I always enjoy the various challenges of creating custom designs. Last month, I received a special request for a custom design. My customer had found some of her late father’s stone cabochons, purchased in Mexico circa 1970s. She wanted me to take these cabochons and use them to make something for her to wear. There wasn’t a particular request for what that “something” was -- be it rings, pendants, cuff -- just ‘something.’ I loved the idea of taking these loose cabs and making ‘something’ memorable.
I decided early on that I would like to try and make her three separate pendants, which could be worn solo or be connected to form one bold necklace if desired. This would be a challenge in itself -- making three distinct designs that could be cohesive as one. I wanted to find little embellishment ideas that could travel across all three pieces.
Luckily, the customer brought with the cabs some of her father’s college drawings. They were sketches of jewelry designs long before my time. I combed them, thoroughly enjoying the symmetrical sketches, ideas, and little scribbled notes on various sheets of paper, even an envelope drawing.
I took these sketches to heart, seeking little details to tie his aesthetic with my own. See, I am more of an asymmetrical artist. I like to work organically, changing my designs as the metal and ideas change. I found little “squiggle” sketches -- apparently for filigree work along the edge of ring bands. I used this “squiggle” idea in each pendent I created. I also noticed that he liked using beaded edges, as do I. So that went into the overall design, too. The little vintage corals? Those were added into the design early on, another little repeat of color that helped bind the designs.
It was a true pleasure to finish these pendants. Literally and figuratively they came together -- all connected to form one bold necklace. It is a joy to work on sentimental designs, taking something with meaning and make it wearable, useful and maybe loved more frequently. Worklife satisfaction.