I recently had the absolute honor of creating my first solid gold engagement ring for a very special customer. I collaborated with her soon to be Fiance and her sister to come up with the design concept.
The stone is a gorgeous Herkimer Diamond which had been dug out of the Herkimer mine in New York State just weeks before we were ready to start designing. It came to me like “Here I am, I’m the perfect stone for this ring.” I got goosebumps and chills when I laid eyes on it. I chose solid gold for the ring because to me it represents purity, brightness and classic beauty, which resonated with the vibe of the stone and with the bride to be. Working with solid gold (while a bit intimidating at first) is an intoxicating experience.
A prominent jewelry artist was quoted as saying “Once you work in gold, you are ruined for other metals.” While I can’t say I’m ruined for other metals, I was completely captivated and enthralled with the process, and I definitely want more of it. I wanted the design to be a fusion of minimalist and “Crown Jewels”; one part sweet and one part fierce, so I chose a rustic but smooth as silk prong setting which arcs up over the stone like beautiful curved spires. I was thrilled with the final result. I was even more thrilled when I got to see the proposal happen via skype, and the bride to be’s reaction to her engagement ring. It was a fantastic, challenging, inspiring, and all together amazing commission that I am so happy to have been a part of.
This was one of the most exciting and challenging commission projects I’ve taken on thus far. It’s made it to the projects page because it is my very first formal engagement ring.
The couple that commissioned the ring had actually found and dug up the stone (a blue topaz) themselves at a mining site in Tennessee, and had it faceted. The bride to be handed me the stone and said “Something simple but different and unique.”
The stone reminded me of water so I designed a textured band to look like a pebbly creek bed flowing beneath the vibrant blue of the topaz. The creation of the ring was several days of diligent focus, steady hands, and unwavering patience and attention to details.
As I carefully hammered, shaped, filed, welded, filed some more, set prongs, held my breath, set a stone, and finally polished… It came together and became everything I envisioned and then some. It required me to push my limits and skill set, and for that I am always grateful.
The couple absolutely loved the ring, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with the entire experience.
View more photos below of the creative process and more:
We were invited to create an interactive art installation for an event called the compassion project. I did something a little different this time.
On March 5th, Klee and I attended an event called “Curated Compassion” in which several artist showcased art installations that would interact with the viewer. We set up a piece that would allow for several people to be involved in the creation of a beautiful work. We had over 40 people put their hands in the clay (or magnets) and helped create this amazing work of art. Thank you to everyone involved in making this project beautiful. This video below, is the art… Enjoy.
On Sept 11th 2015, I launched the opening for my solo art show “You Are Here – The Strange Curiosity of Right Now.” The opening reception was a huge success and the show was running until October 1st 2015. The show featured over 100 works of art, including installations, paintings and sculpture.
There was an acoustic performance by the amazing band Dinosaur Daze and fantastic food by Monica Gaskins. The show was hosted by Marty Campbell Gallery in Downtown Pensacola.I’ve always been very fascinated by the concept of right now. That fleeting moment that takes place inside your mind, it dictates how you feel and what you think about. The show exhibited a body of work that was a study of the various emotions that can exist in the fleeting moment of right now.“Art is such a great representation of the relative nature of the concept of time. Because the experience takes place in the viewers mind, it is not something that can actually be shared. Things will sow down when you get absorbed by the colors, texture and the subject of a piece of art, if it triggers an emotion response that is personal in nature. Yet, nothing will happen to the flow of time if the piece doesn’t speak to you in any way, you simply move on to the next.” – Rafi Perez
Watch This Video To See The Show
Enjoy the photos below of this awesome experience. Thank you so much to everyone that came out and made this a memorable experience. (Thank you Henry Crenshaw and James Gaskins for Photos and Video)