Because Sarah’s mom provided a large number of stones for the project, my first task was to determine which stones blended together in the best way to tell Sarah’s story. Ultimately, I went with the blue-hued stones, tying her ring into the waterways that she loves to kayak. Given the number of stones I was going to work with, I thought a ring would be the best way to showcase them, allowing me to create a nice, tight design without trying to spread the stones out over a bracelet or necklace. I settled on a ring design that Sarah could easily wear to a special event but one that isn’t so fancy that she couldn’t wear it daily.
Whenever I work with a client on a custom piece, I try to find an element of her story that we can tie into the design. It helps me to create a great piece of jewelry that also has an extra special meaning to it. It shouldn’t be something literal; it’s more important that it be subtle. Maybe a piece just looks like a pretty ring, but when you hear the story behind its design, you fall in love with the story and the design, not just one or the other. For this piece, I wanted to incorporate Sarah’s love for Africa and its people so I created a pattern on the undercarriage of the ring that’s based on patterning found in traditional African textiles. It’s created using a blend of engraving and texturing so that it has a fabric quality to it.
I set the stones in an 18k white gold head but opted to create the rest of the ring in 18k yellow gold. I also added a few diamonds to the front of the ring as accents. To add some additional detail to the piece, the shank features a unique profile that also helps to enhance the patterning on the back of the ring. The shank thins out at the top, forming a bowtie-like shape that helps direct the viewer’s eye toward the center.
Adam Foster is the owner of Adam Foster Fine Jewelry in St. Louis, Missouri.
Click here to read more about the challenge and to access the work of the other designers who participated.