Summer 2013 Custom Jobs

 In All Posts

Summer ends and I salute the long life of my father who blessed so many with his loving presence. At nearly 101 years he was the stable rock of my life. To each of you who had written me, thank you. Your notes lifted my heavy heart.

As grace would have it, Elaina Designs enjoyed an unprecedented summer of dynamic custom orders which were completed during the weeks of my Papa's rapid decline and passing.  Aalia kept the Atlanta studio humming while my sister, Maria, and I cared for our Papa. 

The following images reflect a complex process of design and collaboration between myself and the women who entrusted me with fulfilling their jewelry dreams. I enjoy custom work as it offers lively discussions and often the opportunity to search the world for exact color and shape of the desired gemstone(s). Usually a design goes through numerous drafts before it is approved by the client and myself and then it goes into the skillful hands of the Elaina Designs craftspeople who bring it to life. I am especially grateful for these creative endeavors that bring inspiration and delight during this difficult period in my life.

"Luna's Ears" Necklace

Citrine, Labradorite, Psilolomene, Smokey Quartz, Fossil Ammonite, Pietersite, Gold Drusy in Onyx, Sterling.

This is a powerful necklace, co-designed with the Deputy General Counsel for an international company who also happens to understand the importance of dogs in our lives. Holly named this piece for Luna, my Llahsa Apso whose fur is blonde, orange and grey especially around her ears. Holly, Luna and I met on Sunday afternoons for over a year, fine-tuning the many shapes and shades of citrine, labradorite and swirling Psilolomene that comprise this necklace. Holly was delighted to engage her creative side, in bright contrast to her work as a lawyer. I simply adore what the three of us manifested together, and that it turned out to be comfortable and easy to wear with a suit or evening attire.

Riccarda's Amethyst Ring

11.03 Amethyst, 18KT Royal Yellow Gold

My own Mother, Irene Phrydas Papageorge, MD  encouraged me to make jewelry as a profession over 40 years ago when she recognized my creative talent and aptitude for it.  Not too long before she died in 1989, she commissioned  me to create an unusual setting for a perfect, rare Siberian Amethyst we had purchased together years earlier. Soon after Mama died,  I offered a former patient of hers, who revered and missed her greatly, the opportunity to wear this ring on temporary loan.  This woman treasured wearing it for 23 years, and last year I requested its return to me. The first time I actually wore it to work, Riccarda happened to be meeting with me on a separate order and admired the ring. I encouraged her to put it on. In stature and appearance, Riccarda is very much like my mother. There was an immediate attraction, and Riccarda asked me to duplicate the ring for her. That was a year ago.

The original 9 carat Amethyst was a deep purple with vibrant red fire, mined in Siberia, but this mine had not produced for 70 years. As I made inquiries to gemstone vendors all over the world I soon realized that it might be impossible to find another stone such as the one in my mother's ring.  Riccarda was patient, and after 9 months a cutter in Germany sent me this true gem from Brazil, though a lighter purple color, it is a larger gem weighing 11.03 CT, a rarity in its own right with marked red flashes in bright purple. My brilliant master goldsmith in Ithaca, NY, Fareed Abdulky, copied my original spiral design in 18K Royal Yellow Gold, and completed the ring in July 2013. That it should arrive just as my Papa became sick for the last time, singing Mama's graces…well….. I wept at the pure mystery of it all.

Gunilla's Coral Earrings

Coral, 14KT Yellow Gold

As an oil painter and avid gardener, Gunilla understands the subtleties of color as well as I do.  When she said she had been searching for a specific shade of large, salmon colored natural Coral for earrings, I knew I was in for a challenge. This shade of Coral only grows in the Mediterranean where pollution has destroyed many of these coral beds making them even rarer. The Coral found for these earrings was harvested about 40 years ago, but polished into large cabochons recently. The bezels and handmade hinged lever backs in 14K offer a secure closure for the former Ford Model who still looks like she stepped off a photo shoot in St.Tropez.


Kathryn's Orbit Necklace

Pearl, Diamond, Emerald, Ruby, Pink Spinel, Chrysoprase, Opal, Aquamarine, Zircon Sterling, 14KT P&Y Gold 

Last year when I had a show at Kathryn and Mark's home in Seattle, she handed me a pile of her old jewelry, most of which had either belonged to her mother or had been given to her decades ago, none of it in a style she would ever wear again. There were piles of Rubies and Diamonds and colored stones, set in platinum or gold. She was uncertain what she wanted and gave me free reign to "Have fun!" 

Once the large amount of gems  were removed and the metal refined and sold, Kathryn realized a good profit to put towards her cost. For me, it was daunting with so many gems to utilize.  Consequently many hours of design ensued. After Kathryn approved my favorite composition and estimate, Aalia helped me to finalize the intricate drawings. Each obit was finally completed and assembled the week Papa died when I was at a low, unable to focus on what I normally love to do.  
Timing is a mysterious thing. This necklace made me so happy on the day it was completed because it arrived full of Kathryn's beloved parent when I had just lost mine, imbued with Seattle and Alaska, all so much a part of me too.  Jewelry always tells a story when one listens.

Thank you, Holly, Riccarda, Gunilla and Kathryn for the opportunity to work with each of you to create these jewelry pieces of beauty and meaning.  
Lainey Papageorge, September, 2013.

Recent Posts
Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt