There are days when I hate my job. I'm talking about the days when the computer is wacky and the phone is ringing constantly and we run out of propane 10 min. before the gas company closes. Fortunately, those days are offset with truly golden days when I know that my studio has created something really special. What follows is a true love story.
Chris and Elizabeth had been partners for 16 years.
During all that time Elizabeth told her family over and over that she was never going to get married.
Then the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act and she and Chris started thinking about how easily the unthinkable can happen. In 2001, their beautiful daughter Tessa, perished in a freak accident so they knew not to take anything for granted. They started planning a secret wedding and asked me to make necklaces that would symbolize this important rite of passage.
I swore to secrecy, but I had to let the people in my shop know. A total of 9 different women worked on these necklaces; I came up with the design, Chris had a picture she had taken of Elizabeth and Tessa and Elizabeth had a picture she had taken of Chris and Tessa. My assistant Sarah Owens made the silver boxes and designed the clasps, Angel O'Leary scanned the originals and adjusted the scans in Photoshop, Tracie at Panda shepherded the new prints, Carol Frances engraved the words on the reverse, Midori Saito polished the completed silver constructions, and my daughter Avery Reed ran around the city of New York to find just the right color of cord.
The reverse is just as beautiful as the front of these open lockets,
and in a special cavity, locks of hair from Chris, Elizabeth, and Tessa are intertwined forever.
The necklaces have interchangeable cords for formal or casual attire.
Chris and Elizabeth were married on November 2, 2013 and they somehow, magically, assembled their families at the courthouse without anyone realizing they were going to a wedding until it began.
I am so honored to have been chosen to make their family heirlooms.
This is as good as it gets for me.
Happy Valentine's Day!