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I am ecstatic to say that I am engaged to the wonderful Dora Hetherington and that we are due to be married late next year. When I decided that I wanted to marry Dora, I knew I wanted to propose with a ring (rather than getting one afterwards). I also knew that I didn’t want Dora to have a generic off the shelf ring; the idea that the ring that would symbolise so much to us would be identical to countless others did not inspire me. So I began to explore the route of custom designing the engagement ring. This was a daunting prospect, primarily because I wouldn’t be able to ask Dora if she liked it before committing to the design, but that can be said of buying one too.
After some time searching Glasgow, I found a jeweller that I could work with to design and produce the ring with. I choose the excellent Blair and Sheridan; they proved to be real artist both from the design side and brilliant craftsmen on manufacturing side. They were also excellent at communicating, a vital component I found when trying to merge the design approaches of a product design engineer and a jeweller.
To design the ring, I started looking for inspiration. I found the high street jewellers rather boring and samey (probably a result of the mass production processes used to produce them), but I found a wealth of quality inspiration on Pintrest. I also got Dora’s ring size and chose the diamond I wanted to use in the ring. Starting from these dimensions I then begun to sketch up ideas, and quickly began to narrow down the design. During this phase there was a great deal of communication between myself and Roddy at Blair and Sheridan. I was well aware that I am not a jewellery designer and I wanted his input as much as possible as to what would work and what wouldn’t.
I had decided that I wanted to use both gold and platinum in the ring and that I wanted a vintage style rather than contemporary. But I was struggling with the specifics of the diamond setting. I had an elaborate idea of how it might work, but when I tried to draw this up (using CAD) it never seemed to work out as I intended. Roddy’s experience came to the rescue here and he suggested my concept would be too fussy on a small ring and would in fact detract from the diamond. So the design was simplified to make a hero of the diamond and simplify the setting.
There are specifics to jewellery manufacturing CAD that I did not have time to learn, so once the design had been confirmed through sketches and conversation. I allowed a jewellery specific CAD draftsman to finalise the design. But, I wanted to view the 3D CAD one final time before committing. My time scales were extremely tight so thankfully everything came back perfectly and I commissioned the design to be made.
When the ring came back from casting it had a course and blocky look, still with the parting lines and rough edges from the mould. But its potential was clear and Douglas started work joining the gold and platinum parts, setting the diamonds, filing, sawing and polishing. The end result was fantastic and I was very pleased with it.
I proposed while on holiday in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. Dora didn’t expect a thing and loves her new one of a kind engagement ring.