There are many different occasions for which people commission a handmade piece of jewellery but the reason why they do is always the same and that's because they want the piece to be special and different. Handmade jewellery has always been considered to be powerful. Sometimes to show status, sometimes to show bonds or spiritual connections. Holding something physical that represents something emotional that can't be seen can have a very important effect on the person wearing it.
The connection that’s made when the customer is part of the process of creating a piece of jewellery is very powerful. There is something very magical about a thought becoming an idea then seeing it as a two dimensional sketch and finally a physical three dimensional object. It feels as if you have shared its journey and that you know it in a way that no one else will.
Recently, I ran a competition to ask people to share their reasons why they would want a handmade piece of jewellery. Although the responses were almost all different, they all shared the desire to express their love for someone special.
There were two entries that received the most votes, both of which were from women who wanted a piece of jewellery to celebrate the lives of their daughters who were born sleeping. For something so personal, they both felt buying a generic piece of jewellery didn’t really feel right. Although the competition was for one winner, the two women decided to share the prize.
When Hope was born sleeping, her cousins bought Hope’s parents a star in the sky to remember her by so Hope’s mother wanted a necklace that had a star incorporated into the design. I thought it would be nice to have a star inside a heart to show the love that would always be felt for Hope. The star is made of the same section of metal as the heart symbolising the connection between mother and daughter and also meaning that it could never be separated. A layer of gold was attached to the star to make it stand out and add warmth to the design. The star is engraved with the word Hope and set with a diamond. The heart is engraved with the words “your light was too bright to ever leave my heart”
Angeline was born sleeping. Angeline’s mother wanted something engraved with her name and an angel somewhere in the design. She chose a ring. A gold heart and a tiny angel charm were handmade and added above where the name was engraved. The charms move freely when the ring is worn.
By a strange coincidentally, both women had been at school together but had lost touch. They told me that they had started to meet up again after having found out about each other's story from the commission competition.
Jewellery can mean so much more than just decoration when the reason behind the design has a deep personal connection to the wearer.