As you can see, this piece is quite the beauty. She's built tough for an on-the-go active lifestyle, but shows softness and sentiment with bursts of all 12 birthstones from this family’s tree. The piece reuses many gemstones from the Client’s grandmother's original ring, along with other family pieces, and incorporates my favorites, platinum with 14K gold from my Clients heirloom pieces. With this piece: challenge given, challenge accepted, challenge achieved! And it's pretty darn cool to know that one of my pieces is in Alaska, out in the wild, living “her” best life!
"I love it!!! Fits like a glove! I'd hug you if I lived in the same town. I LOVE it. You do such amazing work." -RE
Does this story spark an idea for your own special project? Do you have materials or sentimental pieces that aren't being utilized? Be sure to reach out or visit our commissions tab for more information. We'd love to work with you!