Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Jewelry Art: Symbol Ring

This is a ring I just finished for one of my best collectors and good friend. The ring is made in 14K gold, and is set with a dark blue Topaz, accented with 3 diamonds.
The shape is one of my favorite - a long teardrop. The symbols you see on the outside were carved as a decorative element (no significance, other than their decorative properties). The concept was to have the decorative symbols be flush with the surface and highly polished, while the background would be carved away, and textured.

I also wanted the background to be a different color of gold. Originally, I thought of gold-plating the background, but eventually came to the opinion that it might look richer if it were "depletion-gilded", an ancient process where the piece is heated to red-hot and quenched in acid repeatedly. This piece went under the torch at least 40 times to buld up the gold on the surface of the background, giving it a nice contrast to the polished surface.

This same design can also be done in silver, with different stones featured in the center. A large amethyst would be striking! It will be very dramatic also with an oxidized, dark patina in the background.

If you think you'd like to have a piece similar to this one, or a variation of it, please give me a call at the studio directly at (505) 296-1400 - I'll be happy to accommodate you personally. Or if you'd prefer, drop me an email at David (at) StewartArt (dot) com, and I'll get back to you right away!


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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Jewelry Art: Moon Castle

This is actually an illustration of a piece I proposed to make. I made a close approximation of it many years ago, and titled it Fortress of the Heart. It was sold to a wonderful lady named Lilly Lawrence, world renowned beauty and Malibu philanthropist. Lilly was dubbed "The People's Princess" by New York Newsday and the "Rose of Shiraz" by the New York Times.

She lived in a castle - the only one in Malibu - called Castle Kashan. Unfortunately, in the fires that swept through Malibu a couple of years ago, she lost everything, including her treasured castle necklace. Luckily, she wasn't hurt, but many wonderful artworks and treasured memories were lost in the flames.

For some reason, I've been unable to locate photos of that original piece, but reconstructed it to the best of my recollection in this proposal. One day soon, I hope to make it for her. In the original, I painted a miniature painting of the courtyard scene tucked away behind the drawbridge ... but in the remake, I think I'll feature a miniature portrait of Lilly in her gown. This was originally made as a variation on the first piece in this small series, titled "Ivory Tower" shown elsewhere in this blog.


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