Lockdown Life: Isolation Diary ~ Daily Gem 2
DAILY GEM 2
Providing a little distraction from loo roll hunting, endless queues and lets be honest the anxiety of our situation.
It would have been difficult not to have been moved by the echos of clapping in our streets last week. So I'd like to continue this applauding of our NHS by featuring jewellery I've designed for clients working on the front line. Today's feature is a ring for Jessica who works for the NHS in crisis management. No sooner had they finished preparing for Brexit they were hit with Covid-19.
In 2016 Jess saw my Concentric ring design on a poster advertising Goldsmiths Fair. Tragically, her husband Nick had just been diagnosed with stage 4 Renal Cancer, and she was moved to tears by the image and the fear of loosing him.
In 2018 Jess contacted me after they'd both talked about commissioning me to make the ring. She asked if I could, in the future, combine her wedding ring, Nick's wedding ring and her Mother's so that she can keep them close.
It was this description in 2016 that summed up her feelings about the ring, which has never left her: A circular shape which symbolises the beginning and end of all things. Infinity, enlightenment, togetherness. Open and closed. Wholeness and completion.
In 2019 Jess commissioned me to make her ring
The rings journey
Jess's mum's ring was 18ct gold, but Jess and Nick's were 9ct. If I had melted all three together it would have meant the new ring would have been below 18ct and slightly above 9ct, possibly around 14ct.
It then came to light that it had always been their intention to upgrade their wedding rings to 18ct but they just hadn't got around to it.
With that in mind, I suggested adding pure gold to the 9ct to make it 18ct! Jess would then have the 18ct ring they'd always wanted.
Nick and Jess's 9ct rings were first melted together with the pure gold. The gold bar was then tested to ensure that it met the 18ct standard before it was melted with Jess's mum's 18ct gold ring.
The gold bar was then rolled out and drawn down to the right thickness wire. This was then cut to the approximate lengths in preparation to forming each section of the ring.
The four main section of the ring were formed and gently teased into shape so they fitted snugly together.
All the sections were then formed round and the ring started to take shape.
The top section of the ring was then formed and soldered to the main body of the ring.
Jessica's finished ring
Making this ring for Jess took longer than it would normally because it would ordinarily be made with a combination of CAD, casting and hand skills, from 18ct gold at the start.
Although it was a challenge to make it all by hand I was determined to achieve it for Jess because she'd been thinking about it for 3 years and it was what both Jess and Nick wanted. It is truly bespoke and unique to her and I'm delighted to say that I completed it a few weeks ago and just manged to post it to Jess before lock down because she was unable to collect it herself due to working 7 days a week.
It is now on Jess's finger and I hope it brings her much comfort during this difficult and challenging time.
Thank you Jess and the NHS for the selfless and incredible work you do, not only during this crisis, but always.
Read the inspiration behind the design here
Be creative, stay home and stay well everyone!
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