There's no greater honor in my line of work than to be asked to create a piece of jewelry with special significance. Such a task came about recently which led to more requests.
When the furbaby of my granddaughter passed away, she was devastated. After she adopted Remy, she would leave school on lunch and go home to let him out. He went everywhere with her after school hours. He as indeed her best friend.
She called me from the vet's office sobbing so hard I could barely understand her. She asked if I could make her a pendant with his ashes. Naturally, the answer was "yes". When I hung up the phone, myself in tears, I realized I had no idea how to go about fulfilling her request, but I knew I had to. Of that there was no question.
I did much research, some trial and error I figured out a way to make it happen.
Her pendant is about 3/4 of on inch in diameter made with sterling silver, and the ashes are securely and safely inside. She has a dog paw one one side and wildflowers on the other.
Sadly, 3000 miles away and 3 days later, my youngest daughter lost her furbaby. She had adopted Ciko, a retired military dog, when she was in Bahrain.
He made the move with her a few years later to Italy and finally back to the US. Although Ciko is buried in a lovely garden made just for him, she also wanted a piece of memorial jewelry. I suggested she send me some nail clippings or hair which she did. She was over the moon with her piece as well.
Not long after, I received requests from 2 other ladies asking if I could also make them a pendant; one had lost her father, the other her son. I'm working with them for designs that have special meaning for them at the time of this writing.
Making these pieces has been such a privilege.
Bespoke jewelry isn't only for memorial jewelry. I was recently asked if if I could make a pair of rings that were "...unusual ad abstract". He wanted rings that weren't like everyone else and he wanted me to incorporate gold (gulp) in them. Aaaand he wanted black. Black? Gold? Um, sure let's see what I can come up with. I had just a few days before made my first pair of Keum Boo earrings. It's an ancient Korean technique whereby 24k gold is diffusion bonded to silver. That sounded about right. If I added a patina that would affect the silver but not the gold that would give me black and gold. I made them 2mm thick and about 5.5 mm wide so they'll be around generations from now. Funny how things happen. He was impressed and very happy. Whew!
I can't wait to see what comes next!