This commission has to be one of the most unique, and most romantic commissions I’ve been asked to work on. Last summer I was approached by outdoor enthusiast Jeff, who was looking for a Jeweller to create a very special engagement ring for his girlfriend Brigid. However, this was not your usual engagement ring.
Jeff had spent quite some time planning the perfect proposal, and the ring had an important role to play. Jeff and Brigid had an amazing holiday planned to Sweden, where they were set to build their own raft to then sail down the winding Klaralven River (Clear Water River) in Varmland. During their time on the river Jeff planned to propose to Brigid under the stars, and tasked me to design and make a glow-in-the-dark engagement ring! Not only must it glow, but it also had to be hard wearing and contemporary for sailing-mad Brigid.
The initial design process consisted of myself and Jeff discussing ideas, and for me to learn a bit more about Brigid, about her interests and preferred style. After a great chat I had gained a really good picture of Brigid and her aesthetic, and that the design needed to suit her sailing and outdoor lifestyle. Jeff had also done a huge amount of research into glow-in-the-dark materials and had a wealth of contacts and suppliers for me to investigate. From this initial chat we came to a design style relatively quickly, and it was left to me to research and test out the practicality of applying the glow-in-dark material to the ring design.
Once the final design had been chosen I produced several costings, offering Jeff a choice of suitable precious metals that could be used, and a price range to work within his budget. As this project had certain practical elements to considering in terms of durability, I was able to offer advice on the most suitable metal.
Due to the simple style, and straightforward making of the metal part of the design, I went straight into making the ring in palladium, rather than mocking it up in silver or wax before. This however, came after several tests pieces, trialling the best methods to incorporate the luminous powder, which would enable to ring to glow in the dark. As this was a surprise proposal Jeff had managed to measure one of Brigid’s rings to help give me an idea on the finger size.
Throughout the process I sent Jeff snap shots of the ring in progress so he knew how things were coming along.
This commission was a bit of a head scratcher at first, but the joy of working to commission is the challenge, and the opportunity to be able to work on varied designs, working closely with the client. It was real honour and pleasure to produce such a unique design for Jeff & Brigid, and of course she said yes! The proposal went perfectly to plan, and the ring shone bright under the night sky and is last well with Brigid’s active lifestyle.
“I couldn’t be happier with the ring, everyone love it. A glow-in-the-dark ring sounds silly even as I write it now (2 months after the proposal) but Louise took my silly idea and we chatted at each step of the process and when I finally saw the finished piece I was ridiculously excited.Jeff
Our summer holiday was timber rafting in Sweden and after building a raft together and floating down the winding Klaralven (Clear Water) in Varmland for a couple of days, we set up camp for the evening. As we sat on our raft with our cups of tea watching the sun set I asked Brigid to marry me, and she said yes!”