Jewellery lover Varsha was given a ruby ring as a child that was very precious to her but she found she never actually wore it.
I'd like to share the story of how I created a brand new one of a kind ring for Varsha, in my signature aesthetic and using all the materials from her original ring. The finished piece is something that Varsha now adores and wears often. It was a real pleasure to work with Varsha and to breathe new life into her precious jewels.
Did you have a vision for exactly what you wanted when you first spoke to Jo about your ring? 'I had a broad idea in my mind. I love structural, geometric jewellery and also a hint of art deco. I have followed Jo for a number of years and in the past seen her work at the Goldsmiths Fair, so I knew I loved her style and that it resonated with the aspects of design that I liked. There were a couple of specific pieces I had seen on Jo's Instagram feed that I really really loved, and had them in mind when I first approached Jo to understand if they could be recreated with a slight twist.'
Please tell us about the design process 'Working with Jo was fantastic. I have been lucky enough to speak to jewellery makers before, but the lockdown environment we were in had a lot of unknowns...around timescales and availability of other people who would be involved in the process...Jo was open and transparent about the different moving parts and how we could navigate them and I really appreciated that.
In terms of the design process. It felt really collaborative. The starting point was three different things: my existing ring, the broad style of jewellery I liked, and then also existing pieces of Jo's I adored. I went to Jo's workshop to physically see some pieces and she also saw my existing ring. We spoke about what might work and then my ring was tested for weight and carat of metal and type of stone alongside Jo creating some initial designs. That's when Jo's expertise really came to the fore. I knew which design I liked but I really needed Jo to advise me on what the might work best from a structural perspective with the materials of my ring.'
Are you pleased with the result? 'Beyond pleased! The biggest endorsement I could give is that I have worn this ring so much since it was made - I absolutely love it, it feels such a special thing to have and I really cherish having it. What I love the most is that what Jo has created feels really timeless, elegant yet also contemporary, modern and seriously cool all in one....and is something I can wear every day as well as also on special occasions.'
What does your new ring mean to you? 'The ring was initially given to me as a child by my grandmother. Like lots of family jewellery from a different era, the style no longer felt modern nor reflective of something I would wear. So it had been unworn for easily over 10 years. I turned 40 at the start of the year, and did have plans for a big celebratory trip to South America...however, Covid scuppered those so I started to think about a different memory to create and liked the idea of repurposing the ring to continue the family memory and have it as a special gift to myself. So every time I look at the ring, I get a sense of time and place...the family heritage, the birthday momento and this strange time we are currently living in!
Going through this journey has been a fabulous experience and it's been fantastic to have that memory of collaborating with a maker as well as the end product - it feels so much more personal and involved than buying an existing piece. I would really recommend if you have pieces that you no longer wear or perhaps have been gifted something or have family pieces to think about repurposing them...it is incredibly rewarding!'