Jewelry Remodel for me. Mom's diamond.
My mom passed away in 2020. She left notes with much of her jewelry as to who was to receive what. They were often very funny! I was left her diamond ring. A ring bought for her by my dad to replace her original engagement diamond. She wore it ALL the time! Even when her health was fading, and her weight diminishing, that ring was always on her finger. She loved it.
As we all remember, 2020 was NOT the greatest year for anyone and I gave little thought to what I was going to recreate with her ring. I knew it seemed more like a pendant to me, but I struggled with the design. It needed to highlight the diamond, be something I would actually wear, and be something both mom and dad would love. No pressure there!
Last week I had the privilege of attending an in depth retreat with my goldsmith mentor Michael David Sturlin. I knew this was the perfect opportunity to work on my pendant! Michael is one of the most talented goldsmiths there is, and I knew he would push me in every creative way! And he did just that!
Mom's ring was 14 karat gold. Michael believes all gold jewelry should be 18 karat so I learned how to alloy my 14 karat by mixing it with 24 karat to create 18 karat. Let's just say there was a LOT of math!
The gold was then melted and poured into an ingot. That ingot became the components for my pendant by utilizing a rolling mill. One of my FAVORITE tools in the studio!
What I loved about this process was that I was able to take my time. I knew I had four days which allowed me to go slow. Something that is not in my nature when it comes to work. I'm usually a woman on a mission! This piece required exact measuring and filing, there was no room for error. I'll admit at times I was nervous about being a millimeter off, or melting a component I had just created! But I would sit back and breathe, Michael would remind me that I do in fact have the skill set required to do the job, and I would move forward with "semi" confidence :)
Although I work with diamonds in many sizes and shapes, this diamond was by far the most expensive, the largest and it's MY MOM'S! Needless to say, I took my time setting her. Tiny taps. Re-evaluating. Slow movements.
I am absolutely thrilled with how she turned out. It's something I will absolutely wear often, and I know my mom would love it. I am hand creating the chain and was not able to finish it. I ran out of time, and gold! Anyone have any extra 18 karat gold laying around? lol
What did I learn in this project. I think what stood out to me the most was that I absolutely LOVE what I do. This is not a normal career, and I do have skills. Maybe that seems like a weird thing to say, but often I feel inadequate and unintelligent living in a creative world. It's easy to say to myself, "I just make jewelry". But that is horrible self talk and I am done with that. I have been given a special talent to do something amazing. And when I GET to take someones piece of jewelry and recreate it into something new and meaningful....THAT is the best feeling in the world!
I was also reminded to S L O W down and enjoy the process. Take my time. Stop thinking 10 steps ahead but immerse myself in the now. Seems like an all over good lesson to learn...for me!
I have a few remodels in the works right now, but if you would like to get on the waiting list for this year message me and I can send you my remodel form! I would love to work with you on a project like this.
Thanks for reading and for your encouragement. You are so loved!