When reading Lila and Mark’s story, a lot of important things stood out to me. They’re at an meaningful moment in their lives—their celebrating their five-year wedding anniversary and expecting their first child. I wanted the piece to be a window looking back at their past, with different parts of the piece representing the different parts of Lila’s life—where she came from, where and how she fell in love with Mark, where they’ve decided to call home, and the baby they’re expecting.
I envisioned a large piece that would tell her story. Because she’s very active, Lila doesn’t seem the type of woman who would regularly wear large rings or bracelets so I decided on a pendant design that could be worn on either a short or long cord. Given Lila’s dedication to protecting the environment, the pendant is round to represent the earth. However, it’s not completely incased; the top and bottom are open, leaving room for growth in the future. Just as Lila is open to possibilities, so too is her pendant.
The pendant features a white gold back, as I felt the white of the metal would allow the black ebony that comprises the bulk of the pendant to stand out. I chose to include black ebony because wood is a traditional five-year anniversary. In addition, it is reclaimed from Tanzania, allowing it to serve as a nice reminder of the land they loved. The ebony has an angular shape to it, crafted to reflect the area they now call home, which lies in the shadow of Mt. Hood.
I sourced an additional two blue sapphires for the piece and channel set them in the ebony. From Montana, the sapphires are representative of Lila and where she came from. They also direct the eye to the center of the piece where the opal, representing her child, is deeply set within. The white gold in the center has a high polish so light from the sapphires will reflect with the opal, just as Lila’s bloodline is mixed with the child within.
An asymmetrical bail tops off the piece. I think that the world is not always even, but that it is still possible to create a balance. One of the Padparadscha pink sapphires completes the piece, just as Lila and Mark, and the love that they share, has completed them.
Claudia Endler is the owner of Claudia Endler Designs in Los Angeles.
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