My friend Catherine loves dogs. Her business, Paws Please Dog Training revolves around them, and with her expert help, we have seen our own Eddie make giant strides toward becoming the "awesome" dog she believes he can be. I have immense respect for her and her almost magical abilities with dogs.
That's why I was so honored when she asked me to make a special piece of jewelry to honor her own first dog, Hanna, recently lost.
The piece, a reliquary for Hanna's ashes, is Catherine's own design. She showed me her initial sketch and I thought I simply had to interpret it, to the best of my ability, exactly as drawn, in its heartfelt perfection.,
There are so many challenges to making a piece designed by someone who doesn't do metalwork and so can't know how a 2 dimensional sketch becomes a 3 dimensional piece. And Catherine provided me with the additional challenge of wanting this to be a bracelet on a leather strap!
I am pleased with the result and so very happy to say that she loves it. RIP Hanna, you were, and still are, very loved.
Being asked to make a special piece is always a thrill. I've been fortunate to have a number come my way this past month, but two of them got me thinking.
One, the subject of this post, gave me complete freedom and control over the design process. My instruction was: make a "wow" of a ring.
The woman for whom the ring is a retirement gift is a friend, so I am lucky enough to have a sense of her taste and I knew she like Moss Agate stones, so I had a bit of intelligence to go on.
Further, she is the retiring director of the Oneida Community Mansion House, so perhaps I could work in something that might reference the Oneida Community.
Most famously known for their flatware, the Oneida Community also produced animal traps and silk thread and strawberries. Hmm. No, none of those would work.
In the end, I chose to surround a spectacular moss agate and obsidian doublet with gallery wire that I think is reminiscent of flatware patterns. On the back of the setting, I pierced the Celtic triskele, a symbol that came up in all of my searches for symbols of community, family and unity. The shank of the ring is designed as a cigar band style, with an "O" (for Oneida) cutout through with the triskele can be seen.
Such a joy to design a piece entirely out of my own head, but next up, the joy of interpreting someone else's vision into metal!