Sometimes you never know from where a good idea will come or will inspire it.
Last summer at the blogging conference BlogHer ’13 I met Lara Coffee at the speed networking portion of the event. Hundreds of people stood in two concentric circles facing each other, and we had about two minutes to introduce ourselves, give each other our spiel and exchange business cards. This may have been the only time during the convention that Lara and I talked, though we did start following each other on Twitter.
Shortly after the event, Lara reached out to me and asked if I did custom jewelry. I had done a little up until that point, and we agreed we would be in touch. Toward the end of 2013 we started talking more seriously about the design. Lara, who also runs the site Run Stroller Run and is, as you can imagine, an avid runner, wanted a bracelet to commemorate her participation in an Ironman. (As an aside, I have to say how absolutely blown away I am by anyone who can train for and complete and Ironman. Go, Lara!)
I brainstormed some ideas, and after video chatting we decided that it would include imagery of the three athletic parts of an Ironman–swimming, biking, and running–as well as the 140.6 total miles that comprise the three events. While I was super excited about this opportunity, admittedly I was worried at first I was in a bit over my head. My drawing skills leave something to be desired, and I know nothing about engraving nor the tools to do it.
But I do have some darn good sawing skills (if I do say so myself) and access to a computer. Ultimately I decided to go with the stick figure-esque swimming, biking and running icons that I printed out and used as guides for sawing out the metal (doing it freehand wasn’t going to work for me.) On February 9 I made my way to the jewelry metalsmithing studio for the first time since having Eve and got to work, posting some pictures of the process on Instagram.
On Sunday I was able to get into the studio again and put on the finishing touches on the disks, which was actually much more involved that I had anticipated (but was thoroughly enjoyable for me!). The process involved soldering another disk to the back of each of the cutouts:
After that I added two little rings to each side, had the cutout parts blackened, sanded and polished them and then put them together until I had a completed bracelet:
I am so utterly thrilled with the final results, I am almost tempted to do a triathalon just to have an excuse to make this bracelet for myself! Lara, I hope you enjoy wearing this bracelet as much as I enjoyed making it.
If you are interested in a custom piece of jewelry for yourself, shoot me an e-mail to get the conversation started.