Evie's Birthday jewellery
Four years ago I set myself the ambitious plan to make my daughter a special jewellery piece for each and every birthday. Three key things you need to know straight off the bat:
- After year 1 the jewellery has ALWAYS been late for her actual birthday, I think one was almost a full year late
- Each piece is intended to represent or trigger a memory or theme from that year of Evie's life
- I love and hate doing it in equal measure but I've managed to stick to it so far and think it will be such a lovely thing for Evie to treasure later in life
Evie turned 4 this year and is still waiting on the piece for her 4th Birthday (I'll share some work in progress pictures at the end of this blog) but I thought it would be fun to share with you the first 3 pieces I made for her First, Second and Third birthdays.
First Birthday Jewellery
The first one, the one that started it all.
That first year was a tough one, there were loads of amazing special times, but it was a HARD year! For her first piece I wanted to make sure I made something that would last a lifetime and that she may choose to wear later in life.
For her first jewellery piece I made her an extendable bangle that had her name along with a secret message stamped on the reverse
"Of all the things I have ever made, you by far are the best"
I'm hoping it is a piece that she chooses to wear later in life so it is designed with an extendable chain to grow with her. It's a simple silver band with wire added that has been shaped into her name. The secret message on the reverse has been stamped into the metal to ensure it lasts a lifetime.
A Pin for Birthday number 2
When Evie was 18 months old, Covid arrived and we had a slightly less conventional year, but what it did mean is that Evie and I spent hours growing plants in the green house. Evie was obsessed with the sunflowers, she'd move them in and out of the greenhouse and water them thoroughly, I have such lovely memories of the time.
This is the memory that I wanted to immortalise in the piece for her 2nd Birthday.
The other side effect of the Covid pandemic for me was that I had some precious time to learn some more jewellery making skills and I learnt and practiced my wax carving skills - guided by the excellent tuition from Vanilla Ink jewellery school. I put these new found skills to work on a piece that is completely different to my normal style and made Evie a Sterling Silver Sunflower Pin.
I carved the shape in wax and then cast it in sterling silver before putting the finishing touches to it and creating a pin. The detail of the piece has been accentuated using oxidisation which is then polished back to create contrasts around the contours of the design.
A special locket for her 3rd Birthday
Before Evie turned 3 she became obsessed with treasure hunts and bear hunts, we would spend hours drawing little clues and Evie would traipse all around the house or at the local woods looking for the next one and then at the end we would hide one of her toys for her to find.
On this theme I decided to create her a locket for her 3rd Birthday. A silver and 9ct gold locket that stores a secret message inside for her to find.
This design also took inspiration from my range of 'Sunburst' jewellery that launched that year and tested my technical ability to create a locket and hinge that securely opened and closed.
The locket is formed of 2 domed circles that feature the sunburst motif, with a ring of 9ct yellow gold around the centre. A hinge at the top with a ring to hang the locket on a delicate silver chain. I'm incredibly proud of this piece, it challenged me technically and I'm really pleased with the end result.
The 4th Birthday piece - a work in progress
So Evie has been 4 for some time now but this piece is not quite ready yet, but it is in the pipeline and there is only one thing it could be - it is going to celebrate Evie's unstoppable love of Unicorns!
I'm making her a pendant necklace that will have sweeping curves reminiscent of a unicorns hair and it will have a bright colourful stone set into the design too.
You'll have to follow me over on Instagram for updates on this one, and fingers crossed I'll have it done for her before she turns 5 and I need to make her something else!!
I realise that I'm in a unique position to be able to create something for each of Evie's Birthdays, but if you are interested in marking a special birthday or occasion please do get in touch with me about a jewellery commission for someone special to you! Alternatively I have plenty of pieces in my range that can be personalised to create a unique gift to celebrate your loved ones milestone birthdays.
Or if you just want to follow along and see what I make each year then follow me on Instagram, I'm going to put up a few reaction videos over the next few days/weeks so you can see how Evie reacted when we had a little look at the growing jewellery collection this week.
Thanks for reading