Some commissions are quick and straight forward and others can take longer. This ring commission was one of the longest, taking around 18 months, most of which was research and exploration.
The customer wanted a very personal and special wedding ring. She was getting married in Granada in Spain because she and her fiance had fallen in love with the location. They both shared a love of travel and she wanted a wedding ring that captured the spirit of adventure.
The commission became a journey and adventure in itself. The customer wanted something that was organic but structured. She wanted it to be geometric and asymmetric. When I am making one off pieces of jewellery I have to listen very carefully to everything that is said and be very open minded. I have to make sure I am not imposing my taste on the client because in the end, if they aren't 100% sure of the reasons why the design is the way it is, then they won't love it. I love the process of discovering a new path to the end design that is unique because it is personal.
We started off looking at travel in general and also at the Granada region. Granada means pomegranate, so images of the shapes and forms of pomegranate were included. We also discussed the Alhambra Palace which the couple both loved and I researched the design of the interior spaces. I wanted to include red in the design but the client was very strongly opposed to this. She preferred blues and purples.
I researched maps and navigation tools. I discovered that the gemstone iolite was used as a navigation tool. I researched labyrinths, paths and mazes, anything that was connected to journeys. Combining these ideas, I started to work on a design based on a kaleidoscope. During the 18 months different prototypes were made too before deciding to move in a different direction.
A lot of really good ideas were rejected because they weren't right for this particular commission. Rejection is a very important part of making it to the place you want to get to.
The final successful idea combined a few of the earliest ideas with inspiration take from Voronoi diagrams. In mathematics, a Voronoi diagram is a partitioning of a plane into regions based on distance to points in a specific subset of the plane. That set of points (called seeds, sites, or generators) is specified beforehand, and for each seed there is a corresponding region consisting of all points closer to that seed than to any other. These regions are called Voronoi cells. This is an image of Voronoi in bubbles.
This fulfilled the brief of the design being organic and geometric. It also fitted with the idea of travel given that it plots distances. I changed the shapes so that they were pomegranate seeds and through the centre of the design, there is a flashing of blue and white alternating diamonds.
The journey of this commission had many paths that were not explored fully but that is the only way to reach a final destination.
The final ring is made in palladium and is a one off, not to be repeated.