I’ve worked with tattoo designs before, but never to quite this degree. The designs on the rings are adapted from the original tattoos to maintain all the elements but change the overall shape to fit in better with the ring designs Emily and Simon chose. The graphical design process was very similar to calligraphy in a lot of ways, so felt similar to the signet rings I’ve done before. One of the nicest things was that our initial discussion was actually about reworking Emily’s engagement ring which was inherited but she didn’t feel suited her. Instead we managed to design a wedding ring that complemented the engagement ring to make it work better for her.
“Having known Richard for a long time and seen his designs online, he was the obvious choice to make our new rings. After contacting him and Becca, we arranged the initial consultation. Richard helped us to talk through possible designs that meant something to us and we decided to have rings based on each other’s tattoos. This was a great idea, pulled together by Richard during our chat, as Simon and I are quite different people, but wanted to have some element matching in the rings and both have tribal style tattoos. It’s nice as we spend a fair amount of time apart and it’s like having a part of each other with you all the time.
“The whole process from initially chatting and having Richard sketch out the designs to going to pick up our rings from Richard at his stall in Greenwich market was really easy and professional. He and Becca make a great team.
“We love our rings and have had many, many compliments on them.”
Emily & Simon
Vietnamese graduation ring
I learnt a lot of history doing this ring. The client here is the son of a soldier for the South Vietnamese army in the Vietnam War, allied with the USA. On graduation from the military academy, they got rings much like American’s often do. His father’s ring had been confiscated by the Viet Cong at the end of the war and I was tasked with remaking it. The difficult part of this was that the ring was lost and there weren’t any images of the exact ring, just a similar one. Through a long conversation with lots of drawings we eventually pinned down all the details. I sculpted it in wax and it was cast into yellow gold.
Daisy with ladybird
This one really played to my talents. I initially thought the clients were after something really simple, but during the consultation the daisy idea came out. We looked at daisy pictures online and one with a little ladybird popped up. It seemed to represent the man somehow and we rolled with the idea. It also gave the opportunity for a fantastically wiggly wedding ring to fit around it, which is always fun.
“Having looked at hundreds of styles of rings and not been able to decide my partner suggested we got something designed especially and found Richard’s website online. I went along to the appointment worried that I didn’t really know what I wanted but would feel pressured to make a decision that day, but this totally wasn’t the case. The most helpful part of the process was looking at the different types of each metal and comparing the subtle differences in colour against your own skin tone, as what suited me was different to what I thought I wanted. It came up that one of my favourite flowers are daisies and Richard came up with the design combining the metals I liked the most. The three of us then came up with the idea of adding a ruby/garnet to the band after looking at a photo of a ladybird on a daisy to symbolise my partner. Richard then made a brilliant suggestion of linking my engagement ring with my husband to be’s wedding ring by putting a ruby/garnet on the inside of his band.
One of the other main reasons for having the rings designed was that I really wanted my engagement and wedding rings to fit together, which they do perfectly and I think they really complement each other. I wanted my wedding ring to have some bling factor rather than just a plain band and Richard also suggested that the curve in the wedding ring be offset which I love.
We received the quote and sketches from Richard a few hours after our meeting. Richard then produced the wax models, which were hard to visualise at first from photographs but I asked for more close ups of the ladybird detail and waxes with the stones inserted, which helped, although I still had to use my imagination so I was blown away when I actually saw the final rings in person for the first time.
We are both absolutely thrilled with the final result, they are totally unique and very personal.
Luisa & Marcus
Pink sapphire orchids
This was one of my first engagement rings and I learnt a lot in the making. The client wanted to propose with something spectacular which always offers a fun challenge. His then girlfriend was an orchid grower in the Caribbean who liked pink and this set the mind racing. I spent a while looking at orchids and eventually decided to use two of them with the bottom of each flower holding the pink sapphire. To add to the bling factor there are 22 diamonds set across the flowers.
I like to think of myself as a sculptor, so am always looking out for opportunities to sculpt stuff. There’s a problem here in that the current fashion in engagement rings is for minimal metalwork, which goes against some of my instincts. Here I made a big breakthrough in that I got to do some interesting sculpting on a ring that is almost entirely about diamonds. The setting is made from two larks back to back with their wingtips holding the stone. This is based on the larks that ‘ascend’ from their recipient’s garden and her favourite piece to play on the violin; Lark Ascending. This seems like the perfect balance of sentiment and subtlety and felt like a big leap forward for me.
“The consultation with Richard was extremely helpful. He was very good at extracting ideas from me through creative and thought provoking questioning.
“I had a quite specific brief in some ways; a classic looking engagement ring with a hidden subtle message. We decided to incorporate a lark ascending as a nod to my fiancée’s violin playing past and our shared love for nature. The way Richard managed to do this was a stroke of genius.
“The diamond selection process and the quality of craftsmanship from start to finish was second to none and we could not be happier with the final result.”