A hand-drawn colored pencil and gouache gold, turquoise and diamond pendant rendering is today's design-a-day; and take a look at these other great pendants by the jewelry company Pick Up Sticks
An homage to a truly legendary master of jewelry rendering, Shinde, as well as an inspirational quote by Thomas Edison
Joana's Design a Day year-long jewelry design blog project inspires a jewelery designer in Shanghai, China to start her own Design a Day jewelry design blog project
My husband suggested today that I go back to one of my favorite design books, The Art of Jewelry Design, and do one of the design exercises from that book. I chose to focus on the sea shell for design inspiration. As the authors Galli, Rivière and Li point out, some of the earliest body adornments were artistically varied shells strung together.
To do my rendering, I first searched for seashell images in Google Images, then sketched a nautilus shell in the top left of my paper. From there I played around in my sketch book with motifs inspired by the shell. I chose to focus primarily on the interesting coil. Surprisingly, this motif does present design challenges since the coil alone can look very uni-directional and unfinished. I found a balance for this by mirroring the coil and giving the ends an artistic, yet organic flare in keeping with the natural feel of the coil. Binding the two coils together with a diamond tie helps to create a third balancing element. Here is a close up of the finished brooch:
Yes, I’m jewelry obsessed! Even my Halloween pumpkin this year is sporting chandelier earrings. For more refined Gothic style jewelry befitting this occasion, as well as any dress up event, check out the jewelry of Stephen Webster:
You can read more here about this ring which was commissioned by the UK-based organization Malaria No More, an organization advocating a comprehensive approach to eradicating the mosquito-borne illness. And if you thought that all jewelry designers live a quiet, refined life spent very much behind the scenes, think again. Stephen Webster, who in his early days found himself making and selling Day-Glo Perspex earrings to his friends at£5 a pair, is no stranger now to partying with the likes of Christina Aguilera and Mickey Rourke, selling his jewelry to Madonna, Johnny Depp, and Charlize Theron among other celebritries, and being driven to parties in limo hummers (complete with two fireplaces). Curious? Read more here.
I was contacted recently by a custom jeweler/designer colleague who wondered if I had any design ideas for ways to deal with creating a wedding band to pair with a previously purchased engagement ring that has an unusual side profile. As this jeweler pointed out, it is tiresome to have to make weird-shaped wedding bands to fit around an engagement ring. As Design Associate for David Liska Custom Jeweler, I saw the creation of quite a few extraordinary engagement rings. Because of the elaborate nature of these rings and their cost, the bride-to-be sometimes chose not to have a matching band created. This is certainly one option to consider. Sometimes the engagement ring is so spectacular that anything next to it would be “gilding the lily”. A good example is this ring design I posted recently in my A Design A Day – Day 28 blog post:
Because of the bypass ring design, fitting a wedding band to this ring would be problematic. Also, I think that adding more metal to the bottom or top of this design in the form of another ring would make the overall effect look unbalanced. If a client wanted this ring and a wedding band, I would suggest that they wear the wedding band on the opposite ring finger. The great thing about that, is that a plain gold or platinum wedding band looks simple and elegant, and can be dressed up later with gemstone or diamond eternity bands…a woman can never have too many rings!
If you love the idea of wearing your wedding band with your engagement ring, then often the best option is to choose a ring side profile shape that is straight, or one that has the stone sitting high enough up from the band so that the profile of the gallery doesn’t prevent another ring from sitting flush with it. Good examples of this are these two ring sets by Martin Flyer:
When I designed my engagement ring, I knew that I wanted to have a very simple band to wear with the engagement ring. I designed an intricate, lacy, floral platinum and diamond vine as the primary visual element in my engagement ring, and framed this vine between gold and millgrained platinum bands. Designing a matching millgrain/gold band to compliment the engagement ring was a breeze. A short time later I purchased two white gold, diamond and citrine eternity bands. The thinness of these bands allows me not only to wear them stacked on my other ring finger (and still be able to play the viola comfortably!), but, depending on my mood, I mix up the ring combinations of all four rings:
My feeling is that an engagement ring should be beautiful enough to stand on its own, as should the wedding band. There are no hard and fast rules for having to wear the two together. Most important is that these rings remind you daily of your commitment to another human being and to your life with that person.
For more great online resources of jewelry designers doing bridal jewelry, please take a look at my previous blog post entitled Love is In the Air- Tips for Engagement Ring Shopping and Proposing.
Variation #3 would require a basket setting with tube prongs so that the round brilliant diamonds could be tube-set. One designer who uses this technique to great advantage is Julia Behrends. Tomorrow I’ll be posting the 4th and final variation I created around this beautiful designer-cut morganite by John Dyer.
Today’s earring rendering shows two choices – one in all 18K yellow gold and the other in white and yellow gold. I particularly like combining metal colors. I think it often makes for more versatility (i.e., you could add a necklace or ring in either gold or silver metal to compliment these earrings), and it can make for a richer design overall.
For some stellar examples of the use of bi-metal in jewelry, check out the Cushion line of the late Steven Kretchmer. In fact, take a look at the entire website. Steven Kretchmer was a jeweler extraodinaire, a magician of metals and alchemist of sorts. In addition to his unique implementation of the tension setting in much of his work, Kretchmer’s lasting legacy to the jewelry world includes, in part, the invention of Polarium, a permanently magnetized platinum alloy, and the development of purple and blue golds.
A chance to brag…
My father, Gil Miranda, and his jewelry were recently featured in the 25th Anniversary edition of the Portuguese fashion magazine, Moda e Moda. This glossy magazine devotes itself to the best and brightest in art and fashion. The three page interview included many color photographs featuring some of my father’s finest jewelry. Please visit his website to see more of his work.
Please visit Rio Tinto’s Champagne Diamonds Blog to see great pictures and descriptions of all four winning entries in the recent Rio Tinto Champagne Diamond Contest. My Champagne Tango earrings took the “Champagne Wishes” 2nd Place award and are currently being manufactured!
While you’re on the site, don’t miss the short YouTube video entitled Champagne Diamonds Inspire New Designs. Rio Tinto asked Curtis of Australia to design a fountain pen using champagne diamonds. The Colours of Australia Fountain Pen has over 500 hand-set white and champagne diamonds and features intricate hand engraving as well as titanium design elements that are evocative of the Sydney Opera House. In the video you’ll see the process from rendering to stone-setting, buffing and polishing, as well as the torch heating of the titanium to enhance its color.