The jeweler has a unique set of skills. First they need to know how to design so that elements in the piece of jewelry are integrated into a cohesive whole. Learning to design is sorely under rated, by the way, because our lives are enriched by the attention to detail.
Engagement rings are one of our favorite items of jewelry to make. The occasion is so joyous and the anticipation and excitement is palpable. it is a real privilege to be involved in this occasion which will be remembered for lifetimes and spoken about often over the years.
This ring was interesting and fun to do for many reasons. First the individual was young, and it always impresses us when, at such a ripe age, they are already keen on finding a design for their engagement ring that resonates with them. Also, the individual was a lady who was designing for herself, often a smart decision because they are the one who is going to happily wear the engagement ring for a very long time.
Gregore and I travelled to Paris for the first time to attend our annual AJDC retreat…Paris is such a beautiful city because of its architecture and parks. We extended our stay by 10 days beforehand, and happily were able to celebrate Gregore’s birthday with our friends …
Today I want to share a very sweet stud earring. It show's off David's smaller cushion shaped rubies nicely, and adds a unique flair to the prongs in which they are set. In fact we do 3 versions, one with marquite diamonds, carre diamonds, and round diamonds as you see here. We plan on making one with pear shaped diamonds too.
Designing for emerald-cut stones can be a challenge. The reason is that they lend themselves to straight lines and angles so the impact can often be on the formal side. With this design we were aiming for a more casual feeling that could be worn easily during the day with jeans and t shirts.
Lately we have been designing stud earrings. This fashion accessory is understated and feminine. David Gross has lovely matched round pairs in blue sapphire and in ruby. It is too easy to just put them into a four prong setting. We wanted to create something unique and pretty. Gregore has a real flair for drawing with arcs. Though we both design for David we leave the final decision to him because he knows his taste better than anyone.
There are "many ways to skin a cat", an unfriendly saying but the meaning is right. As for designing fine jewelry the saying holds true. When I am asked to create ideas for stones a customer might own I consider 2 main things, will it make sense to the customer and how can I save some time in creating the design. I need to save time because there is often a time frame the client has or that I have if work is a little backed up. Rushing a design in reality is nearly impossible because ideas come to us, and often when we least expect them. But as practiced designers it happens that we end up with a large reserve of ideas that have worked in the past or newer ones that one just wants to try out.
It was in tropical Santa Barbara that Gregore and Jennifer-Rabe Jewelers became a reality. Gregore arrived from gorgeous Vancouver, Canada with its majestic mountains, and scintillating rivers; Jennifer-Rabe from "La Costa del Sol" the Mediterranean coast of Sicily and later in Southern Spain. The exposure to these richly beautiful, natural landscapes, combined with a lot of freedom to play as children, created a fertile ground from which to blossom as artists.
The opportunity to work with beautifully cut and polished Sapphires has been a real privilege for us at the Gregore and Jennifer-Rabe jewelers workshop in Santa Barbara. I say this because many of the stones in the corundum family come with their native cuts. These are done usually to maintain weight to create more value. Still a well faceted stone has the hard edge brilliance that a not so well cut stone lacks. At the same time, great care needs to be taken while handling the stone during setting not to scratch it in any way, or it will be very obvious.