"I've never used CAD in a design, but this ring has me converted."
I'd like to tell you about a very special Bespoke Ring project that I just finished up for my client in time for Mother's Day. A while back, my client sent me her late mother's jewelry, along with some pieces from her grandmother for me to re-imagine into a new design.
A photo of her family heirlooms before I started the redesign.
There was a lot to choose from, but I decided the emeralds were quite lovely and there was also a ring that had several melee sapphires and diamonds that I thought would compliment the emeralds in a warm yellow gold setting.
My client lives in another state, and we will probably never meet. We chatted on the phone, exchanged emails and ideas thru Pinterest. The design process which is the really fun part of a bespoke project started to take shape. I asked a lot of questions and discovered that my client's mom had been a floral designer, so the leaf motif came into the design. I also knew that my client liked some of my other cocktail ring designs that had a sculptural cutout motif. Along with this creative direction, there was a ring design that had been pinned on our shared board, that had an Art Nouveau style that we both liked.
I made a few rough sketches and we honed in on the one she liked best. I began carving the design in hard wax, which is how I normally work with my bespoke design process. The wax carvings (I actually carved 2) were just not up to my standards and I knew that I needed to rethink how this ring needed to be made. My wax carvings were very helpful to show what the final design would look like, but the area where the stones would be set just wasn't as clean and precise as what I wanted for the finished piece.
Images of my wax carving. The gemstones are placed in the wax and not set.
So, this is where I changed things up quite a bit with my design process and worked with a CAD (computer aided design) designer to execute what I had begun to create. My original wax carving was utilized for the model example that my CAD designer based his cleaned up version for the ring. I also decided to add a couple of sapphires between the leaves and showed the CAD designer past examples of my work to give more information about how I wanted my design to look. You can see that the CAD design is very precise where the gemstones are to be set. This makes the setting process easier, since in emeralds are known to be fragile because they have many inclusions. Also, the shape of these emeralds made it more challenging to hand carve in wax, so taking a redirection with the design into CAD made all the difference. I've been designing bespoke jewelry for many years, but this was my first project working with a CAD designer.
The final CAD rendering that the ring was modeled from.
The CAD rendered ring was translated into a 3D printed resin model, much like a wax carved model before casting in metal. The ring was cast with my client's heirloom gold. The stones were set after the casting and finishing.
I photographed the ring before shipping in time for Mother's Day. The final image, my client sent to me wearing her special ring.
Also, my client showed a picture of the ring to her father. He gave the highest compliment saying that this ring was something his wife would have absolutely loved. That just made my day!
If you’d like to work with me on a special Bespoke project, there’s more details on my BESPOKE page.