Saturday, January 21, 2012

Remaking a family heirloom

Jewelry designers are often asked to redesign outdated jewelry by making something completely new from the stones and metal.  However, in this case I was asked to reproduce a family heirloom- a rather large diamond brooch.
Mimi Favre


Several identical brooches were made for the family nearly a century ago. I was told the design is a stylized side view of a blooming rose to honor a family members contribution to the founding of a prominent Garden Club and design of a famous garden. Several generations later, my client desired to replicate this special heirloom for his family.

Mimi Favre

We decided that rather than make a replica of the original large brooch, a pendant adapted from the design could retain the significance and still honor the original design. The original brooch is approximately 2 ¼” in diameter.

Pendant models-Mimi Favre©

 I began the process by printing a reduced image of the pin to approximate the pendant. However, simply reducing the size by percentage does not yield a template. This photo shows two potential widths of the finished piece. Two handmade models are placed along side  reduced images of the original. 
Pendant model -MimiFavre©

The adapted design needs to be strong enough and wide enough for stones to be set and retain the subtle curvilinear form of the original. Providing visual information to a client is essential in the design process. 

Platinum and diamond pendant. Mimi Favre© 2011
Platinum and diamond pendant. Mimi Favre© 2011


Platinum and diamond pendant. Mimi Favre© 2011
The finished pendant is made from platinum and is approximately 1 1/4" wide. Platinum chain is attached at the sides.