This is a commission that my partner, Wylie Blais (website here) and I worked on collaboratively.
We were commissioned by the parents of a girl to make a one-of-a-kind jewelry box and pendant for their daughter for her 18th birthday.
They described their daughter to us as deeply feeling, subtle, with a dark and quirky sense of humor and an interest in history and the Romantic - but someone who is also reserved, and has not found herself yet.
They wanted this piece to be an heirloom, and give their daughter the sense that her family was always there for her. Between this and their description of her as having a deep personality, the concept of this piece is that of the well: something with mystery and depth to it, and something that can always be drawn from, again and again. We designed the box with a central well in which the pendant, in the shape of a bucket, can sit.
The family is Hungarian-American, and wanted a subtle element of both places in the box’s design, hence the flowers pierced into the lid: Hungarian blue poppies for Hungary, and mayflowers for Massachustetts.
The box is three-layered: the bottom, stamped with the family’s initials and the phrase, “The ones you can always count on,” can hold a couple of rings or pairs of earrings, and is pressure-fit to the central layer.
The central layer houses the tube that is the well-shaft - it is the flat, slightly sunk-in part on which the bucket can rest, hanging down into the tube.
The top layer is a pierced, rotating lid, which swivels away to reveal the bucket and central layer.
As the first big collaborative project between us, it was a success: Wylie’s technical knowledge, 3D-modeling skills, and confidence with larger fabrication techniques were critical throughout; I focused on the initial concept, piercing and decorative detail, and the fiddlier work of creating the bucket pendant.
The daughter received this last Thursday as a surprise. We were pleased to hear that it conveyed to her all that her parents hoped it would.