Since I’m getting married in June (yay!), my beau and I are looking for wedding bands. Aaron wants something gold and plain. Functional, y’know? On the other hand, I looked through a bunch of our 500 series books and put stickies on oodles of things and everything I’ve flagged is basically unfit for daily wear. Our first meeting with the jeweler established that! I’ve asked Joanna Gollberg to make the rings. (How nice that her studio is just around the corner from my office—we believe in buying locally.)
Since we’d like the rings to feel like a matched set, I’m going to have to rein it in a bit. Quite a lot, actually!
I met with Joanna for a second time this week, and after I told her I’d like a band that’s pretty and feminine, she suggested filigree. I was delighted by the idea. She sent me off with three giant books of ethnic jewelry to study, and after poring through those, I’m now leaning toward having her create a band with granulation on it instead of filigree designs.
Don’t know what granulation is? Ohmygawd, it’s sooo pretty and delicate and ornate! It consists of tiny balls of metal fused to a surface, either all over or in designs. It’s a really old technique and although I think it’s technically supposed to be done in a high-karat gold, it can also be accomplished in other metals. Do an image search for it, it’s worth a look. Some modern masters of granulation include Daniel Brush, Ronda Coryell, Douglas Harling, and Kent Raible.
So here’s the ring that inspired me to want granulation, scanned from the book The Splendor of Ethnic Jewelry: From the Colette and Jean-Pierre Ghysels Collection, Harry N. Abrams Inc., Publishers.
I wonder whether the granules are of a size that feels uncomfortable on a ring band? Well, I’ll ask Joanna when I next see her. By the way, this ring is from Thailand, between the 14th and 18th centuries.
Just a little plug for Joanna, who’s written a number of books for Lark—including Making Metal Jewelry: Projects, Techniques, Inspiration AND The Art & Craft of Making Jewelry: A Complete Guide to Essential Techniques.
Lark will soon release her comprehensive oeuvre, The Ultimate Jeweler’s Guide: The Illustrated Reference of Techniques, Tools & Materials. Because she evidently can’t get enough of us here at the Lark Jewelry team—and we can’t get enough of her!—she and I are teaming up for a book on the topic of non-traditional chains, to come out in stores in Fall 2011.
If you couldn’t tell, I think Joanna’s work is kick-ass; check out more of it on her website, www.joannagollberg.com.