Oneof the most flattering, and yet daunting aspects of doing custom work is when a client requests a piece with special meaning and importance. In the last month I have created several very complicated custom pieces of jewelry that were challenging not only in design, but in what they were meant to represent. One such piece was a bracelet commissioned to celebrate a young woman's graduation, lifestyle choice, and the love and respect between her and her father.
The initial design ideas were funky and modern, the young woman, Julia, loves music and graffiti, and her father especially wanted the colors of gay pride incorporated into the piece, as he is very supportive of her, and proud of her strength, honesty, and the way she handles herself every day.
A few days after I was asked to design the piece, Julia posted a message to her father on Facebook, as it was his birthday. Her message to him made my eyes fill up with tears, and the design concept went to a whole other place. The final design is loosely shaped like a bird, with the wings representing the freedom to fly, and her father's arms to always be there to catch her if she falls, and the copper overlay on the body has a heart shape, representing their mutual love and admiration. Another challenge was the stones...chosen not just for the colors, but also the properties of each individual stone. Garnet to deflect negativity, amber for healing and deciciveness, citrine for self-confidence and determination, jade for renewal and luck, blue agate for strength and willpower, and last but not least, amethyst for confidence and clarity.
Many hourse went into designing and executing this piece, and finally it was ready to be shipped. Adding to the fear factor for me...the request came from an old friend who lives in Saskatchewan, so he never got to see the piece in person until it arrived in the mail! Thankfully, he loved it. Julia sent me a photo of herself wearing the bracelet after receiving it on her graduation day, and she loved it too.
This bracelet represents so many things...a young woman's strength and pride, a father's love and pride, and for myself as the artist, pride not only in my work but also in the faith that people put in me to help bring these pieces to reality.
Pride. It's a good thing :)