I was excited when I read Kate’s story because I love rubies and I’m excited to design with them. Since Kate isn’t the type to wear traditional looking jewelry, I looked back through my modern art books. I wanted to create something that would appeal to Kate’s artistic, painterly side, so I looked at the way modern artists built their paintings. I also noted the use of bright, bold colors, and I knew I wanted to incorporate a lot of color into the piece.
Although Rebecca is giving Kate this gift in honor of their wedding, I didn’t want to create something traditionally bridal. I settled on doing a platinum pendant, believing it would be something that she could keep close to her heart and wear all the time.
To create the design, I wanted to incorporate all of the parts of their story into the piece. I featured the ruby in the center of the piece, as I felt it represented Kate, Rebecca, and their son as a family unit, with the elements of their world revolving around them. I encircled the family stone with a shape reminiscent of a wave design to draw in their interest in the ocean. Beyond the ocean waves, I added a set of mountain peaks to represent the hills that Kate loves to hike.
Because it was important to me to include lots of colors, I set the ocean waves with graduated colors of blue sapphires with diamonds as the tips of the waves. When the skies do clear over their hometown of Seattle, the green grass on the mountains outside the city is vibrant and stunning. To capture that unique hue, I have a friend who mixes resin with pigments of car paint to create vibrant colors with a jewel tone to them. I would use a nice mix of candy green to color Kate’s beloved mountain peaks, with accents of tsavorites or emeralds for a little additional sparkle. To capture the sky over the great outdoors that they love so much, I added a back layer with either opal inlay or pearl resin accented with diamonds.
Not only do I feel that a lot of color would appeal to Kate as an artist and lover of modern art, but since they’re only now able to legally join their lives together, I thought it was also a nice way for them to finally get to showcase their true colors to the world.
Heather Oleari is the owner of Oleari Designs in Chicago.