Wisdom from the bench – Eleanor Hawke

Earlier this year, one of our clients brought in a suite of jewellery that was passed down to her by her mother. She wished to remodel all the jewellery items into two special necklets she and her sister could wear and enjoy every day. The suite included a ring, pendant, bracelet and earrings. Each piece was made up of a large cushion cut garnet and surrounded by a halo of white sapphires and cubic zirconias, all in white gold settings and backed with rose gold filigree patterned plates. I thought these plates were too good to hide. Following a meeting with Peter, Greg and the client, it was decided that the delicate filigree plates would be used as a feature alongside the garnets, not hidden away as backings.

jewellery remake, Abrecht Bird Jewellers, Eleanor Hawke

The suite of jewellery prior to remodelling

After Greg completed a quick sketch of the necklets, I began dismantling each of the items of jewellery, carefully removing the filigree sections and garnets, setting them aside for later use. As part of the new design, each garnet setting would be fitted with a hinged mechanism that would allow the necklet to be attached to a variety of chains, omegas, silk cords and neoprene, thus allowing the necklets to be dressed up or down depending on the client’s needs.

Jewellery remodeling, Abrecht Bird Jewellers,

Elements of the old and new coming together

The laser welder was the preferred technique over the traditional method of soldering for constructing these necklets, as it allowed me to have perfect precision at every delicate join and removed all risks of damage to the fine filigree work when joining it to the ‘pillow’ backings.

This remodelling project really took me out of my comfort zone and pushed me to expand my usual construction methods. At times it was quite tricky and challenging, but after achieving two beautiful and unique items of jewellery, I was proud to stamp my hallmark on them. I hope our client is just as proud to wear them and hand them down through the family one day. It was a very rewarding experience to create a new family heirloom for someone that can be worn and enjoyed for many generations to come.

The completed necklaces