Monday, October 31, 2011
My store has always been known for carrying designer and "one-off pieces" of jewelry that aren't easily sourced elsewhere in Oklahoma and, sometimes, in most of the U.S. During the past year, it became apparant that in addition to carrying some of the most spectacular engagement rings and wedding bands in the area, we needed to answer the needs of a growing group of people who want something truly unique and different.
I've been watching the work of Boulder, Colorado jewelry designer, Todd Reed, for the past four years. Todd has been making jewelry for 20 years and is entirely self-taught. It wasn't until he saw a pile of rough diamonds about 10 years ago, though, that his inspiration really took off. Todd is fascinated with the myriad of colors and shapes you find in rough diamonds. He takes diamond material that used to be ground down and applied to drill bits and industrial saws and, with painterly precision, makes some of the most cool diamond jewelry available today.
Todd doesn't just make engagement rings and wedding bands. In fact, his fine fashion jewelry that is crafted from oxidized sterling silver and 18kt yellow gold and, sometimes, palladium, outsells the wedding ring merchanidise. And whose to say you can't stack two of those crazy-gorgeous engagement center stone rings together for a "stacking" right hand ring? Well, of course you can!
It's not just women who want something unique these days: never a week goes by that the guys aren't asking for something almost bespoke. I'm crazy for the way Todd channel sets rough, square diamonds in his men's bands. Sometimes they're set on the edge of a band a la Brad Pitt for Damiani a few years ago, though Todd's take on it is, in my opinion, more interesting. Sometimes they are set in a subtle curve around the diameter of a band, the diamonds varying in color just enough to make you look a second time.
Todd employs eight jewelers in his Boulder workshop, and they hand fabricate 98% of everything they make. What does that mean? It means that every piece is, in effect, one of a kind as no pre-cast molds are used to duplicate styles. Does it take extra time to make jewelry that way? Yes, it does. But in a world where everybody is trying to do things faster and cheaper, I applaud the person who understands that the method of making a piece is critical to achieving the desired, artistic outcome.
I hope all of you who can will come in and check out this entirely new catagory of merchandise in our showroom!
Posted by Naifeh Fine Jewelry at 1:16 PM