I have been asked many times over a four-decade plus career, “what makes your designs special?”
I think firstly, I try to make custom jewellery pieces that can last and not fall apart. Secondly, whether I use colored gemstones or diamonds, I try to use great quality, especially the quality of cut. That isn’t the shape but how well cut a gemstone or diamond is…that intrigues me. Also, I am a bit of a perfectionist and don’t like to let items out the door that are substandard. Lastly, I make some very unique designs.
What Inspires Your Designs?
Truthfully, I take inspiration from everywhere and often at very odd times. Sometimes a piece of architecture gives me a concept. MacEwan University campus in Edmonton inspired me to make a design that won an international contest in 2000. Then on our 20th anniversary, I blended the number 20 into a side profile to get an honorable mention in a Canadian design competition.
While I tend to love art deco and the linear nature of it, I will often make curving pieces.
Most often, while sounding a bit cliché, I let the gemstone or diamond ‘speak’ to me. Some gemstones just seem to need a certain look and I will go with my feelings.
Will you make anything?
I will try anything, as long as I feel it will not fall apart or just be weird. I have tried to stick to my feelings and not make anything I feel would look ugly. Now I know that what some may say is ugly to me may be beautiful to the owner but if it just won’t look ‘right’ then I will refuse to do the work. And I can say with honesty, that I’ve let my guard down once a decade and have had four custom rings I made that I just knew were going to look bad and I went ahead with them at the customers strong insistence. In all four cases, the rings were torn apart and remade. The guy that wanted an engagement ring where the diamond was held in place by and eagle head, or the guy that wanted a band that had elements of dragons and Game of Thrones were designs that while unconventional turned out great.
Why do you do custom design?
Not all jewellers will tackle custom designs. I love working on a design and seeing the client’s face when the product is presented to them. I have even had some ‘ugly cries’ in the store. And anyone that knows me, knows I am a sucker for a happy story or great outcome.