As I read about Rebecca and Kate’s story, a few things stood out clearly: Their love of the outdoors near their coastal home outside of Seattle. Their active lifestyles, especially with their family. And, of course, their obvious love of art. The customer always influences design, with their needs and desires, so I wanted to incorporate their interests in the design.
First, I settled on a pendant because Kate is a busy mom, active in events with their son and a lover of hiking and the outdoors. A ring could get damaged or get in the way of those experiences, while a pendant on a sturdy chain can go almost anywhere.
Next, I considered Kate’s love of art, especially modern and avant-garde painting. I wanted the design to feel like a work of art—practical enough to wear everyday but also elegant enough to wear for a night on the town.
Then I took into consideration their love for the outdoors and their home in Washington, tucked between the mountains and the sea. To harken to the mountainous parts of their home state as well as Kate’s avant-garde style, I placed a platinum wave lined with inverted brown diamonds set up against a line of green-blue Montana sapphires representing the ocean coast of the Pacific Northwest. On the other side of the pendant, I added a gold wave lined with yellow diamonds. The gold has a wood grain pattern engraved on the back to represent the mountain forests that they love to spend their time exploring. I looked at the ruby as a crimson sunset, dipping into the ocean every night and spreading gold rays across the coast.
This design, which I like to call Ardently, came from Kate and Rebecca’s story, a story that I tried to retell with metal and stones. Jewelry is art in fashion, but pieces can also become the most treasured of family heirlooms. Kate and Rebecca have waited a long time to see their love validated, and they deserve a piece that represents that.
Julie Luckenbill is the studio manager of Christopher & Co. in Champaign, Illinois.