The best part of what I do is to help people bring their dreams to life in metal. Recently I had an opportunity to create jewelry for a special occasion within my own family â€“ a 25th anniversary memento. But I was coming up dryâ€¦
The story begins with my younger sistersâ€™ college graduation. She moved from home base in Central Illinois to a suburb of Chicago. A few months after she got settled, our mom decided a visit was in order, and invited my older sister and me to accompany her.Â That was November, 1986.
Our visits since then have encompassed trips to Urgent Care, the ER, post surgical care, stories of marriages and children, dinner, deaths, lunches, brunches, cookies and Cosmos, and before you could say John Robinson, twenty-five years had passed. Â To my metalsmithâ€™s mind, a journey this terrific deserved a commemorative piece of jewelry!
With weeks turning into days, I hadnâ€™t come up with an idea I was excited about. But that night, just as I was preparing for bedtime, an image of interlocking rings appeared to me. This was it! I quickly sketched it out and fell asleep.
The night before I was to leave, I started on the intertwining circle pendant. Four pendants to be exact: one for my mother, my two sisters, and me. At the bench, our story unfolded in my hands.Â Sixteen circles lay before me, each soldered into an individual, perfect round shape. But something was missing. Life! I grabbed my two-pound forging hammer and tapped dings and dents into each of the rings – bumps along lifeâ€™s path.
Cut open again, the circles were then able to be linked into groups of four rings and soldered. One ring for each of us, four rings per pendant. No matter what happened we would always be welded together. The following morning, I added a triangular shaped cubic zirconium gemstone inspired by our mom, mother of three daughters, the spark that created us and keeps us together. No time to make a chain, so I threaded each pendant onto a length of white satin ribbon. Packed in tiny handmade paper boxes and little gift bags, I started my journey to Illinois.
That evening, we broke from tradition and had an impromptu dinner at my sisterâ€™s kitchen table. Gifts were busted out, and I am pleased to say that the pendants were a hit, sparking stories and emotions that will live with each of us for a very long time. Hopefully, forever!