Recently Sarah came to me with her grandmother's engagement ring, she loved the fact that her grandmother had worn it but she wanted it to be completely transformed. To those who have a piece of jewellery you no longer wear, and are wondering what you can do with it, I thought it might be useful to explain the process.
An Introduction to the Creative Process
The creative exploration.
Having chatted over the telephone we arranged to meet in person so that Sarah could show me the ring she was thinking of reinventing. Her grandmother's ring, a delicate simple band, holding three rubies, she had worn it as an engagement ring. Sarah wanted to transform it into a less classic design, something that felt a bit more organic and alive. We started brainstorming other objects she loved, she was drawn to both geometric forms, but also natural forms, found in the countryside. I showed her some early paintings of Mondrian, a famous modernist painter she loved them, we had found our starting point.
I started to loosely sketching down some ideas which would only include the gold taken from her grandmother's ring. She realised she wanted something bolder, which would require the use of buying extra gold. Once we decided on her budget, I began on some new sketches, developing the idea further. We decided on a shortlist of three, which I would then draw up in more detail and send to her the following week.
The final designs
In our second meeting, I presented the final designs. Sarah's ring hand drawn to scale, so she had a good idea of how the piece will look. She wanted her piece to be intricate, textured and delicate, I also presented her with some experiments I had done in the studio, to give her an idea of how the metalwork might look. Out of three final designs, she had a favourite - we were ready to progress to the making stages.
Sarah's grandmother's ring was carefully dismantled, the stones cut out and the gold remelted along with the fresh metal which was needed for the design. New settings for the stones were made, and soldered into the form of the ring. The piece was then taken to a trusted stone setter, and then to a reputable polisher. It is so important that every pair of hands that work on a piece are highly skilled and trusted in their specialist craft, in order for the piece to be of a high quality. Eventually I took the ring to the Assay office, for hallmarking in order to verify that the metal I used is the 18 Carat gold that Sarah had commissioned.
The new ring meets its owner.
The moment when Sarah opens her box and meets her new piece of jewellery for the first time is exciting. I think especially because she had commissioned her own design, and put a lot of herself into it, her ideas and style.
Sarah puts the ring on, and her eyes say everything....it's a perfect fit.
If you have any questions about commissioning your own piece, then do please get in touch. Always happy to hear from you, firstname.lastname@example.org