I know, I know, I keep telling you I'm going to write a blog on opals and then nothing shows up. But let me explain my problem. Every time that I get started on the entry about opals I go back to reading this great opal book that I own. Then I get so engrossed in reading it that I never get back to writing. If I can actually finish it one of these days I'll actually write something about opals. Really. I promise.
But in the meanwhile, since I have been so bad about keeping up with my opal blog writing I thought I would show you guys one of my latest projects. Back in March of this year I got an envelope in the mail one day with a couple of blurry pictures of a ring, a check for $700, and a short note from someone I had never met before. She said that she had seen some of my work on a customer of mine (one of my oldest ones actually---not her age---but how long she's been a customer) and she just knew that I could recreate the ring her grandmother had worn for years, passed down to her and that she had subsequently lost/had stolen.
Now I love to get money I'm not expecting. But this person had never met me or been in my store, I could barely tell what the ring she wanted duplicated actually looked like from the picture (as you can see here), and she had no idea how much I might actually charge for the finished job. So I emailed her and told her that I would not cash her check unless she actually came in and talked to me personally. So she did. We had a long discussion about what the ring had actually looked like and I agreed to take 0n the job (and subsequently cashed the check!).
It took me awhile to decide how to approach this job but the idea of building a ring in a cone shape with a plethora of leaves by hand was a little daunting so I decided to use the CadCam approach, allowing a computer to at least get the first part done. As it happens there was a fair amount of handwork involved afterwards anyway so there is still quite a bit of me in the ring. The pictures here are of the finished ring and the original photo I had to work from, and yes it was no better than what you can actually see here in this copy of the picture.
While I can't tell you that this particular design is actually my style of ring, it's always nice to be able to help a customer maintain their connection with their past through their jewels. And as I will always do, I made it up the way that, if it had been my design, I would want it made so that it would last for years.