Most people think of a designer as someone who creates something new and different from scratch, but I see things a little different. I enjoy taking a piece of antique jewelry which on its own is beautiful, and turning it into something trendy and more wearable for today. I combine the antique and vintage pieces and change them into something new by weaving them by hand with pearls and other gemstones. Hand weaving was a process that was done in the Georgian and Victorian Periods and is very uncommon today. It is very tedious and takes a lot of patience, especially when the pearls are only a couple of millimeters wide, but the end result is beautiful and unlike anything else. Below are examples of the custom pieces that I have created.
Whether you have a family heirloom that you would like transformed, or gemstones you would like re-purposed, I would love to work with you to design an exquisite piece of jewelry unique to your preferences.
RachelsDesign specializes in custom made jewelry. If you are interested in learning more, feel free to contact for more information.
Simple yet elegant come to mind when setting your eyes on this tassel necklace. Hanging fairly long, this sautoir is perfect for layering and wearing with your favorite dress or sweater. This creation started when a client provided me with her enamel tassel pendant, which was in need of restoration. Additionally, she expressed a wish to transform the pendant into a necklace. To do so, I incorporated a gorgeous diamond centerpiece to join the tassel pendant with the hand knotted graduated pearls. The client was thrilled to be able to wear the pendant as a much more versatile piece to complement her wardrobe.
For this custom necklace, I wove the seed pearls into a gorgeous snake like rope chain. At 40 inches in length, it works perfectly to wear as is, or to double up and wear at a shorter length. It can also be used as a base chain for a pendant to dangle off of. This piece is great for it's versatility and elegance and can be custom made in any length!
This necklace is a great example of how I can take an existing item in your jewelry box and revamp it into an entirely new piece that is more fashionable. The creation came to life when a client approached me with a strand of blue lapis and gold beads. She had not worn the beads in years, and desperately wanted them converted into something more chic. To do so, I interweaved black onyx beads with the blue lapis to give a dash of panache to this one-of-a-kind necklace. Here are before and after pictures.
Antique and vintage jewelry are my inspirations for almost every piece I create. When I was provided with this lovely purple amethyst and seed pearl pin to make over, I knew that I would be able to create a special necklace with it. I sketched various designs for the client, and she ultimately decided on one which featured intricate woven seed pearls in a lace like pattern which complemented the Victorian period of the amethyst centerpiece. Finishing off the necklace is a gold and diamond filigree clasp.
I enjoy creating my custom pieces when I can sit down with my customer and work out a design based on her likes and wants for the final piece. I am inspired by listening to what she envisions and also by looking at the special piece she would like included in the bracelet or necklace.
One day, I was shown a beautiful diamond and pearl clasp which instantly inspired me to create a bracelet that the client could enjoy and wear every day. The customer loved the clasp, but it was not highlighted on the existing pearl necklace that it connected. I combined the customer’s ideas with mine and went straight to the drawing board.
I re-purposed a diamond stick pin into a centerpiece, and wove it together with a unique seed pearl pattern which perfectly complemented the clasp. The result was a stunning bracelet which featured the client’s family’s heirloom clasp.
After 6 years of enjoying designing and making hand woven jewelry, and watching them being enjoyed and loved, I decided I wanted to make a special necklace to keep in my family and pass down to my daughters. Thus, I was both the client and the creator in this case! I started my design with an exquisite antique blue topaz filigree pin and paired it with an extra link from my filigree bracelet. I used the smallest seed pearls I have ever used, and began weaving a long necklace, or sautior. The final result is a gorgeous necklace that I enjoy wearing everyday and am so excited to one day see my girls enjoying it as much as I do.
I love it when clients come to me and hand me a long strand of gemstones and say "I don't wear these anymore, but they are important to me. Make me something beautiful using them!"
This hand woven garnet necklace is a perfect example of that sentiment. Although there was a simplicity in the weave there was no shortage of details in the centerpiece. It was given a new life by re-purposing it from a vintage watch and highlighting it with the rich color of the garnets. This necklace will surely be enjoyed for years to come.
It was March 31st, 2007, a warm foggy day and the most important day of my life. On this day, I would stand before my family and my friends and say “I do” to the love of my life. It would be the day that I would marry my best friend, my one and only.
Everything on that day was perfect, even though it was pouring rain and many of the guests were late. I was extremely happy, and that was all that mattered. Being a jewelry designer, every small detail was thought through, from the flowers to the diamond drops dangling from my ears. As I looked in the mirror at the last moment before the grand entrance, I knew that I would never stop designing jewelry, especially for brides.
Since then, I have loved working with brides to create an exclusive necklace or bracelet which they can not only wear on their big day, but also for other special occasions. It may even be passed down to the next generation and worn for many weddings to come.
I was able to share my passion for designing with one of my best friends. She was a beautiful bride in August 2013, and even in the sweltering St. Louis heat, she managed to look amazing! I couldn’t have been more honored that I was able to make this necklace for her special day. She wore it beautifully! It features hand woven pearls with amethyst beads and a vintage silver filigree and amethyst centerpiece. Dangling from the center is an amethyst briolette. The amethysts in the necklace perfectly complemented the purple bridesmaid dresses.
If you are a bride looking for the perfect bracelet or necklace to illuminate your look, contact me to create your custom design. Please ask me how you can incorporate your vintage or antique family heirloom.
This locket necklace features a stunning Art Deco black enamel and marcasite locket, suspended from a delicately hand woven black onyx necklace. I wove this necklace to be long enough to fit over the head without having to mess with a lock and also making it perfect to wear on a sweater or dress. Nothing is more special then suspending your keepsake from an equally unique chain. Woven chains can be customized in different lengths and gemstone type.
As a jewelry designer, I have seen many pieces of jewelry over the years, but there a few pieces that I believe are "must-haves" in every woman's jewelry collection. First is a beautiful pearl necklace. Pearls are timeless and pair well with everything. Second is a pair of diamond earrings. Whether yours are dangles or studs, it does not matter, as diamonds are perfect for everyday or special event wear. Third and most importantly, is a piece of jewelry that is meaningful to you.
I personally regard jewelry as a place to hold our memories and display them at the same time. For example, the ring a husband proposed with not only acts as a literal display of being married, but it also holds the memories of the stories behind it. Perhaps it also belonged to a great grandmother, or maybe it floods your heart with memories of how and where the proposal took place.
For this client, a beautiful Art Nouveau locket which held pictures of her grandchild and great-grandchild was the magical piece of jewelry that held memories which she wanted to display and look at every day. Garnet seed beads were hand woven into a long chain and the locket dangled beautifully. Nothing was more meaningful to me as when I presented her with the necklace and witnessed tears of joy flooding her eyes. I am so thankful that my passion for jewelry design gives others happy memories to cherish forever!
This unique crown belt buckle was a favorite of a customer, but she wanted it to be more of centerpiece displayed from her neck instead of resting on her belt. She also had exquisite turquoise beads sitting aimlessly in her drawer and wanted to incorporate them into a necklace with the buckle. The turquoise paired beautifully with the gold crown. The wide woven design complemented the large buckle and the flower pattern gave a touch of feminine. She loved the necklace so much and shortly after, requested earrings to match!