Working on Custom Jewelry Design using big, important gemstones and setting them in high-end precious metals is a thrill. I love the challenge of making the most of this type if material and a well-executed finished project of this type certainly makes a great addition to any portfolio. I also love any project to which my client can bring meaning, no matter the intrinsic value of the materials. I was recently working on just such a project. It might be easy to dismiss the simple design, Sterling Silver and crude (by some standards) nature of the gemstone. But because of the meaning, the jewel we created is precious! I smiled all the way through this custom jewelry project from initial meeting with the client to final polish and delivery. And this is a project where I can truly claim sole authorship.
The client brought me a can of rocks…which were garnet crystals gathered by her grandfather over a lifetime of collecting these scattered gems in Idaho. These were not to be confused with gem quality garnets. As I picked through the material some of them were mostly mud, or matrix, loosely holding small garnets together. They broke apart as I manipulated them. I found several intact, but very included crystals that seemed like they would withstand cutting and polishing. One did.
The infinity design that my client chose symbolizes a continuum in her family. She is giving this piece to her Mom, the daughter of the man who collected the rocks. And she knows that she will get it back one day with the deep knowledge of family connections built into the piece.
I find inspiration for Custom Design everywhere. Recently, while visiting Cuenca, Ecuador I became somewhat fascinated with the textures I began noticing. Cobblestone streets, mud walls, lines in plaster and floral patterns.
It makes sense that I’m noticing these things since I’m continuing to perfect the creation of textures in my CAD designs. CAD, and Rhino in particular are known to be a little challenging when it comes to the creation of organic forms and textures. Possible, obviously, but a process that takes several thought-out steps to accomplish with any grace. The picture above is a photo of a rock wall (muro de piedra) at a residence in which we stayed while in Cuenca and may become my next target for texturing into CAD! The wall at the top of this page is part of the ruins of the Pumapungo complex which was thought to be the first habitation of the Cuenca area and may have been built as early as 2000 BCE, certainly no later than 500AD. It makes an interesting and I think, thoughtful, addition to my growing collection of textures for use in Custom work. Stay tuned here and on Gary Dawson Designs for updates to this and other fun Custom Design processes and ideas!