We asked our jeweller, Ben, to let his imagination run wild and design and handcraft a ring using a stunning 10.11ct rich blue Ceylon sapphire. He certainly delivered. To see the Clematis ring and how every intricate detail was painstakingly crafted, watch this captivating video.
“The inspiration for this design came to me a few years ago on a trip to Auckland. I was walking through the city, and I saw a tall, old building covered in vines, as if it was being reclaimed by the earth. I wanted to use that idea in jewellery, by creating a piece that was clean, solid and simple in construction and appeared to have been similarly reclaimed by nature after having been long forgotten."
Ben’s design is stunningly detailed, representing the unique beauty of nature reclaiming the earth. The ring features climbing green gold vines and tiny rose and yellow gold flowers with a diamond set in their centre. Every individual vine was handcrafted by creating gold wire and shaping that to perfectly fit where it needed to be, which while thoughtfully considered, was adapted as the design came to life. “The detailing in the vines changed from my original concept. I knew this would be the case in the ring, whenever I am crafting an organic ring like this, and especially when I don’t have design restrictions, I always allow the design to evolve as I build it.”
Every etching, leaf and flower petal is uniquely handcrafted and as such no two are the same, this was of course very time consuming but just so happened to be Ben’s highlight of the entire process. “My favourite part had to be creating the flowers and the leaves. I made the flowers by drawing yellow and rose gold wire, melting the end of the wire into a little ball, and then carving it into a flower. Lucky for me we have a microscope!”
Ben’s decision to use green gold for the vines was not part of the initial design concept but was something he thought about as he began bringing Clematis to life. “When I started building this ring, I knew I wanted the band to be platinum, and I wanted to used yellow and rose gold in the flowers, I wasn’t sure about the vines though. I wanted them to be a light colour so that there was a pop from the sapphire and the flowers, but I also wanted it to be a different colour from the band, so it looked like the plants had grown over the ring after it was built. I eventually decided to be a little different and use green gold, it seemed appropriate, and I was happy with the result.”
The platinum lines of the ring’s shank flow upwards alongside the vines and hold the breath-taking 10 carat Ceylon sapphire. The forging by hand of the platinum gives the ring a beautiful fluid and organic effect, but such creation did not come without its challenges: "As I wanted it to be sleek and simple, it needed to be created from one piece of platinum. This would avoid any joins and give the flowing look I wanted. This required very traditional forging techniques, from rolling the platinum thick in the centre and thin on the ends, cutting and opening the back of the band, hammering it round, splitting the shoulders of the ring and bending them into a perfectly tailored cradle for the sapphire.”
The amount of intricacy and painstaking detail that has been incorporated into the Clematis ring design is lovely to behold Ben was given free rein to spend as long as necessary to make this beautiful piece and to challenge his skills and imagination. He met that challenge, and the result speaks for itself. A one-of-a-kind ring featuring passion and dedication, and a stunning 10.11ct sapphire. A work of art in jewellery.
The Clematis Ring, designed and completely handcrafted by our master jeweller Ben and carefully set by our in-house master setter Adrian, is a testament to our philosophy as craftspeople. We put so much passion and care into what we do and every day we relish our creative opportunities. This ring is the perfect example of the talent and skills our master craftspeople possess.