Emma: What was your inspiration behind this design?
Sally: Our Fleur de Lys bracelet has been a beloved item in our collection for a long time now. We wanted to add a bangle to our collection that would complement this bracelet and look great coupled with it. I had some additional diamonds from a previous project (as it typically happens!) that I used to experiment with for this new bangle. When stacking jewellery, I find what works best is when the designs complement each other in style, but don’t look too similar. Why? because this introduces a new layer of dimension and texture to the design, making it interesting and one-of-a-kind.
Emma: How long did it take to create the final design?
Sally: The entire process took much longer than I expected. There were many tweaks along the way. I started with a single bezel around the diamond, like the Fleur de Lys bracelet however, after the first prototype, I decided to add another bezel. The inside bezel has a filigree edging and the second bezel is stepped down and is polished. This double bezel enhanced the look of the size of the diamond, which is great, because we wanted the bangle to look bigger than the large Fleur de Lys bracelet. All up, it took about 6 months of concept: beginning with the crafting with our talented team, to changing the design multiple times, to finally hand-finishing the piece.
Emma: Why did you choose an oval shape bangle over a round one?
Sally: At Ryder, we’re all about wearability of jewellery and we want our clients to be able to wear our pieces with ease every day. With this in mind, even though the hard and ridged round bangles that you have to slide over your hand can look really cool, they are clunky and not always practical to wear. The oval shape that is hinged is easier to put on and more comfortable to wear when going about your day like typing on a computer for instance. All of those details are key to consider when we’re designing our collection pieces and this is also what we pride ourselves in: creating great value-for-money diamond pieces wearable for everyday activities.
Emma: When designing and handcrafting, often a concept on paper comes to life differently in reality. Were there any difficulties when bringing the design to life? How did you overcome them?
Sally: The challenge and beauty of bespoke is that changes to a design are almost always inevitable. It’s fun to put ideas down onto paper and come up with stylish concepts, but they don’t always play out practically when it comes to constructing them. I put a huge amount of faith in our Master Jeweller, Frankie. He is the expert when it comes to crafting and often gives me suggestions on how to make the design either more beautiful or technically feasible. It can happen for instance, that the design we conceptualise just isn’t safe enough to support the diamonds. This is when Frankie’s guidance and expertise on how we can make a design both beautiful and safe comes into play. This is the biggest advantage of hand making, which is the key Ryder difference. For designs created on the computer and then made by machine, the thought process just isn’t there. Hand making allows for tweaks and adjustments along to way until the piece comes to life. I love the way that a design adapts during the crafting stage. It makes it unique and special.
Emma: Finally, who was the type of woman who inspired you to create this piece?
Sally: This Fleur de Lys bangle was made for a woman who loves jewellery and feels elegant when wearing her diamonds. It’s a statement piece designed to catch eyes yet is casual enough to wear in everyday situations. I envision her as a busy woman that needs her jewellery to be “part of her”, so she doesn’t need to think about it while she’s wearing it given that it integrates, naturally, into her own look. Its design is specifically made so that it won’t get twisted, get caught into something or need to be constantly adjusted. It’s not so delicate that she would need to be cautious when going about her regular activities… it’s just easy. She’ll get so used to it being part of her look that she’ll feel naked without it.
Are you interested in visiting us to try some of our handmade collection pieces? Contact us for an appointment and discover how Frankie, Sally and the Ryder experts work as a team to deliver unique pieces of diamond jewellery.
In the meantime, you can find out more about some of our other pieces’ thought process in our Designer Stories blog section.