This piece was commissioned as a nine year wedding anniversary gift, willow being the theme for ninth anniversaries and the basis of the design. I have created a number of trees, each one special, but never a willow.
It presented a challenge in balancing the feel of a willow tree without covering the whole pendant in willow branches. As you can see in the “not yet completed” photo, once I had all of the branches on, it was in dire need of a haircut.
The whole necklace is full of symbolic meaning for the couple. Nine sapphires dangle above the tree like stars (and sapphire is her birthstone as well) 18 base branches to represent 9 years for each of them, 33 dangling willow branches for her 33rd birthday, and so on. Every part of it has meaning.
In addition, I designed it in a way that it can be worn at three different lengths. It was a mixture of logistical challenges, pushing myself as a designer, pushing my skill set, and combining all the symbology with an aesthetic that I wanted for the piece. It was the most time I’ve spent working on one piece in my career thus far, and it’s also one of the most beautiful pieces I’ve created.