A bespoke piece of jewellery is about so much more than the striking design created. It's about your own personal memories and how they are carried into the future.
Delve into the story behind this very special bracelet, inspired by architecture and featured on the quintessentially English TV program 'Songs of Praise'. You can watch the full program on BBC I-player, or see the feature in which Ruth Mary Chipperfield is interviewed by Katherine Jenkins here. The episode titled 'Heavenly Designs' focuses on architect Christopher Wren's masterpiece - St Paul's Cathedral, 350 years after he began work on its design.
The Bespoke Idea
Sat in a cosy corner of a coffee shop, Alli pulled a small St Christopher charm out of her pocket - just like her late father had done on many occasions. For 34 years he carried it with him while serving in the RAF. "I would love to wear it" Alli said, "can you make it into a chunky bracelet?"
The 'Heavenly Design'
After a meeting of chatter, laughter and sharing memories fuelled by coffee, Ruth shared this sketch with Alli.
Alli loved the idea, so the meticulous hand stitching of lace could begin. This is where the exact shape of a piece can evolve slightly because a three dimensional piece always feels different from a two dimensional sketch and it's why as a designer, Ruth has chosen to get away from CAD design, the most common method of jewellery design used today which is entirely digital.
To create a real tangible shape by hand gives a piece of jewellery so much more character, not to mention the fact Ruth designs the piece in lace - something nobody else offers.
It might seem odd to spend hours on a piece of lace, which later gets destroyed. Yet from destruction, something magical is born - solid sterling silver lace!
If you're wondering what the white lace is, that's silver. After silver is heated and plunged into acid, it turns white and remains that colour until the metal is polished, something you can see Ruth doing in the video feature shown on Songs of Praise, where you can also see how the work in progress pictured above is transformed into the final piece of jewellery.
The magical silver lace bracelet