Anniversary Wedding Set

Palladium bands and Black Diamond Fragment Ring (1)

Here’s a long overdue look at an awesome set of custom rings.

Jen and her husband Shane were married for 9 years before we met to talk about their wedding rings. They had eloped years ago, and with their 10th anniversary around the corner they began to think about upgrading their wedding set. It’s a very long story… but without Jen I would have never met my husband (It’s thanks to her that he and I ended up in San Francisco at the same time years ago). As you can imagine, I was honored to have this chance to thank her with my time and art. I’m forever in her debt!

It was important to Jen and Shane that the new rings reflected their personality. Jen has an amazing eye for design and had created jewelry of her own years ago. We had fun hanging out in my studio, talking shop and gems and tools and deciding on the perfect style for their wedding set.

The engagement ring we designed was a yellow gold version of my fragment engagement ring using a stellar black rose cut diamond. To stack alongside it, we crafted a palladium Tioga Band and incorporated some of her family diamonds into the mix. Shane’s band is a Flat Diablo Band in palladium with brushed finish and comfort fit interior.

When the rings were complete, Jen and Shane whisked away to wine country to celebrate their 10th anniversary. I wish them all the love and happiness for the years ahead.

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Sam + Christine

You wouldn’t necessarily think of Craigslist as the origin of long-lasting friendship. But sometimes when you put yourself out there into the digital ether, someone great is on the other end. I, for one, couldn’t have been luckier to have met Christine.

When I learned rather abruptly that my first roommate in San Francisco was ending his lease, I braced myself for another round of apartment hunting on a super tight time frame.  I took to craigslist and created a posting that laid it all out on the table. I had few belongings, couldn’t afford much, and I had 2 cats. It was December, and room listings were slim pickings. I knew it was going to be difficult to find  Even more of a longshot: I wanted space to resume creating jewelry. The Glen Park abode was simple and cozy, but didn’t lend itself to the noise and dirt produced when fabricating. And studios in San Francisco… they aren’t cheap. I’d rented entire one-bedroom apartments in Michigan for less.

I was so fortunate that on the other end of my search was Christine. She happened across my posting, and carefully crafted the first of many eloquent letters exchanged during our friendship. She too was an artist, with an MFA from California College of the Arts. She creates complex works involving drawing, painting, collage and sculpture. [Read more about her work and upcoming shows on her website] She had an apartment just off the panhandle of Golden Gate park, with a modest studio which I could share. She loved animals, and welcomed my cats with open arms. After a few meet and greets I moved in with Christine and her charming retriever Hank on New Years day 2010.

It seems fitting to be sharing Christine and Sam’s love story with you all this New Years day, 2 years later.

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Sam had met Christine while attending a wedding in Fairfax, CA in 2008. Both were in graduate school; Sam in Virginia and Christine in California. While a transcontinental relationship would have been challenging in its own right, Sam was leaving the following day for Marseille, France, where he’d spend the entire summer studying the housing designs of Le Corbusier and sending an occasional postcard to Christine in San Francisco.  She’d see a long unrecognizable phone number pop up on her cell, every once in a while during that summer, and pick it up to talk to Sam for hours as she carried on her daily business in the city.

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Their relationship continued once Sam returned to the states. Over the course of the following year they arranged vacation visits and graduated from their respective schools, both mystified at what to do next. Despite a failing stock market, expensive degrees in fields not immune to economic failure, and enough emotional risk to make most folks throw in the towel, Sam and Christine decided to take the plunge: They wanted to live and date in the same city. Sam relocated to San Francisco in August of 2009.

Two years later, Sam approached me about creating the perfect engagement ring for Christine. The two had now been living together in San Francisco’s Mission District for nearly a year, and it was clear that the initial risk of moving cross country had more than paid off. I was honored that he would choose me to help design a ring that symbolized their love and their journey.

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As an architect, Sam has strong design sensibilities and an appreciation of craftsmanship.  He was also very interested in the history and traditions behind specific metals and gems.The design we agreed on found its equilibrium between modern and traditional. It would be crafted from Palladium, with 4 diamond accents around a center ceylon blue sapphire. The gem’s rich color would be complimented by the warm tone of the precious metal. The soft brushed finish and softly sparkling diamonds were reminiscent of the night sky.

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The couple traveled in October 2011 to Joshua Tree National Forest. One day they hiked to the top of a mountain, and sat down on a rock overlooking the desert from above. Sam pulled the ring from his pocket and slipped it onto her finger, and asked her to grow old with him. Christine said yes.
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Photos of the happy couple by Klea McKenna
And if you missed my previous posting regarding Christine’s feature on ‘In The Make’ be sure to check it out here.