“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for transforming so beautifully, my vision for up-cycling my precious jewellery into a special Anniversary piece.”
Jane first came across Ana’s jewellery via NotOnTheHighStreet.com and had bought the Hera and Zarek rings, which she loved!
So when it came to the year of Jane and her husband Pete’s 25th Wedding Anniversary, Jane contacted Ana as she wanted to mark the occasion with a commemorative piece of bespoke jewellery.
Jane mentioned she was an admirer of Ana’s Sienna pendant in silver and gold plate, on a gold-plated chain. As a shape it resembles an acorn, but in fact, the top half is a eucalyptus pod, known in Australia as a “gumnut”.
These treasures were found on forest walks up in the hills surrounding the city of Barcelona, when Ana was studying jewellery design there. They’ve been adapted, cast with great care and delicately soldered together. The end result is an incredibly tactile and visually appealing combination. (The Guardian agreed!)
Having fallen in love with this little gem on the gold chain, Jane wondered what it would look like if she might make some additions to the original. She had some diamonds from an eternity ring she no longer wore but whose stones still bore special meaning.
There was also a diamond necklace Pete had bought her to wear at their wedding 25 years ago. She wanted to incorporate these meaningful treasures into a new and unique creation.
The initial design stage
Jane had originally visualised a “flattened gold shape with diamonds incorporated into it in an abstract way, maybe leaf-like” using her diamonds.
Delighted at the chance to work with a customer’s own diamonds, especially when the held such sentimental value, Ana responded with some initial sketches using an oak leaf, with diamonds decorating the points. For the larger, oval diamond Jane had, Ana designed a separate charm that would sit by the side of the leaf and the “gumnut”.
This played on the resemblance to an acorn and Jane loved the “idea of a few separate items”. She was excited at mixing silver and gold, maintaining a rustic feel and that the charms would be free-moving on the chain. However, while she liked the oak leaf, Jane preferred to stick with the eucalyptus theme.
Ana suggested two different eucalyptus leaf shapes. With the original Sienna charm as well, there would be three very different, but still related shapes.
Things were moving in the right direction: Eucalyptus has lots of interesting shapes within the tree and there was excitement to see the design come together.
When you consider Jane lives in Lincolnshire and Ana in London and at this point, the ladies had still never met, the collaboration and fusing together of one person’s desire and idea brought to life by a creative and artistic mind is actually pretty wonderful.
With the shapes decided upon, Jane just needed some guidance on how to best mix the metals. She definitely wanted a gold chain and sent a photo of herself to help Ana advise.
Should the leaves be in gold to offset the bright sparkle of all the diamonds? Would that be too much gold?
She was really struggling with the best mix here and wanted Ana’s thoughts.
Ana made some suggestions how to incorporate silver and gold without either being overpowering. Jane settled on the idea of the elegant, curved eucalyptus leaf in silver, with the diamonds set in gold “cases”, and the rounder eucalyptus leaf in yellow gold with the diamonds sparkling along its spine.
The leaves were carved in silver and gold, each detail pored over according to the design, forming the natural curve of the leaf, the organic texture of the surface, the gold casings embedded into the silver leaf, the diamonds carefully selected and best positioned on each leaf. Work like this is time consuming but incredibly rewarding, literally very hands-on, carving, shaping the precious metals into treasures that will be held in such regard for years to come.
The finished articles were almost better than hoped for and, as once the diamonds were set, Ana herself felt that leap of joy inside that something truly special had been created.
The deadline was looming. Ana sent Jane and Pete an update just to reassure them that all was on schedule. She promised to send some photos very soon.
The commission was reaching its exciting conclusion!
Pete and Jane were thrilled by the pictures and after this meticulous, engaging and collaborative process, Jane just could not wait to receive her 25th wedding anniversary present.
And then there they were, right on time, and she sent this email:
Jane’s final email to Ana on receipt of her bespoke jewellery
Ana, I just wanted to let you know that the charms arrived today 🙂
Although Pete is away at the moment he asked me to open the package and enjoy.
As you are able to see from the photo I have transferred the charms onto a stronger chain, with the intention of visiting our local jeweller tomorrow to source a perfect chain.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for transforming so beautifully, my vision for up-cycling my precious jewellery into a special Anniversary piece.
You are an extremely talented artist and I am so happy we chose you to work on this commission.
Much love and gratitude and hugs as well,
Jane and Pete too xx