DESIGNER PROFILE: Susan Meier’s Palladium Fern Cuff, Hand Crafted by Jeweler Joe Worley

January 30th, 2013
Categorized under: Artists, Jewelry

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.

Up close: 49.75 DWT 950 Palladium, 35 round-cut diamonds (1.16 CTW), 7 pear-cut diamonds (.53 CTW) 

Designer, Susan Meier

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.

Jeweler, Joe Worley

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.

Original sketch for the Palladium Fern Cuff

From the page to the wrist – each step of the way the designer liaises with the jeweler to ensure an accurate piece and proper fit.

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!