When I was presented with the idea behind this piece, I knew I had to create it and do so perfectly for my client. She came to me wanting a ring design that included the inspiration, and in a way to raise awareness of the Fragile X Syndrome (FXS). You see, her son was born with FXS, and she wanted a way to beautifully depict the very thing that makes him so unique and special. Keep reading to see how this exceptionally sentimental piece came to life.
I wanted to give this client exactly what she wanted, but not knowing much about this condition, I began by doing a little internet research. Turns out, FXS is a chromosomal intricacy depicted by an X chromosome that has a little break at the end, followed by a teeny extra piece. (Please excuse my lack of medical/scientific knowledge – I'm coming at this from an artistic background, not as a doctoral scientist). However, one of the unique things about being an artist, is that I look at things on a visual level as parts and pieces to a whole. I took inspiration from the graphic that you see right above. My client wanted something that incorporated the actual Fragile X, but in a beautiful and elegant way so she could wear it daily and use it as a conversation starter to tell her story.
Diamonds, Emeralds and Peridot…oh, my!
With this design, we decided on a split band with sterling silver bars on each side. At the center, I would hand-fabricate an elegant and sweeping “X” form, as closely as possible to the Fragile X seen on the images that I found on the internet. To highlight the actual part that makes the Fragile X unique, we decided to add two little portions of yellow gold as the segments at the bottom. It also turns out that my client’s favorite color is green, and her favorite gemstone is an Emerald. So as an added element, we incorporated emeralds, peridot and two diamonds from studs that she had - on both sides, thus filling in the open split band with some color pops.
Building the settings
Like with all of my projects, the next step was to build the individual settings, the places where the stones would later be nestled into. I used 14 karat yellow gold to coordinate with the tiny portion at the bottom of the “X”. Once the settings were arranged in their rightful spots (the little blobs in the photos), it was time to start cleaning and prepping the piece for the stones.
Nestling the stones
Each setting was carefully drilled into and hollowed out to perfectly fit the “assigned” gemstone starting with the diamonds from my client's studs, followed by emeralds and peridot and ending with the Fragile X in the center. Once the stones were perfectly nestled into their settings, it was time to wrap up the clean-up process and because I love the small attention to detail - add some texturing.
Looking at the final piece, I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s both elegant and a piece of art. The symbolism is clear if you know what you're looking for, but at the same time, it's also artistic, which I think is a wonderful balance. This piece has just the right amount of texture and the mesmerizing pops of color from the gemstones kind of remind me of an art sculpture with beautifully incorporated stained glass. It's such a sweet and meaningful ode to my client's son - celebrating his unique and special characteristics! Check out what she had to say about her new piece. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to work on this truly extraordinary Fragile X Ring.
“I’m finally back home! I’ve been in the car all day but couldn’t wait to see my Ring!!! I couldn’t even imagine anything better!!! I’m so grateful for the time and work you put into this ring . I’m so grateful to have someone tangible to tell my story!!! Thank You from the bottom of my heart!!!💚💚💚”
I love a good challenge, especially one that incorporates sentimentality in an abstract or other unique way. Do you have an idea you'd like to bring to life? Let me know and let's chat! I look forward to talking with you.
Kristen, this is a beautifully touching story. Thank you for sharing this inspirational experience.
Your work reflects your caring and lovely personality. It is a privilege to know you!