Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Often, when someone is trying on several pieces of my jewelry, they will ask me , “Is it too much?” My standard answer has always been, “More is More”! That’s an individual decision. I’m the one who loves most things to excess so I find this to be a debate not worth entering. Personally, I love as much of everything that I can handle.
However, lately I’ve had an even more difficult time holding myself back. Like when a friend of mine, Dana, proposed to me his recent project. Dana is a wonderfully talented and charismatic man, an interior designer with a great eye (www.http://dananicholsonstudio.com) who, through the years, has presented me with the most wonderful design challenges. The last one, however, took over two years from design to completion and along with his talent, Dana possesses the patience of a saint.
Here is pictured the original inspiration: A Christian Dior Lip-Gloss Ring. It is magical and functional: Who in their right mind would want to be out on the town without easy access to their Lip Gloss? “Can you make me something like this?” he asked shyly. “But it’s so big. Fabulous and wonderful, but gigantically BIG”, I said. Dana laughed in that charming way of his and said, “I know. And I also know you love making big things!”
Drawings came next and Dana chose one. I pondered the engineering of such a piece and wondered exactly what its purpose was to be, what would it contain? Not lip gloss, to be sure, but what was the history of such a ring? “An atmosphere of magic and charm has always surrounded rings. There has been a strong belief that both good and bad spirits inhabited rings. One of the many charges levied against Joan d’Arc was that she owned rings of magic.
Rings were not always used for good. Hannibal and Demostenes both wore poison rings. Although uncommon, these rings were not rare. Not only could they be used on "friends," but on oneself if the circumstances warranted. “
The technical engineering of Dana’s ring was long and arduous. The hinges had to be functional, but not overpowering. The clasp tight enough to hold any contents, poisonous or otherwise. And it must be beautiful and wearable. Yet, when it was not being worn, it seemed to me to be shameful to keep it tucked away in a jewelry box. That is when the stand, hand-turned in wood by my dear cousin Herb, came to be. I created the silver feet for the “ring stand” initially in wax on my lathe and had them cast. I signed the piece with a hand-stamped silver tag on the bottom. As I normally do when I get a commission, I make more than one which takes into account the “just in case” theory. Especially on pieces I’ve never made before, just in case one doesn’t work out. There are two of these rings and stands. They are signed “1 of 2” and “2 of 2”. Just in case.
Dana’s ring is made of sterling silver with 14k yellow gold accents. The stones are white diamonds, black diamonds and rubies. I love the fact that it is not only functional, but an objet d’art when it is not being worn. I hope he feels it was worth the wait, two years later.
Okay, what else can I work on for a couple of years? You’ll see…