A Custom Ring Journey: Here Be Dragons … part 4, Finished Ring Pictures

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Aaaaah! Here we are once again: Two crazy kids madly in love. It was a great wedding with lots of beautiful memories. And the ensuing 20+ years have been the same: great with lots of beautiful memories.

Today, I want to finish up my series on the design and production of my 20th anniversary ring with the most fun (to me, anyhow!) part: Pictures of the finished piece! If you’re just now tuning in or stumbling across this post, here are the previous posts in the series:

Part 1: Ideas & Inspiration
Part 2: Selecting a Stone
Part 3: The Design

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So here she is! I know this design and type of setting isn’t for everyone, but I am mad in love with it. I love the look of metal work, so I love settings that are detailed and metal-heavy. It took me a while and a fair bit of “living” to realize the things I love and the things that are pretty but are not for me. I suppose it works that way for most people.

When I think back on getting engaged and getting married, I realize I was majorly influenced by what other people wanted. To the extent that I couldn’t separate what others wanted and thought was “appropriate” or “pretty” or “correct” or … well, whatever you want to call it … from my own ideas of those things. This isn’t to say that I didn’t love my engagement ring. I did love it, and I still do love it! It’s beautiful, and I still wear it. But it is to say that I wouldn’t have had the courage to stand up and say, “Hey World! This is what I want, and I don’t care if you think it’s weird or different!”

And, if I had possessed the courage to stand up and shout those things to the world, I wouldn’t have known where to start on my hunt for a ring that fit my “crazy” criteria. I got engaged and married before the internet was a thing. In the town where I lived, I did not have access to jewelers who would do this type of custom work. It never occurred to me that I could have a ring custom made. It was something so far out of my own realm of experience that the option to do a custom ring basically didn’t exist for me back then.

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But that was then and this is now! I was lucky enough to stumble into the world of custom jewelry a few years ago. I started out with a simple project and a simple idea, and it was a great experience. And, suddenly, the floodgates were opened for me. Over the years, my ideas and projects have become increasingly crazy, detailed, and complex. I say “crazy” in the best of ways. I’m not bragging on myself or putting myself down by saying it. At least, that’s not my intention. I think of them as “crazy” because I know these are designs that most people would never want to wear.

So, that leads me to my 20th anniversary ring. It is a 14K rose gold setting and contains almost 13 grams of gold. The stone, as we talked about in the second part of this series, is a purple-pink Spinel. It is a little over 2 carats equivalent weight, and it has the prettiest shade of purple. I love the way it looks like a rich and deep wine color in some lights and more pink-toned in others. I chose this stone because Spinel is a nice stone for everyday wear and the color came close to the purple tone of Amethyst, which is my husband’s birthstone. This is my first set Spinel, and I was happily surprised at the sparkle factor. This stone catches the light and plays it back to me through every facet. I think people often don’t expect sparkle from a colored stone, but this one has it. And rainbows, too!

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As you may recall from the CAD images in post 3, I have larger roses on either side of the setting, just underneath the stone. I wanted roses because they are my favorite flower. My husband gives me roses every year on my birthday and for our anniversary. My wedding bouquet was made entirely of roses. It is such a special flower for me.

As we talked about the setting, David Klass and I decided to add a little “oomph” of color. He mentioned enameling, and I was all over that idea. It took me some time to figure out the color for the enameling. Originally, I was going to do a purple to match or coordinate with the stone. But then, I started thinking about what might happen if I had to replace the stone down the line. I’m not planning on this, mind you. But I know Spinel isn’t as hard as Diamond or Sapphire. If the worst happens and I manage to crack the stone, that will mean a replacement. No matter how much I love my purple stone, I am incredibly likely to go with a blue gemstone because blue is my favorite color. So, I decided to go with a soft, robin’s egg sort of blue on the enameling. I like how this color coordinates with the purple stone, and it will work well if I end up switching colors in the future.

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And my dragons!! It always comes back to these little beauties. I love how they are fierce and a little savage looking as they come up on either side of the stone. I love all the detail in their faces, manes, antlers, and scales. You can even see their little teeth! Along with all of that, you have scales and spines and the most adorable little feet ever. Ever!

Each little dragon seems to glide and undulate up the ring toward the center stone. I love how their bodies have so much motion and life to them, and the tails go all the way down to meet under the bottom of the ring.

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So why the whole dragon thing? It’s a fair question. It’s a question my mother has asked me many, many times. She asks it every time she sees this ring, in fact! The first time I showed it to her, she shook her head and said, “I always thought you would outgrow this dragon thing. But I guess you won’t.” Needless to say, she is not a fan. Also, my parents never — not even once! — tried to get me the pet dragon that I asked for every Christmas and birthday when I was a kid. I mean, isn’t it fair to say this whole obsession is my mom’s fault? If they had gotten me that pet dragon … Well, maybe — just maybe — we wouldn’t be here right now.

Of course, I’m joking.

Dragons have always been a “thing” for me. I love their mystery and wildness and savagery. For me, they represent many things I want to have in my life. They are a reminder to have courage and strength in the bad times. They make me think about how I can be wise when I need to be and how I can remember to find the beauty in life’s chaos and unexpectedness.

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But, for this ring, it was even more than all of those things. There are always my own, personal feelings about and affinity for these mythical beasts. But dragons were a recurring motif in our wedding, too. My husband is Vietnamese, and, as with most (perhaps all?) Asian cultures, dragons are an important symbol of prosperity, luck, life, and growth.

My bridesmaids’ dresses were made from a beautiful golden silk, embroidered through with dragons and phoenixes in brown thread. The material, like the material for my wedding dress, was a gift from my mother-in-law. At the time we got married, my husband and I had been together for around 8 years. We dated for two years before getting engaged, and we were engaged for 6 years before getting married. My mother-in-law was pretty vehemently and vocally against me for about 7 of those 8 years. As you can imagine, having her gift me the material for the dresses in our wedding was a wonderful and sweet surprise. It made me feel like my husband and I would be starting our marriage out with the support of both of our families.

Our cake topper was a combination of homemade and store bought. Early on in our engagement, a sweet friend gifted me with a statue of a bride and groom. It was made of plain white porcelain, and my friend said something about the faces of the couple reminded her of my husband and me. I knew I wanted to use them for our topper, but I wanted to set them off a little bit more. I asked my Dad to build a little gazebo for me out of light wood. He is a master at building and creating, and this gazebo was a masterpiece in a small scale. I painted it gold and added dragon designs on the front sides.  Red dragons, of course! Because red is lucky.

And, finally, our cake was beautifully draconic in design. It was a gorgeous creation. I went to a bakery that was local to us and told them I wanted an unusual design. I had drawn out a Vietnamese style dragon, and I showed them the picture. I was expecting to be turned away immediately with a laugh for my silly idea. Instead, the baker was all for it. They were excited to create something new and different. And it turned out beautifully!

So you see, when it was time for a ring to celebrate 20  years of love, laughter, and happiness, nothing but dragons would do!

 

 

A Custom Ring Journey: Here Be Dragons … part 3, We Design!

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Remember these young and crazy kids? I know it’s a cliché, but I’m going to say it, anyhow: Time flies when you’re having fun. Maybe it’s a cliché because it’s true! Whatever the case, it doesn’t seem like over twenty years have passed since the day we said “I Do”. The crazy thing is that I certainly haven’t aged a single day since then. (I wish! Ha!)

This is a little series of posts following the creation of my 20th anniversary ring from the initial idea all the way through to the finished piece. So far, we have looked at inspiration and decided on an idea. And we have looked at different gemstones, finally settling on a particular one. If you are only catching up to this series now, there are two previous posts, located here:

Here Be Dragons, Part 1: Inspiration
Here Be Dragons, Part 2: Selecting a Stone

In this third post, I want to delve into the design process. As I mentioned previously, I worked with David Klass Jewelry on this project. I knew, going into it, that it was going to be a rather bumpy ride. I had a good idea of what I wanted, but I can’t draw to save my life. I think I managed to sketch a couple of very rough “stick figure” types of drawings. Other than that, I had to rely on my words. If you’ve been in this blog for any length of time, you already know I have a LOT of words at my disposal. Still, it felt like a daunting task. It helped that I’ve worked with David Klass’s team several times, so they more or less “get me”.

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So, here is how our routine went: I emailed David to describe basically what I wanted in terms of the ring design. I included my inspiration pictures, my own pitiful “stick figure” drawings, and lots of words. I knew I wanted dragons coming up the band on either side of my center stone. I wanted Asian style dragons, as opposed to a European or Western style. I knew I wanted them to have antler-like horns and a long, lean body. And I knew I wanted the dragons to look graceful and fluid. I wanted them to be mystical and strong, but also organic. And I wanted a floral detail on the ring, In particular, I wanted to do roses. My stone is an oval shape, and I initially wanted to set it east to west, so that the longer part of the shape spanned my finger.

David and his team took all my information and pictures and words, and they somehow meshed them all together to create Computer-Aided Designs (CADs) of potential settings. The above image is the first CAD David sent.  You can imagine how excited and thrilled I was at getting these first images! It was like a little dream come true seeing this idea of mine begin to come to life. Once I had the images, I would take a day or two to look over them and think about potential changes. I made notes, both in email form and via PhotoShop on the actual CAD images.

I loved a lot of things about this first image. In particular, I loved the look of the dragons. They are so curvy and graceful, and they look fierce on either side of the stone. I loved the detail in the metal work, but I decided I did not like the width of setting the stone east-west. Given the heavy metal work in the setting, I was afraid the ring would be too wide across the top of my finger. Additionally, I wanted to look into other options for the gallery, which is the space underneath and around the stone on the profile. I love a basket to hold the stone, so I sent a few options of inspiration pictures for David to consider.

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This is the second set of CADs David sent, after I requested my changes. This set looks a little bit different because he included a closeup of one dragon head, as well as a closeup of the new basket/gallery design. Nothing changed with regard to the dragon design as they curved and curled around the band of the ring.

Again, I liked many things on this design. In particular, I continued to love the curvy, organic look to the dragon bodies on the sides of the ring. I also loved how the dragons came up on each side of the stone so that their mouths seem to barely “kiss” each side of the stone. I also loved the way my center stone looked set north-south, so that the long sides of the oval would lay along the top of my finger, instead of spanning it side-to-side. Sadly, I did not like the new gallery design at all. So, I again sent back a few notes and changes, as well as some more gallery ideas.

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Here is the third CAD. As with numbers 1 and 2, the dragons are mostly the same. At this point, we are mostly playing around with the basket or gallery design. I found a really beautiful basket where there was a “lotus” sort of design cut out of the side of the gallery, and I thought maybe we could use something similar in this design. Also, I wanted to add more roses to the gallery. Here, we tried it with three larger, central leaves and smaller roses scattered around them. It’s pretty, but I didn’t feel it had the same impact as having the leaf shapes actually cut out of metal. After I thought about it, I realized I would not be able to get that “cut out” look without putting a bezel around the stone, which I did not want to do. Additionally, I didn’t feel there was room for a cut out and the roses all on the gallery, especially since I turned the stone from an east-west to a north-south orientation.

Oddly enough, I felt like my dragons looked different on this design. I kept looking at them and thinking they looked skinnier than before, which I didn’t necessarily want. David and I had talked about taking them down a little bit to save bulk between my fingers. But this looked like a little too much to me. Now, looking back on it, I wonder if my eyes were playing tricks on me. It is entirely possible the dragons stayed the same and I spent too much time staring at these designs!

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Enter CAD number 4! There were only minor changes on this set of images. As with the previous couple of CADs, we were mostly tweaking the gallery design. I decided to go back to the larger central rose under the north and south sides of the stone. I was still trying to get more of a “bouquet of roses” look or feeling on the gallery or shoulders of the ring at this point, so David added a couple of smaller roses underneath the bigger middle one.

I still felt like my dragons were too skinny in these images. And there was something about the way the heads and necks lifted up off the band that I didn’t like. I wasn’t sure how to explain exactly what, although I did my best. And, I decided I did not like the smaller roses underneath the larger center one.

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Now, we come to CAD number 5. That’s right, guys! This is the fifth image David created for this project. The poor man. I must have been driving him absolutely batty with my indecision and my minor changes. And my whittering on and on about how my dragons were too skinny. I’m surprised he didn’t throw up his hands in frustration and tell me to get lost!!

But, luckily, this CAD was perfect to me. I asked David to make sure we went back to the dragon design from CAD 1. We kept the larger central rose, and David added some leaves and vine detailing underneath it. To save bulk between my fingers, David flattened the dragons slightly. And he tilted them  just a little bit so I could have the slightly bulkier look I liked without extra width between my fingers. This image doesn’t show claw prongs, but David already knew, throughout the whole project, that I wanted claws. Those get carved at the end of the process.

And so, at last, we had a design!! Through every refinement, every little tweak, and every adjustment, this ring started to feel more and more real to me. I was almost beside myself with excitement. I could hardly believe this was really real. Now that the design was done and dusted, the hardest part began: waiting for the final ring. It was torture, but a wonderful kind of torture.

 

A Custom Ring Journey: Here Be Dragons … part 2, Selecting a Stone

In thinking about what I wanted to blog about this week, my mind (of course) immediately turned toward the weirdness that is our world right now. And all the shelter-in-place or lockdown or stay-at-home or whatever-you-want-to-call it craziness. It makes sense, because this is our life right now. And it will be our life for the foreseeable future. None of us knows what the coming months are going to bring, and we all feel uncertain and uncomfortable right now. But then I realized I didn’t want to talk about any of that.

And so, I found myself be-bopping through older blog posts in a quest to jog my brain onto some other topic that might be more fun or more light-hearted. It’s not that I don’t take our current situation seriously. It’s not that I’m not scared about it. Or that I’m not tired of what life has become. It’s more that I need to talk about something else to take my mind off of all this, if only for a little while.

That’s when I stumbled across my first post about my dragon ring. (It’s here, by the way, in case you want to refresh your memory: Here Be Dragons, part 1) I realized I never followed up or finished out this little series of posts. Bad blogger, bad!! You can’t see me, but I am swatting my own nose with a rolled up newspaper. This is something I would never do to my dogs. Because, ouch!

In my previous post, I talked about how I decided on a general idea for my anniversary ring.  I had brought my favorite custom jeweler, David Klass, on board, and I sent him some suitably draconic inspiration images. In today’s post, I want to talk a little bit about the stone choice for this ring.

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Awwww. Look how young we were! This was twenty-two years ago, folks! I confess I have not aged even one bit — ha, ha! I thought it would be fun to include this photo as a little chain of continuity from one post to the next in this series. If you recall from the previous post, this ring was to be for our 20th anniversary.

Once I gathered the courage to go against the norm and try a dragon-themed design, I had to figure out what type of stone I would use. I love diamonds, but I knew this would not be a diamond project. For one thing, it just wasn’t in the budget for this ring at this point in time. I knew I wanted a somewhat larger stone. For another thing, I managed to fall down the colored gemstones rabbit hole pretty hard over the last couple of years. I’ve come to appreciate all the beautiful colors and options out there. I even have a small and slowly growing collection of loose gems.

My first thought was Amethyst, because that is my husband’s birthstone. Back when we were dating, my husband gave me an amethyst promise ring, and he has gifted me different amethyst pieces over the years that we have been together. It would have been a good and sentimental choice, and I think that is part of the beauty of using colored gemstones. You can pick a stone that holds a lot of sentimental or special meaning for you and your relationship, and it will give your whole piece another layer of meaning.

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Almost as soon as I thought of it, I knew I had to dismiss Amethyst from the list of contenders. I wasn’t positive about all the fine details of the setting yet, but I knew I was not going to bezel set the stone. I thought Amethyst might be a little too soft for everyday wear.

My mind was still thinking of birthstones, though. So I turned to Tourmaline. This is one of the birthstones for October, and October is our anniversary month. It seemed like a good match. I have a tourmaline in my collection that I love, which is pictured above. It’s an orange-peach-pink color tone, which seemed fitting for Fall and for dragons. You know — kind of like fire. I started looking into Tourmaline a little more, and I discovered it is slightly harder than Amethyst. It’s not in the same realm of hardness as diamond or sapphire, but I thought it would survive in a solitaire setting such as I wanted to design. But then, I started thinking about the setting itself. I knew I wanted to have it cast in rose gold. I was afraid this orangey-peach-pink Tourmaline would make my ring look too one-toned in color.

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Once I moved on from Amethyst and Tourmaline, I knew I had to consider Zircon. Zircon isn’t a particularly sentimental stone for me, my husband, or our relationship, but it is a favorite gemstone of mine. I particularly love the vibrant blue stones, such as the one pictured above. Blue is my favorite color, and I felt Zircon was hard enough to wear well in a solitaire setting. I love the look of blue Zircon in rose gold, and it’s a combination I don’t see often in my internet wanderings. I look at a lot of jewelry online, y’all!! In the end, I decided against Zircon because I already had a beautiful blue Zircon set in a ring I wear frequently on my right hand. (It’s also a dragon setting.) I decided I wanted something completely different and new.

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I had to consider Sapphire, too. I have this lovely, lovely Montana Sapphire in my collection. I love this stone. It’s a nice size, and it is unheated. It also has a beautiful cut on it. I very briefly thought about using this stone, but I wasn’t sure how it would look in rose gold. It is a pale stone — a pale, pale blue that tends toward gray with a little touch of lavender. I previously had this stone in another setting, made of white gold, and I always felt disappointed with how this beautiful stone seemed to disappear completely in the setting. I was afraid of that happening again, and I didn’t want to chance any disappointment with my 20th anniversary ring. Now, in looking at this picture of the stone, I think it might have been okay in a rose gold setting. But who knows? In the end, I decided to keep looking.

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Enter Spinel! At the time I was thinking about this ring, I had been on the hunt for a Spinel to add to my collection. I was looking at a lot of Spinel jewelry online — not to buy, but just to enjoy the eye-candy. As soon as I started considering it for my anniversary setting, I felt like I was on the right track. It’s a stone with a decent hardness. It has a nice amount of sparkle if it is cut well. And it is possible to get a nice-sized stone without breaking the bank. Huzzah!!

I looked at several different loose spinels online. I even purchased a couple, but none of them immediately jumped out at me as being the right choice for my ring. After a little more searching, coinciding with a sale from my favorite gemstone cutter, I found the stone pictured above. I knew, right away, that it was the stone for my ring. I love how it has a pink-purple color in some types of lighting, but that it looks like a deeper purple in others. And, sometimes, it even has a beautiful, rich wine color. In particular, the medium purple tone of this stone looks like Amethyst. Which, if you will recall, is my husband’s birth stone. Is that perfect or what?

I’ll just tell you, so you don’t have to guess: Yes! It is perfect! I was able to secure this stone during the sale, and I remember anxiously awaiting its arrival. I wouldn’t know if it was The One until I saw it in person. I wasn’t sure if the coloring in the seller’s photos was going to be the same color I saw in person. Also, it’s an oval stone. I had never had an oval in a setting before, and I wasn’t sure if I would like the look of it. It was an exciting but also an anxious time. It seems silly to be that invested in something like this, doesn’t it? And yet, I was so absolutely invested in it.

I bet you can already guess how it turned out. The stone arrived, and I loved it immediately. The color, most of the time in indoor lighting, resembled Amethyst. This was perfect for me, as this would be the color I would see most often and, of course, Amethyst was my initial choice for the ring. That part almost felt like coming full circle on this project. I loved the cut. The stone sparkled like crazy. Basically, it was love at first sight for me and this stone. At this point, the project was starting to feel real. From here, the real fun of the design process began. And let me tell you: it was a long process with a lot of ups and downs. But, as this is already a fairly long post of many words, I think that will be another post for another day. Perhaps next week, even.

In the meantime, I hope you are all continuing to do well. And I hope you are all staying safe in this crazy world!

 

A Custom Ring Journey: Here Be Dragons … part 1, An Idea

Note: I typically use my own photos for my blog posts. Today, I am breaking with that rule to include two photos from the Studio Metals website (www.studiometals.com). These photos are the property of Studio Metals, and all rights are reserved to Studio Metals. They are included here as inspiration and explanation. If you have any rights in these images and object to their use, please contact me. I will remove them immediately.

I have had this post kicking around my brain for a few months. I’ve thought about it and thought about it until it feels like it is on a constant loop inside my head. It has taken me a long time to figure out how to organize it, and, even after all this thinking and debating, I’m not sure my plan is the best. But I’m going to jump in with both feet, anyhow. Otherwise, I will never get this idea out of my head.

This past October, my husband and I celebrated our 20th anniversary. We dated for two years before we got engaged, and we were engaged for six years while we both finished graduate school. So, we have been together for 28 years, total. This is a long time, you guys! I have been with and loved this man for over half my life. Wow. Typing it out loud like that kind of boggles my mind.

Our 20th kind of snuck up on me, believe it or not. I am not a person who pays much attention to stuff like anniversaries or birthdays. I try to remember to send presents and cards to those I love. Or, at the very least, to text or message them my thoughts and love on their special days. But I am not good at keeping track of the actual passage of time. In the months leading up to our anniversary, I told my husband that, for our 20th next year, I wanted to do a special ring to celebrate it. My husband laughed at me and said, “Babe, our 20th is this year. So you better get busy designing!”

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You guys knew I had to toss in at least one wedding picture, right? I have a whole album of them, after all! My gosh, we were so young and goofy back then. Now we are older. But we’re still pretty goofy. And that’s all right. I think it helps to face life with a certain amount of goofiness.

So, gratuitous wedding picture aside, let’s get back on track: My anniversary ring. After my husband gave me the green light, I started my project where all things start. With the barest thread of an idea. I think I have mentioned before how much I love jewelry. And rings, in particular. I don’t wear a lot of pendants or necklaces. Mostly, I wear rings and earrings. So, although I have heard people talk about their “dream ring” or their “perfect ring”, I feel like I don’t really have one of those. In a way, I feel guilty about this. Like, maybe I am doing life all wrong, or something. Because it seems a lot of people feel you should wear your wedding jewelry for forever. And by “for forever”, I mean that a lot of people feel you should have one ring or one set of rings to represent your marriage. And that’s it. Over. Done. The End.

I don’t share this view. I don’t judge people who do. If someone feels they will be happy with one ring or set of rings for their entire lives, I think that is beautiful and wonderful. I just know it’s not for me. I am not the same person I was 20 years ago. Heck, I’m not the same person I was 20 days ago or even 20 minutes ago. For one thing, I am a lot older now, and I feel more confident in the things I love. I feel more confident going against the norm to create and wear something that feels perfect FOR ME. Even if it means others find it ugly or weird or annoying. My younger self would not have done this. She would have been too worried with the opinions and thoughts of those around her.

So, of course, my special anniversary ring had to start with dragons. Yep. You heard me correctly: Dragons. I love dragons. I always have. My mom always thought I would outgrow my fascination with them, particularly since they are mythical creatures. But I never have. I love the sense of strength, courage, and grace they represent. Dragons were perfect for our 20th because we had a lot of dragon imagery in our wedding. There were dragons and phoenixes woven through the material we used for the bridesmaid dresses. We had a dragon on our cake. And we had a dragon design as part of our cake topper, too. There were paper dragons as part of the centerpieces for our reception.

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As I scoured the internet for inspiration, I found an amazing, amazing jeweler: Studio Metals (www.studiometals.com). I am in love with many of their creative and unique designs. And I turned to these as inspiration for my own ring. I loved the curvy and organic quality of the above image. I still think it is one of the most beautiful dragon rings I have seen online. It is so detailed and incredibly well done. And I knew I wanted my ring to have this same type of organic and curving quality to it. I also knew I wanted it to be done in rose gold, which has become my favorite metal over the last year.

I didn’t want an exact copy of any ring already in existence. If I wanted an exact copy, I would just go to the person who created the original and see if I could purchase it. Instead, I wanted to use these images as inspiration for different elements I wanted to see in my own ring.

I hope to purchase from Studio Metals one day. But, for this ring, I knew I would go with a different jeweler: David Klass. I had worked with him on two previous projects. I felt like I had a great feeling for how his work and creative process flows. And I already knew that he and his design team “get me”. I don’t know how else to explain it, but they seem to understand just what I want, even though I have no drawing ability of my own. I can picture the finished design in my head. But I feel completely inadequate to draw it out on paper. I have to resort to sending inspiration pictures and trying to describe my vision in a LOT of words. Somehow, it seems to work out most of the time.

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This is another inspiration image I sent to David Klass. I wanted to have a solitaire design. And I knew I wanted two dragons, one on either side of the center stone. I wanted them facing the stone, with their bodies traveling organically (with lots of gorgeous curves!) down the shank of the ring. The above image served as inspiration for the solitaire style I was looking for, although I wanted my stone to be more obviously prong set, whereas this one almost looks bezeled due to the design.

I travel all over the inter webs and collect different dragon images. I pulled my favorites of these to send to David Klass as part of my inspiration folder for this project. I don’t want to post any of them in here, because they are original artworks. And most of them are not watermarked with the artist’s information. I decided to use the Studio Metal images in my post because they are clearly marked. And because I could include a link to their online store.

Once I had all my inspiration together, I sat down to draft an email that included my ideas. I wasn’t even sure David Klass would take this project. I know he has a busy shop, and I didn’t know if he would be willing to work on something as weird and crazy as my idea. It took me a day or two to draft and edit the email, to make sure my ideas were as clear as I could make them. I sent it off, and I waited.

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It sounds really simple, when I type it out like this. But the waiting was anything but simple. I was excited about my project. And hopeful the jeweler would accept it. And worried it would be too expensive. And nervous about everything in general. I was basically an anxious, nervous, excited mess! And I did not wait patiently. I checked my email like crazy. It seemed like I checked it every ten minutes. Even though I knew I was being a nut, I couldn’t stop myself.

Finally, after a couple of days, I heard back that David Klass wanted to take on my project. He gave me a quote for the work, and he said he would draw up some ideas. My 20th anniversary ring was one step closer to being a reality. And I was off and running on the excitement and fun of putting together a custom ring design.

It was a long process, you guys! But it was also so much fun. I’m going to try and break the whole process down into a few different posts, and I think I will talk about choosing my center stone next. Hopefully, this won’t be too boring, and you guys will tune in for the next post, too.