This story hit home for me because I have experience in the world of law enforcement. There’s always a risk there so it’s hard to be involved in that line of work. To be a wife and mother in this environment requires courage, and it takes a tough and bold woman to be the support mechanism for someone in law enforcement when each day could be the last. I like the idea of celebrating Jenny for the support and strength she’s given to her family, and I chose to create a bold piece that would truly be worthy of adorning this strong woman who has been through so much.
When I thought about trying to capture the essence of a celebration in this piece, I immediately thought of fireworks. It can make for an outrageous piece, but I wanted something that truly demonstrated that life can and should be a celebration. In addition, I chose to incorporate the idea of spring. Spring is a time of rebirth, and I thought it be appropriate for a woman who in a way is starting anew and now has to reinvent herself in light of the loss of her husband and partner. My intention was to create a piece that has a natural lightness to it and reminded me of something comforting yet exciting.
I made each of the sapphires a focal point of a different element of the neckpiece. To keep the piece consistent with the colors of spring, I chose sapphires as the primary color focus, adding shading with demantoid and tsavorite garnet along with yellow sapphires and a hit of diamonds for accent. The neckpiece is susupended on a handmade link chain, with each link a scaled down version of the one before it. I wanted to keep the chain simple so it would lay flat to properly showcase this piece celebrating this strong, resilient woman.
Jim Grahl is the owner of J. Grahl Design in Balboa Island, California.
Click here to read more about the challenge and to access the work of the other designers who participated.