Insights from Paris
One of the great pleasures of my fine jewelry design business is being able to travel abroad and see high jewelry designs from around the world. The magical combination of culture, design, gems, and history is truly the source of my design inspiration.
Visiting Van Cleef & Arpels on Place Vendome in Paris gave me the opportunity to see their iconic collections of flower designs. The private tour of their shop imparted a significant insight— upstairs they have volume after volume of detailed drawings of everything from leaves to birds, butterfly wings to flowers. VCA has a natural history archive — a hidden treasure among the gilded celebration of nature in the display cases.
Serendipitously, my husband is a biology professor and we have an extensive library of field guides covering California natural history. Our first years together were spent on the trails of the Santa Monica mountains searching out a specific bird, tree or flower species. While he identified our subjects, I became proficient in macro photography and seeing the fine details of a petal or feather. Since then, I have used these guides to inform many of my designs, but I felt very validated that so do the designers at the house of VCA.
Custom Jewelry Design
Recently, a loyal client approached me about creating a bee design using her family diamonds. I was delighted. Bees are a symbol rich in meaning: community, benevolence, diligence, and orderliness. In fact, Napoleon chose bees as the imperial emblem. I immediately got to work developing concepts. So, yes, when people ask me if Rosey Skye makes custom jewelry — you bet we do. Especially, in the realm art nouveau jewelry.
Rosey Skye's Design Process
My custom design process starts with the intention. In this case, my client had a collection of family diamonds and wanted to make a meaningful piece to gift to her sister. She had always loved bees and their importance in nature, carrying essential pollen from flower to flower, plant to plant. Connection. She asked me to develop a bee concept that could be a shared item between them (earrings for her sister and a pendant for herself)…a parure, or jewelry set, as they say in Paris.
My design development process started by looking at my archives. Different species of bees and drawings of their anatomy as well as antique bee pins and modern pieces, all to explore various styles. From there, I began sketching concepts which evolved from a life-like bee to a highly wearable design that inspires joy and happiness. I shared these concepts with my client so she could select a design direction that resonated for her.
We decided on a sketch that layered white and yellow 14k gold. I love to incorporate symbolism that resonates with my customer’s intentions; a hidden meaning that has become my signature style. These small design details beautifully represent the cherished bond that compels us to call one another “family.” This design element usually presents itself to me as I immerse myself into the project.
With thoughtful use of her family diamonds, I added a diamond “stinger” and gave the wings a delicate texture. And, finally, it came to me. As my signature element, a tribute to sisterhood. I engraved the infinity symbol (a honeycomb reference) across the thorax; the never-ending connection. Sisters forever. Now, that’s what I tell my two daughters, Rose and Skye. Sisters forever.
The Honey Bee Parure
I’m happy to announce the Honey Bee earrings and pendant are now officially a part of the Rosey Skye collection. If you are interested in purchasing this parure or have a custom jewelry design project, please contact me. The Honey Bees are made to order and are priced at $4,200 for the set. If you’d like to add a personalized element, let’s talk. I truly enjoy making little treasures that lift the spirit and connect people in a lasting way. And, yes, I design custom engagement ring sets, too.
Until next time, you have my warmest wishes for good health,
P.S. We now offer gift cards in a range of denominations. We appreciate your support of our small business and are putting new orders in our production queue.
P.P.S. During my visit to Van Cleef & Arpels, I had the extraordinary opportunity to try on the famous Zip Necklace after it was transformed into a bracelet. Be sure to follow me on Instagram for more images from my design adventures and long walks on the California coast.