Sometimes you’re asked to make a piece so personal and sentimental it hurts. This handwritten signature necklace is one of those pieces. The main thing I love about making custom jewelry, and really, all jewelry, is that each piece is a personal totem. As humans, there is no functional reason for us to adorn ourselves. Yet, we do. We pick up trinkets that personally mean things or symbolize a piece of our lives or ourselves, and wear them proudly for the world to see.
We tell our stories in the jewelry we choose to wear.
For this particular necklace, I was asked to memorialize a story that ended too soon. It was built for a mother, who had lost a son before his time. His sister commissioned the piece as a Christmas present, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the result. The pendant of the necklace is her son’s exact handwriting, worn on the side so the world can remember him. I was given a sample of the handwriting, and then used Computer Aided Design (CAD) to recreate it exactly. I then prototyped the piece, cast and assembled it. It’s a piece made with love. And, while it can never come close to replacing what was lost, maybe wearing it will help keep his story going.
Sometimes modernist lines and simple elegance are all a custom ring needs. This opal and diamond hexagon ring is the epitome of modern elegance. This ring was a gift from a husband to a wife, to show appreciation for all the work she does. The husband wanted to ensure that it reflected who she was: strong, modern, beautiful, elegant.
It’s truly a gift of love.
When he came to me, we brainstormed on what would symbolize his love. The center stone was easy. Opals are one of her favorite stones, so we determined a large, beautiful white Australian opal would fit the bill. It’s is clean, and very fashion-forward. Next, I decided a hexagon halo would be both strong and elegant. The strong lines of the shape aligned with the beautiful simplicity of the halo would do nicely. So we surrounded our stone with off-white diamonds, to match warmth and richness of the rose gold setting. Finally, the criss-cross double band is symbolizes their two lives entwined forever. He gave it to her over Christmas with their children and family close by. Truly a wonderful gift for the love of his life.
After 30 years of marriage, sometimes you need a gift that’s a little extra special. This piece was commissioned by one of my clients for his wife. Because their 30th wedding anniversary was coming up, he wanted to make a piece of jewelry that took her breath away. He gave me a budget and told me he wanted a necklace, but beyond that I had full liberty to make whatever I wanted. This was going to be an exciting project. After much thought, I turned to the idea of a compass.
This woman was the matriarch of my client’s family. She provided her family with direction, and was their true north.
I loved creating a delicate, yet extremely wearable necklace reminiscent of a sailor’s compass. With four baguette diamonds in the north, south, east, and west position, as well as a large asscher cut diamond acting as the compass’ center, the necklace will always remind her that she is their direction home.
Sometimes a girl just wants to have a little fun. When my client came to me she had some eighties-fantastic opal earrings, a gleam in her eye, and one goal. She wanted to dust the eighties off of those opals.
I wish I had a before picture of those earrings, but take it from me, they looked like Liz Taylor and Lisa Frank joined forces to design some ready-to-wear studs. I could practically hear the White Diamonds ad in the background when she showed them to me. But eighties nostalgia aside, when I removed the opals from their dated setting, they were actually extremely pretty. They had an abundance of light play — a very desirable trait in opals. Their color was soft, with hints of pink and coral. And outside of the setting, the pear shape looked modern and interesting, rather than dated.
She gave me carte blanche to design something that was fun, flirty, and decidedly modern. I came up with a set of stacking rings that could be worn together, or separately. I used blue-green tourmaline, diamonds, and coral as accent stones, and put them in bezel settings to protect the fragile opal. The final product turned out to be modern, with a bit of flair. These rings are delicate, yet bold. My client loves them, and I may or may not be a little jealous that she gets to wear them all the time.
Mother’s rings are a popular way of showing your appreciation for mom. But what if your mother doesn’t wear rings? That was my client’s problem, and I was happy to help her solve it. Together we came up with the idea of creating pearl earrings, instead of the traditional mother’s ring.
These adorable white gold and pearl earrings are designed with some of her mother’s favorite things in mind.
The earrings have the mother’s favorite flower, the lotus, holding in the center pearl. They are made of white gold, her favorite metal. And combines the birthstones of her three children: ruby, for July; zircon, for December, and pearl, for her June baby. Additionally, we re-purposed some family gold to cast them, making this an extra-special set.
She said later that the earrings were a huge hit, and became her mother’s daily go-to pair. I think they are adorable, and love the fact that we could make something her mother would treasure.
This white gold and mixed gem bubble necklace, was commissioned for a client’s mother. Her mother was turning 60, and she wanted to create a special piece to commemorate the family she had created. This is such a lovely way to show how much someone has contributed to their family. I couldn’t wait to help. But, mother’s jewelry can be tricky. On one hand, you want to build something that accurately represents the family. On the other hand, you don’t get to choose your birthstone. Sometimes when you put two stones next to one another the effect is less than cohesive. With this necklace, we got lucky. The gemstones could have screamed Christmas. With garnet, ruby, peridot, and opal, it was a mix of red, green, and white.
However, when we placed the mother’s birthstone, sapphire, in the middle, the necklace became balanced and bold.
It came together, much to my delight. In designing this necklace, I wanted to ensure that it felt organic and homegrown, but kept its sense of hierarchy. After all, it is representing a family tree. The largest stone was the mother’s, centrally located. The next largest, her three children. And the smallest stones are the grandchildren of the family. Set in 14k white gold bezels, the necklace is clean, modern, and deeply sentimental. It was a perfect present for her 60th birthday. I loved it so much that I nicknamed it the bubble necklace, because it floated around the neck, and floated my heart with joy.