I’ve worked with the lovely Veena for some time now. When she approached me about a repurposing project I jumped at the chance. However disaster struck and - as with all new processes, things don’t always go to plan - the brand new setting I designed was not up to scratch! I don’t believe in shying away from your mistakes so here’s Veena’s story, warts and all!
Here is Veena's story in her own words:
“When I got married in 2009, I had a ring designed, but sadly it didn’t come out anything like I had envisaged - too bulky, masculine, and somewhat inelegant.
Years afterwards, I saw Jo’s work at the Saatchi gallery in 2011 and utterly fell in love with her chaos cube ring. My wonderful husband secretly contacted Jo and bought it for me as a surprise anniversary gift, knowing my disappointment. And ever since, Jo’s chaos cube design in warm white gold with brown diamonds hasn’t left my wedding ring finger.
Almost a decade later, I was idly browsing through Jo’s website in the post-Christmas lull. I read the stories of how she had repurposed old pieces, and immediately thought of that old wedding ring, loving the idea of recycling a piece of jewellery, which even though I disliked, was still meaningful and had sentimental value to me.
I messaged Jo with some pictures of my old ring to explore the possibilities, and we met at her studio. I picked out my favourite patterns from Jo’s collection, aiming to wear them on my right middle finger. Jo created a bespoke design, with 3 of the slightly larger sapphires set proud with a square band, 8 smaller sapphires embedded in her double hexagon band, and enough gold left to add a full parquet ring.
Jo sent me mock-up images to approve, and it wasn’t until much later that we realised the three pieces could be perceived as engagement, wedding and eternity style rings - which was a delightful bonus.
The rings were beautiful, everything I could have hoped for, but then disaster struck. One of the stones snapped off, and was lost, only a couple of months after I started wearing them. Jo realised that the way she had set the stones in this unique design had created a weak point where they joined the band. She redesigned the ring, adding more gold to the base for strength, and then recast it, sourcing me a new matching replacement sapphire - all at her own expense.
The second recast and repaired ring is frankly indistinguishable from the first to my inexpert eye, although Jo assures me it will definitely stand the test of time. Our collaboration process on the design choices was also incredibly fun, despite the ‘hiccup’ which Jo generously and rapidly resolved.
I already adored Jo’s process combining ultramodern Computer Aided Design (CAD) and 3D printing with lost wax casting, used since antiquity. I love my ‘new’ rings, the story of their creation, and the sustainable ethos they represent. They are understated, subtle, but have incredible depth and graphic beauty. I don’t think I will tire of looking at them on my hands, and don’t plan to ever take them off, oh, except when I play around to mix up the stacking order. Thank you Jo, for your talent, your skills and these precious pieces which mean the world to me.”
Thank you so much Veena for your lovely words and understanding when this project did not go to plan! I’m so glad we were able to work it all out together and that you are happy with the result xx