portfolio | LifeChain

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

Sue’s circle of diamonds

its a beautiful sunny fall day and we’re headed to the park, but i wanted to get this new piece of custom jewelry inspired by my LifeChain project published here because Sue just received on Friday after Thanksgiving and loves it!

its a great illustration of new ways to think about old jewelry.

i’d already written these notes about it, too, so now with a picture, here it is:

languishing in a jewelry box no longer!

from a marriage long dissolved,

the wedding ring made anew through hammer and fire.

Sue sent me her 14k white gold, standard comfort fit wedding band and told me to “hammer all the bad energy out of this wedding ring” and create a circular pendant.

i used a heavy torch on the gold, and hammered it hard into a new kind of circle.

reclaimed wedding ring pendant

reclaimed wedding ring pendant

we decided upon 9 diamonds in varying shades of blue, green and purple…nothing too saturated in color, pastel hues, ocean hues…

from a parcel of over 100 diamonds, i selected these nine diamonds….this took the longest time and i am really pleased with the palette.

when i was all done, the piece was rhodium plated.

a strip of black rawhide looped through the circle (a 14k white gold lobster clasp will be affixed to the rawhide once she wears the pendant for a few weeks and determines the exact length at which she would like the pendant to hang).

i think this is a really sexy, really powerful symbol of rebirth, growth and ultimately an expression of self.

what do you think?

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

your pot of gold

finally getting a chance to finish writing out this *great* idea, one inspired by my first custom LifeChain client and brought to you by the price of gold these days.

as we were talking about her individual life chain links and materials and watching the LifeChain videos together (on the phone and online…now neatly republished on my very own jewelry YouTube channel, she mentioned how she loved the idea of “reclaiming” old, treasured gold jewelry that went unworn, and her mom did, too.

(you can see me melting down and reforging gold of my own in the third LifeChain video).

could we make something smaller with their old gold? starting with a particular set of gold bracelets….

now if you follow me and my work and follow the gold market, you know i mean it when i say that it absolutely hurts to quote clients the price of a substantial, hand forged, custom gold piece of jewelry these days. especially compared with gold market of only five or six years ago, and especially as the holiday jewelry gift season arrives.

so it is with much joy that i credit one of my dearest clients with this new way of creating a meaningful piece of custom jewelry. remake your old jewellery into something you will love and wear or create a very unique, family heirloom type gift, just in time for the holidays.

your pot of gold

people always ask me (after they find out i’m a jeweller), what to do with their gold “scrap”:

  • old bits of gold jewelry
  • earrings missing a mate
  • bracelets too twisted to salvage
  • kinked chains
  • jewelry missing jewels
  • old wedding rings

…you know the jewelry you will never wear again.

what’s the gold worth? what can you do with it?

real gold and diamonds have real value, but somewhat diminished if just sitting forgotten in an old jewellery box, and just selling off old jewelry that’s been in your life or in your family forever has always put me off as a concept….

but i absolutely love this.

“do you think she could use my gold to make me something i will actually wear, make something i love
using this gold i’ve had all these years?”

instead of just old stuff, what you really have is your own pot of gold, gold that can be melted, milled, forged and transformed into something that will really reflect her style, something that she can wear everyday, a bangle, pendant, ring or earrings– we’ll find out (that’s the fun part, by the way).

find out more about the “pot of gold” transformation in the Life Chain videos or contact me directly here.

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

The LifeChain, part 7

John is finally back to editing the rest of this series about my LifeChain custom jewelry project from this past summer in San Diego, just in time to help me illustrate that round of new inspiration from one of my fabulous clients I mentioned yesterday– check it out, and check in again this weekend to read about my first custom LifeChain commission!

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

My next LifeChain Video

This post was an example John used in his Online Business class today; and he actually put up one of the videos already published (rather than “my next LifeChain video”) because the next one still isn’t fully edited.

Guess what he’s doing tonight?

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

the LifeChain Project, video #3

Here’s part three of the LifeChain video project, where I’m firing some gold scrap down into a new ingot for rolling out in to a link. Check it out!

I’m going to debut the LifeChain at NoLi Notte thid Friday July 10 at Coalesce Gallery in Little Italy.

If you’re on Facebook, check out the opening reception event page and comment, even if you can’t make it.

I hope to see you there.

heather-reilly, metalsmith | custom jewlery

the LifeChain handforged jewelry project

Here’s the first of a series of videos we are making in the studio as I develop my LifeChain concept for the “Little and Large” show of jewelry and sculpture opening in July at galleries throughout San Diego. Each link in the LifeChain is a piece ofhandforged jewelry in its own right, with both materials and concept having both a unique individual story and a contribution to make to the LifeChain as a whole.

This countywide show has been organized in honor of the Alexander Calder jewelry retrospective coming to the San Diego Museum of Art this summer.


httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SNCseVDjwM