For many years it has been a hugely enjoyable part of my work to be presented with the challenge of turning sometimes simply dated or unloved pieces of jewellery into amazing new treasures to be adored and worn regularly.
Since 1987 when I started my business at the then Cirencester Workshops there have been many clients who have brought in family heirlooms encompassing beautiful stones or simply pieces that need new life breathing into them. It is always a huge expression of trust to be asked to take much valued items and take them apart before remodelling. So often jewellery possesses so much emotion within it and over the years we have become very much a part of our clients lives and personal stories. One lady even brought in her wedding ring after a very acrimonious divorce and insisted on passing the ring through our metal rollers herself before I was able to refashion it into an empowering necklace.
Janet brought in her husband’s wedding band a couple of years ago. Sadly due to illness her husband was unable to wear his ring any longer and Janet felt that she wanted to wear it as a pendant close to her heart. 22ct gold is beautifully pliable and wonderful to remodel. I was able to melt, roll and hammer out the gold and rework it into one of my signature Amulet pendants that Janet had coveted for some time. The forged texturing on the gold exuded warmth and made it reminiscent of ancient artefacts.
Often someone will bring in a bag of inherited but ‘not to their style’ pieces to go through and it can be so rewarding to sometimes find that the most unattractive piece in their collection can hold the loveliest precious stones.
A few years ago a lady brought in five diamond rings, After removing the gems from the rings and cleaning them, it was decided that clustering the diamonds closely together in one piece actually made less of them than by creating some distance between each stone. Judi is a very stylish and elegant person and was keen to have something that would not age her with a lot of heavy gold but would look beautiful and sophisticated when worn with an evening gown. With the budget we had I incorporated a leather adjustable necklet into the piece with a lovely back pendant that perfectly fitted with her favourite backless dress.
Stacking rings are often a hugely successful solution for reusing larger stones that may look cumbersome set on one band. They are also a great way of providing the illusion of a wider ring but provide more comfort with varying sizes to each shank depending on the warmth of the day. When Sally brought in a claw set high ring encompassing seven marquise sapphires it was crucial to her that far more was made of the beautiful blue stones.I suggested making a more practical and versatile stack of rings. The final design threw up some unexpected and delightful design combinations as the angled marquise stones set on the organic wave bands gave the appearance of a shoal of bright blue fish when stacked in different ways. The beauty with a well designed ring stack is that the permutations for wearing different numbers of rings or stacked in a different order are many and all with their own distinct appeal.
Over the next few months I will revisit stacking rings on another blog as they continue to be one of my most enjoyable type of commission and I have many examples that I have mainly posted upon my Facebook pages.
My final example here is another similar stack that I was commissioned to make for a lovely couple who came over to visit the shop and workshop from New Zealand. John and Derryn then returned a few years later to celebrate their wedding anniversary travelling in Europe. After coveting the ring stacks in our shop, it was decided to remodel Derryn’s wedding and engagement rings as well as two others that had been left in a drawer for quite a while.
While John and Derryn were living it up in Paris and LeMans I set to work to create a perfectly balanced stack of rings in 18ct gold, platinum and silver…..
When making the stacks I always consider the ‘slotting’ together from two to six bands.
John and Derryn were thrilled with the rings and indeed the whole experience of having Derryn’s rings reimagined. They told me that the process added something very special to their amazing wedding anniversary tour…