After several happy years together, Seattle based graphic designer Ryan finally puts some of his creativity into a ring for the love of his life Jessica. See how he did it:
After several happy years together, Seattle based graphic designer Ryan finally puts some of his creativity into a ring for the love of his life Jessica. See how he did it:
We just received these totally fantastic engagement pictures from Anchorage, Alaska’s Colt N and Tara G! What a beautiful ring – Green Lake designer Susan Meier helped to create this stunning rose gold and platinum style halo that’s hand engraved with an elaborate scroll pattern and boasts an especially unique pink champagne pear cut center diamond. And check out the box, crafted by Seattle based wood worker DPcustoms. Thanks for the photos, guys
St. Patrick’s Day is this weekend and it’s that time of year where many of us seek out a little Irish flavor – be it a pint (or two) of Guinness stout, a savory lamb roast, or just some bright green socks to add a dash of holiday flash. Perhaps the most recognizable hallmark of Celtic tradition, however, may be the knotted motifs, ornately woven and incorporated into much of what we hold synonymous with Ireland. At Green Lake Jewelry Works, our diverse portfolio of Celtic-inspired rings is one area of distinction in what we do, and many are on display in our online Celtic gallery.
Clients seeking a connection to their Irish or Scottish roots often incorporate these traditional patterns into their rings as a signal to their family heritage. But these patterns aren’t reserved for just those with a ‘Mc’ or a ‘Mac’ in their names – because, as it turns out, these patterns hardly belong to just Ireland, Scotland, or Wales.
It’s true: The Irish got what we regard today as Celtic art from their Anglo-Saxon neighbors to the east in Britannia, who were strongly influenced by early Roman colonizer’s motifs imported from the Mediterranean, which were embellished by Germanic tradition along the way, and at last Vikings who added their own mark when they invaded these isles centuries later. So really, it’s an art form that belongs to a myriad of cultural heritage. Even the endless knot motif, which is often confused for a Celtic pattern, is actually a monastic symbol in Tibet, which owes its inspiration to India. Anyone can lay claim to Celtic ring!
Hand Fabricated Celtic Rings
“Only Green Lake does this quality of filigree, I haven’t seen any other place do it like we do.”
Here’s what we lay claim to: Green Lake crafts a better Celtic ring than anyone. Assuredly, this is about as bias a statement as it gets, but is completely – and subjectively – true. Or so says Designer and Jeweler, Amber Worley. “Only Green Lake does this quality of filigree, I haven’t seen any other place do it like we do…Haters be trying to cast it, but it doesn’t look as good.” Amber, a gold and platinumsmith who specializes in hand fabrication, is referring to the different methods an artist may use to create a Celtic patterned ring. A cast design, that is where a wax mold is machine or hand cut with pattern and then cast into metal, is one way to capture the ‘look’ of the intricately woven ribbons that are characteristic of traditional Celtic motifs. The other way is to take tiny wire pulled of noble metal and delicately, and literally, weave the intricate pattern. The latter is obviously more labor intensive, and demands masterful craftsmanship, but the result is a more old-world, interlaced piece.
Celtic Rings with Carved Patterns
Carving Celtic patterns into a wax model are no easy feat, either! The process of making a model from a solid block and getting the pattern just right is oftentimes a painstaking task. The result can be particularly ‘manly’ in appearance, by incorporating a raised pattern with burly rails and a sandblasted or antiqued background. Below are some favorites:
Have a Celtic pattern in mind? Let us know, we’d love to make one just for you. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
An engagement story came back our way recently from Designer Melissa Tuttle that’s all about college sweetheart love. With so much southern scenery and hometown pride, it’s difficult for us Seattleites too not think of Edward Bloom’s dramatic proposal in the surreal drama Big Fish.
Here’s what Brian wrote us:
After classes on Friday October 26th I drove from Starkville to Tuscaloosa to be with Shannon for the weekend, which was supposed to be a big one. I chose to propose this weekend because of all of the other events planned, since they all had significance to us and our history as a couple. Her parents were to come into town for the weekend, rather than coming for the official Parents’ Day weekend, since they’d done that for the past two years and realized that doing their own thing rather than the official thing would be a better way to spend time with Shannon.
Friday night her sorority had their annual semi-formal, and between dancing together and spending time with her sorority sisters it was to be a great evening. Saturday our schools (Mississippi State [me] and Alabama [her]) were playing each other in football. And it was Homecoming weekend too. Despite all that was going on, Sunday was pretty free, and other than planning on going to church in the morning there wasn’t anything else slated for that day.
I planned on asking her to marry me before breakfast that morning, so that the first thing we’d do as an engaged couple would be to go to church, hopefully setting the right tone for the rest of our lives together. Friday afternoon Shannon’s mom took her out to get her nails done, which I hadn’t asked her to do though it did work out quite nicely.
I used that free time to make preparations for Sunday morning, which included chocolate-dipping a variety of fruits, rice crispy treats, marshmallows, and even bacon. The first time I ever had chocolate dipped strawberries was for a Valentine’s Day with Shannon, so having them again (plus other things) was fairly significant to us. With the extra chocolate I dipped the top half of the extra ring box you sent (thank you again!) so that it could all be arranged on a plate and look somewhat cohesive, despite being a rather conspicuous size and shape. I finished up all of the preparations just in time for her and her mother to get back, and I asked her not to peek into the bottom of the fridge because that’s where breakfast items were. She knew I was going to make breakfast for her on Sunday, but didn’t know the full extent of it, she just thought I was being nice and treating her to a little breakfast in bed before church.
Friday night we went out to dinner with her mother (step dad wasn’t in town yet because of business, but he’d get in midday Saturday) to one of our favorite restaurants in town, and from there Shannon and I went to the sorority semi-formal. We stayed until we got tired, spending the night dancing together and talking with friends. It was hard not to let on to her sisters that I was planning on proposing that weekend, but I held it together well.
Saturday there was a Homecoming parade, which emptied onto the Quad for tailgating before the football game. We got lots of family time together with us and her mother, and the atmosphere of the University of Alabama on game day is one of the best in the world, which only made the day better. We both enjoy dressing up in true SEC style for games, and even with it being a little chilly we still looked quite the part. Between tailgating activities we walked around sorority and fraternity rows to look at all of the floats that the different Greek organizations had put together, one of the great Alabama Homecoming traditions. From there is was onto a little more time with friends and family before going into the game. Even though I’m a Mississippi State fan and student, I still really enjoy supporting Alabama, both for Shannon and for my brother who both attend, so I was pulling for them today, especially with the hopes of them winning the National Title (which would eventually happen!) this year.
Sunday morning I got up early to make lemon raspberry muffins. The first time Shannon and I tried to bake something together it was a lemon raspberry bundt cake. The cake didn’t turn out perfectly, but we had a great time together in the kitchen, further confirming the belief that we were meant for each other. Being as quiet as I could I baked the muffins and got the chocolate dipped items ready. I woke her up with raspberries and mimosas in bed, and then told her I had more things for her. I brought out the chocolate dipped strawberries and muffins. Then I started to talk though the weekend we had together, about spending time with family and friends, dancing, tailgating, football, our favorite restaurant, and the significance of the strawberries and muffins, symbolically all important parts of our relationship. Then I told her I had one more surprise for her, and I brought out the plate with all of the other chocolate dipped items.
Her eyes got really wide when she saw everything, and like a waiter bringing out a dessert tray she asked what everything was. I pointed out chocolate dipped marshmallows, rice crispy treats, bacon, mango, bananas, and cookie dough bites, carefully skipping the box. She noticed. She asked me again what it was, and playing dumb I started the list all over again.
She asked specifically what it was that I had skipped. I told her it was a box, but that it was empty. She checked it out anyway, just like I hoped she would. Then I told her that after the weekend we’d had, with so many significant moments from our past, that the box contained the future, or more specifically a question about the future. She was still in bed, but had moved closer to the edge during breakfast, so I was able to right then drop to one knee and tell her that for the past three and a half years I’ve been the luckiest man in the world, all because of her, and asked her if she would continue to make me that man for the rest of our lives together, if she would marry me. Crying and smiling she enthusiastically said yes!
She is still close to her father, and because he couldn’t be there I asked if he would be free Sunday morning so that she could call him
right away. He really appreciated it, and she was so excited to be able to call him and talk about everything. We still made it to church on time, where we were excitedly greeted by mom and step dad. The service was particularly poignant to us as a couple, which made the day even more special. I noticed she kept looking down at her hand throughout the service, which made me feel a little extra special knowing how much she loved the ring.
After church we went out to brunch as a family, and her parents then had to head to the airport to return home. She didn’t know it, but I arranged to miss classes on Monday so that I could stay one more day. She didn’t have classes at all on Monday, so we spent the day together just relaxing and getting ready for that evening. In her sorority, when a girl gets engaged there is a special ceremony, and the guy is invited to a part of it. Knowing how important her sisters are to her, I knew it would be very powerful for me to be able to be there Monday night, so I made sure I was. After the sister-only portion of the ceremony, I was invited into their meeting. I brought candy for the girls (guests are supposed to come bearing gifts, especially male guests), and we were invited to tell the story of our engagement. After that, we were each given the opportunity to share our Top Ten reasons why we love each other. We’d each been preparing them for a few months, and after some last minute touch ups during the day Monday we were each ready when the time came.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house after we’d finished. It was beautiful. Shannon asked one of her close friends to record our speeches so that we could send them to our family, which made for a wonderful way to share the good news with our loved ones. In addition to finding out that we were engaged, our families got to hear about the events of the weekend, and got to hear personal accounts of why our fiance was so special to us and why we’ve chosen them to be with for the rest of our lives.
Believe it or not, that’s a shortened version of everything! It was an amazing weekend, and I’m so thankful that all of the working pieces came together just right. At the center of it all was a beautiful engagement ring, the one I (and you, and a number of Green Lake staff) spent so many hours designing, the ring of her dreams. She loves the ring almost as much as she loves me, though to be fair it does sparkle much more than I do. When I first saw the ring I imagined all the events of the weekend falling perfectly into place, and that is exactly what happened. Thank you so very much for all of the time, emails, phone calls, and work you and everyone at GreenLake put in on my behalf. I feel like my words could never be enough to express how perfectly everything came together, starting first and foremost with the engagement ring of her dreams, for the woman of my dreams!
Green Lake Jewelry Works recently placed 20 pieces of some of the most elaborate and complicated designs we’ve ever produced for a national design contest for palladium – see them all in our Facebook Gallery. One piece particular, entitled the ‘Palladium Fern Cuff,’ represents this brief departure from our day-to-day focus on bridal wear. Fabricated largely by hand with masterful old world craftsmanship, this palladium cuff suspends delicately detailed ferns, which whirl with bezel-set diamonds throughout. On the hand, light palladium tassels complete Designer Susan Meier’s whimsical look. A lengthy project – which took over two weeks of labor at the bench alone – this cuff is the stunning result of one artist’s vision paired with another’s technical prowess.
About the Designer: Susan Meier
As a designer and metalsmith, Susan plays on organic lines and natural inspiration throughout her designs – often teaming up with clients to create something uniquely theirs. As a graduate of California College of the Arts – and in addition to textile studies in Kyoto as well as interning as a jeweler in her hometown of Vashon Island – she has been a designer for Green Lake since 2009.
About the Jeweler: Joe Worley
A recent Spectrum Award winner in the classical division, Joe Worley is a Gold and Platinumsmith trained in the European tradition of hand fabrication. Under a formal apprenticeship with a Master Jeweler, he repeated basic projects in copper and brass until the strict standards of his mentor were achieved. Hand fabricating fine jewelry under the guidance of a traditional Master Jeweler is a very unique privilege in today’s world – and an increasingly rare skill as more jewelers enlist computer aided design programs to lower production costs.
Palladium Fern Cuff
In the Seattle studio, Susan is known especially for her sketching ability. Conceiving of new pieces on the page requires not only a creative mind, but also an analytical one – that takes account for specific dimensions and actual gemstones sizes that are desired in the finished piece.
How it was made:
With over 6.5 feet of palladium wire (wow!) and over 100 hours of work at the bench (packed into only 8 days!), the piece was finally completed. A very (and justifiably) tired Joe Worley explains his process in the video below: With ferns and rails cast and assembled with hand fabricated bars throughout, there’s a particularly custom clasp hidden within.
To see all the pieces in palladium from other Green Lake designers, check out this special gallery – and check back weekly for articles like these, where we divulge how these things of beauty were created!
About the Artist:
At Green Lake Jewelry Works, ‘Eric’ Sungwoo Hong is a skillful jeweler, setting the smallest of gemstones with steady hands and confident mastery. He recently represented Green Lake at the 2012 Chicago Smart Jewelry Show Bench Pressure Challenge – a national competition that gathers a select few of the most seasoned and capable jewelers in the country. Hong began as a jeweler in his home country of Korea before attending the Art Institute of Seattle, where he gained an expertise in graphic and industrial design that he’s been putting to use at Green Lake since 2005. When he’s not at the jeweler’s bench, his time is often filled with a mix of graphic design and photography projects.
Strangely beautiful, Hong’s ‘Venus Hairpin’ is 33 dwt of mirror-finished palladium (1.66 ounces), that snap out from styled locks, and is expertly detailed with 171 micro paved natural rubies.
This piece was entered into perhaps the largest design contest of its kind, put on by Palladium, where jewelry designers were challenged to create big, bold pieces out this noble metal that would really ‘pop.’ Sungwoo endeavored to create something as functional as it would be beautiful – and the result was this handmade hairpin, which is indeed a functional tool in keeping one’s hair up.
How it was Made:
To see all the pieces in palladium from other Green Lake designers, check out this special gallery - and check back weekly for articles like these, where we divulge how these things of beauty were created!
Wedding expos serve as reminder of just how cool it is to be a part of the weeding industry. After all, there’s just a scant few sectors of our economy out there as underpinned with serving the interest of love as we are. We all follow these distinctive paths of creativity – be it arranging flowers, taking pictures, or in our case, making rings – but we all up at the same place: Helping to add significance to a moment where two people make a commitment to each other, to last a life time. It’s a big deal. And it’s a rewarding day’s work just to be a part of it.
Weddings bring the whole family together. There are of course brides, then moms, sisters, friends – and even sometimes, the groom. But of all who visit us at a wedding show, we’re keenly aware it’s mother who knows best. That’s why this year designers and jewelers from Green Lake gave moms a little of the attention their brides-to-be were getting showered with. We cleaned and repaired rings, for free.
First off, if you’ve been married for a while, then you know your ring is a bit duller than the glimmering, sparkling token it once was. And it’s no surprise – it’s been right there with you all these years, and endured every step of the way. So for moms we offered up our most technologically advanced system of jewelry restoration: Simple Green® and pressurized steam (like from an espresso machine). Presto! It’s like new. *If you’re reading this, please keep it a secret – it’s all we have!
But it doesn’t matter if you’ve had your ring of for decades, or just a few days; everyone likes to feel it’s something that will last a lifetime. Having an expert take some time to check on your gemstones ensures they wont be lost in a dark parking lot, or on a tropical vacation, or worse, down the drain.
Alas, steam and stone checks alone may not ensure a lifetime of confident wear. Nothing lasts forever – despite even our greatest hopes that it will – and sometimes your ring needs to be fixed. Restoring jewelry to its original luster, as well as to its owner’s satisfaction, requires creativity, experience, and above all, honesty. Green Lake jewelers specializing in restoration are of course rich in the aforementioned, but moreover, uniquely qualified to take on even the most daunting of tasks.
In the end, sure we met some new brides – but we got know the rest of the family too. We look forward to seeing new faces at the Seattle studio – and coming back to do it again next year!
The Seattle Wedding Show happens every year at the Convention Center. Looking to make a custom engagement ring? Want to get an older one fixed? Email your project at email@example.com and we’ll get right on it!
It’s that time of year again, where the artists at work here at Green Lake get to step up the creativity. This Halloween brought forth an array of in-store costumes; from unicorns and bananas to sailors and hunters – and let’s not forget the not one, but two Green Lakers who dressed up as the charismatic restoration specialist, Gary.
Getting the season started early, it was actually Tomas and his set of scarily sharp sculpting chisels which made for an interesting day of pumpkin carving earlier this month. These pumpkins were proudly displayed in Green Lake’s windows for a good while – until at least they began to crumple and die under the tyranny room temperature conditions.
Today the Green Lake workshop closes early in lieu of the holiday (and in part because of alleged paranormal activity in the old abandon turret). But that didn’t stop us from all getting together this morning for some coffee and discussion on what we can do to continue as a premier custom jeweler, and have a little fun.
Lastly – but certainly not leastly – Halloween is for some a time of romance. Sure it’s no fine spring day, where love is everywhere in the air, but there are parties, and mystery, and with an autumnal crispness about, it can be a time of new beginnings. Such is true for one Green Lake couple, whos proposal story centers on the romance of the season. What better way to ask for a hand in marriage this time of year than to carve it into a pumpkin, and let it surprise the love of your life with a distant glow from the porch? Great idea!
So, we offer our sincere congratulations Ty Meyer and Brittany Wojcicki on there engagement – and thanks for these great pics!
Congratulations to the winner of Green Lake Jewelry Works’ pin-to-win contest. This is where Pinterest power users incorporated one-of-kind pieces from Green Lake’s extensive online galleries of custom jewelry to create a board for cool engagement rings. The winning board was selected based on adherence to contest rules as well as the overall originality, creativity, and overall sense of personal style communicated in both ring selection and descriptions of the piece.
So here it is, the WINNING board, receiving a $500.00 credit toward the creation of a custom ring: ‘adrenalinejunki’ – !
But wait, there’s more! We had a lot of fantastic entries to choose from – making the selection process that much more difficult. So we decided to add another category, ‘runners-up.’ So, the following Pinterest users will also be receiving a $250.00 credit each toward the creation of a custom ring as well:
Hey if this is you, let’s get your personal info securely – just email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, subject heading ‘Pinterest Winner’ and we’ll get you all set up
Thanks to all who participated – we look forward to doing it again!