JHW Case Study: Sarah's ring

Posted by Jo Hayes Ward on

I’d love to tell you the story of a very special ring I made for a lovely client - Sarah, using the antique diamonds from her wedding ring to create a bespoke ring of my design.

I’d first met Sarah at Cockpit Arts open studios back in 2014 when she bought one of my structural rings. Her beloved wedding ring was stunning, with 21 rose cut diamonds of different shapes and sizes. It was set on a wide band that sadly couldn’t withstand her continuous wear and had split twice. She decided it was time to repurpose the diamonds and create a completely new ring.

Sarahs original ring

Sarah explains ‘Jo and I discussed the design of this sentimental piece - I wanted it to retain the antique glamour of the old ring, but to appear lighter and also to sit on a much narrower band which would suit me and be more comfortable than the original. Most importantly I wanted to draw in elements of Jo’s brilliant stacked, chaotic, almost architectural designs.’

I was super excited by this idea, it’s a dream to work with so many exquisite rosecut diamonds and Sarah gave me a great steer about the look and feel she was after. My Chaos Cube design was the starting point, but then I considered her requirements and overall vision for this piece and got to work shaping something that would be perfect for her. Chaos cube ring

Sarah adds ‘Jo developed ideas using the 3D modeling programme and as soon as I’d seen her first visualisations I knew we were treading the same path; she incorporated and tweaked my thoughts and her suggestions into a fabulous finished piece. I hugely enjoyed the design process and being able to visit the studio watching ideas formulate into a tangible object. It was an enormous pleasure to work with Jo, she is empathetic, perceptive and just a lovely person!’

 

The ring

We decided the new ring would have a ‘top’ to show off the diamonds, with an easy-to-wear shank underneath. This meant we would not reuse all the stones, some could be held back to be used to create yet more new pieces later on.

Sarah's diamonds are all slightly different pear and oval shapes so we decided it would be really striking for the settings that held her diamonds to be extruded faceted versions of these shapes, which would be arranged in an irregular ‘Chaos’ top to form the focal point of this ring. The design evolved to include a hex patterned shank which complements the ‘Chaos’ arrangement beautifully.

Sarah's new ring

A surprise pendant

Once we’d finished creating the ring, Sarah was left with several diamonds and some scraps of gold from the original ring. When Sarah came to collect these, I suggested that we melt the scraps down into a single piece that could potentially be turned into something new. I got to work blasting the gold scraps with my torch.

Sarah explains ‘The resulting beautiful molten gold blob wobbled, slipped and then embedded itself into the ceramic honeycomb brick beneath. After our initial shock, Jo managed to prise it out and it presented its new form as an irregular oval with miniature stacks of varying heights - just as if Jo had designed it herself. Its making was a spontaneous mistake and for that I love it even more.’ I fashioned the surprise creation into a pendant - another relic from the much loved wedding ring.

Accidental Pendant

Sarah tells me she wears these pieces each day, and that makes me very happy.

And what of the remaining diamonds? Sarah still has a little store of these treasures. We used two to create a very special pair of earrings for her daughter’s 30th birthday and I am sure the rest will go on to be repurposed beautifully again in the future.

Jo x

Sarah's ring and pendant

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