Monday, October 19, 2009

Everything Old Is New Again: Customer Testimonial

Star here: What do you do when you inherit a piece of antique jewelry that’s not your style? Read how we helped one of our customers, Debbie Shegog, create a new piece that reflected her modern style while still honoring the past:

I majored in Art Education at East Carolina University, and jewelry-making was my preferred medium. Consequently, I have a strong appreciation for quality design, and I recognize a good jewelry artist when I see one. Star’s gallery, Spectrum Art and Jewelry, is one of the best I have ever encountered. Star is not only a talented jewelry designer, but also a wonderful business woman. Her staff members (all artists themselves) are knowledgeable, responsive, and professional, making each visit to the gallery a delight.

My primary residence is a farmhouse about two-and-a-half hours away, but my family also has a home at the beach. Whenever we’re staying at the beach house, I make it a point to visit Spectrum Art and Jewelry at least once a week. Between the ever-changing collections, the special events the gallery hosts, and unique programs like the Jewelry Box Review (which I’m dying to do!), there are plenty of reasons to drop in.

Over the years, I have purchased gifts, jewelry, and artwork for our homes, but I consider my collaboration with Star on a custom-designed ring as my favorite:

My great Aunt on my father’s side was a very interesting woman. Born at the turn of the century, she worked as a journalist, living first in Virginia and later in Kingsport, Tennessee. She married, but never had children. My aunt did, however, take a shine to me and my younger sister. In later years,=20 after losing her husband, my aunt became reclusive and increasingly eccentric. As a result, we lost touch. But when she passed away, she remembered us, leaving beautiful rings to both me and my sister.

My ring was a large, clear diamond set in a very traditional platinum setting. Although I recognized the quality of the diamond, the setting did not reflect my personal style and more modern sensibilities. I took the ring to Star and we collaborated together on creating a new design to showcase the diamond.

Star had great ideas; she suggested keeping one side of the ring in the traditional platinum style and melding it with a modern yellow gold look on the other side. The ring is now a fusion between the past and the present, representing my family history but also reflecting the modern life I’ve created for my own family. I wear the ring all of the time, and get many compliments from people who admire its unique custom design. I love that my ring tells the story of my great Aunt who led an untraditional life for a woman 20 in her day. It also tells my story of a woman who loves art and jewelry design, but who loves family even more. I hope this special ring will be a family heirloom for generations of women to come. —Debbie Sheegog

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