Some design projects only come along once in a lifetime...
And recently I've been privvy to one such project of rare opportunity - creating our very own set of engagement and wedding rings - all highly symbolic and stylised and special. And handmade for us re-using the diamond and gold from a vintage piece of my mother's own jewellery, and teaming these with very contemporary titanium.
Admittedly it took a few slow years of research and incubation, and even a few false starts with a variety of jewellery makers. But when I happened to stumble across the work of jeweller Cass Partington in the Melbourne Design Guide, I knew instantly that we'd found the perfect fit, and happily it all came together in a matter of months.
^ Cass Partington's website
Cass Partington's work has been described as 'designed to be worn and interpreted, simple forms that are minimally decorated and make reference to signs, code and the urban landscape. The multiple or 'stack' rings that can be personalised through their selection and arrangement is a favourite of this Melbourne lass.' Simple? Minimal? Signs, code and urban landscapes? - I'm a graphic designer, are you kidding, I like all those things! She's perfect for us, I immediately thought, and we were thrilled with the results.
The design I created for the rings started with two key items:
Firstly, a plain white-gold band that DD had proposed to me with - in our 'courting days' we'd picked it out during a weekend away in Byron Bay, and inside the ring he'd secretly had it engraved with the words, 'Will you marry me?'. This 4mm-high band became the unit of measure I used for the subsequent engagement & wedding bands.
Secondly, my mother gifted me with a nostalgic piece of jewellery - a gold nugget & diamond pendant that my father had given her when they were courting (back in the 60s!), but one that she never actually wore because she thought it was kind of ugly. She suggested I "rework" it into our new rings, and in the end I used the diamond in the engagement ring, and the gold was melted down and remade into my wedding band.
In Cass Partington's signature style, my rings were created as a 'stacking' set - the engagement ring a simple 4mm band of titanium with the diamond set flush into it, and the wedding ring a 2mm band of gold 'coded' with lines that represent a special date. And inside the engagement ring I had engraved the words 'yes, yes, definitely', my exact answer to DD when he proposed to me.
DD's wedding band is a single ring of contrasting white-gold and titanium that exactly aligns with mine in height and design. His ring also features 6 tiny rivets of white-gold to hold the two metals together, and for a bit of extra masculinity... ;)
One other nostalgic thing my mother kindly gave to me were the two little leather pouches that my parents' wedding rings originally came in when they were married in the late 60s. We used the vintage pouches to hold our own wedding bands when we eloped to Canada in June and they perfectly suited the vintage style of my dress and accessories. Thanks mum!
Huge thanks also to Cass Partington, of course, whose wonderful graphic style inspired the design and whose skilled hands created our set of rings. Cass, when I get the go-ahead for my eternity ring, I'll be in touch... ;)