The "First Piece" is to be a large pendant, with a floral design in an architectural style made in 18K yellow gold, inlaid American walnut, with a spessartite garnet center, rubellite tourmalines radiating out to the perimeter, and a drop component comprised of peridot and diamonds.
When I measured the original sketch I found that I had drawn a 9mm round center stone, with a total pendant width of 60mm and a length of 90mm (about 3.5 inches). Typically, I would merely advance the project forward given that these were good proportions for a large, dramatic pendant. But, being mathematically inclined and rather curious, I decided to workshop this design further. What if there was a better proportion? I wanted to find out!
I was also thinking ahead- For a new collection, I like to create pendants and earrings in 3 sizes. But the different sizes are typically not mere scale-ups; for 2 reasons, the designs rarely taste as good by simply doubling the recipe, and there's no fun without a puzzling challenge to solve! Again, I create the questions and look for the answers.
I took the 9mm round center stone idea and placed it in the design drawn at 60mm wide as well as 54mm, 48mm, 44mm, 42mm and 38mm wide by making the floral petals shorter each time. I chose the 42mm size, (the center .21 of the design diameter) With the 7mm center stone size, I chose a 36mm, (center .194 of the diameter) and the 5mm center will have a 22mm diameter (.227). I will likely create a smaller version as well, as I think the design will translate well.
But, back to the First Piece. As I pulled gemstones from my vault to play with, I found a beautiful oval spessartite garnet. It measures 10.47mm x 7.41mm x 5.43mm. Up until now, the design featured only round gemstones, but its a great stone, so I laid it in and redrew the design. Delighted.
This is a really special gemstone, with exceptional, fiery, orange color!
I will feature blue zircons, and peridots for the 7mm size, and rhodolite garnets, rubellite tourmalines, blue zircon, cinnamon zircon and peridot in the 5mm size to start off. Turquoise will be featured in the sterling versions. So with the sizes decided and gemstones chosen, I moved on to the last step, which in some ways is the first step, designing the template for the wood inlay. As I mentioned earlier, I prefer to have my different size pieces to be very similar, by with a twist. In this design, the proportions vary a little, and I will add an eighth petal to each design in a different place. The on the First Piece showcasing the oval spessartite, the eighth petal will be just to the right of the center petal. (See sketch above with the vellum tracing of the wood inlay shown bottom right.) In my next post I will detail the final working drawings and with the wood carving completed we will move into production!