Busy. This is somewhat of an rare occurrence in the jewelry world during June at times like these. I’ve been busy finishing up some inlay work with some gem cutting and my special orders have picked up as well for me. I’m not complaining nor am I not getting ahead of myself, just keeping it ‘solid’ – as a UPS security guard named Jay once told me. Work used to show up on my doorstep back when it was real good. Now, you have to chase after it. Times have changed and most of you reading this are being introduced to my blogs via email while I try to generate interest in the work I do. But I digress. This blog entry is an homage to one of the most exclusive Los Angeles jewelry designers I’ve had the privilege to work with. Lena Wald, the Modern Rocker.
Who is Lena Wald? As always, I’m glad you asked. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. Like most of us out there, we have a puzzled look on our faces after we graduate asking ourselves, ‘what the hell now?’ Lena always had an interest in the arts so she moved back to LA where she started doing wardrobe styling for commercials, print ads, etc. She later moved into the magazine world working for publications such as L.A. Style and InStyle. Over time, she realized that the magazine industry was not for her. But she always had an interest in fashion and design. So she pursued a job at Richard Tyler (a fashion house in L.A.).
Lena was hired as the assistant to the fabric buyer Lela Rose. After 3 months, Lela Rose left to start her own clothing line and Lena was promoted to fabric buyer. She saw this as a great opportunity to begin making a name for herself. Along the way, she met some of her closest friends at Richard Tyler and made some incredibly good contacts. Her job allowed her to travel to Europe twice a year for fabric shows.
After three years at Richard Tyler, she felt like she gained enough experience to start a jewelry line. (This is where I come in). Lena’s ideas usually begin with something that she wanted to make for herself to fulfill her unique style. She wanted a ring carved out of a solid ruby. The 1st sample she made, came out so well, that she brought the idea to Maxfield (A prominent fashion retailer) and they immediately placed an order. The rings are made from natural stones, such as turquoise, ruby, black onyx and crystal. She was fortunate enough receive press in W magazine, Vogue, Bazaar, Elle, and other famous publications. She began to further expand her line to include necklaces and bracelets. But then she had a completely new idea which spawned from her need to get herself some diamond-initial earrings.
Here’s Lena Wald’s Vogue magazine spread.
People love anything personalized. You name it and you can get it personalized to your liking. The earrings have been very well received by stores and their customers. Even Cameron Diaz wore her ‘C’ and ‘D ‘ earrings to the Oscars.
look who’s ring she’s wearing. This was a screen shot from the movie called “The Sweetest Thing”.
These are the diamond initials and charms from Lena Walds line.
This line has expanded into many different styles of trend setting necklaces and earrings made in yellow, rose, and white gold with a choice of either plain, adorned with diamonds, or set with other precious stones.
Lena’s business has grown significantly over the years and many stores and websites carry her jewelry worldwide. She has a great following among stylists and many celebrities have been seen wearing Lena’s jewelry including Kate Moss, Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna, Kate Bosworth, Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon, Katie Holmes and according to Lena, her favorite out of the bunch, the first lady, Michelle Obama.
Hope you liked my little introduction to the Modern Rocker herself, Lena Wald. Now on to this onyx I was commissioned to make for Lena. I can’t give you a 100% breakdown and you’ll notice certain steps are missing, but you’ll get a basic idea on the process that goes through making this ‘Cigar Band’ faceted onyx with silver lining.
The silver lining insert is at 7.5 finger size which will sit inside the onyx.
The silver lining surface is made purposely rough so when I glue it into the onyx, it will have a tighter grip to avoid sliding around.
I drilled through some onyx rough and glued the silver insert into the onyx.
The onyx was pre-formed to this perfect round, cylinder shape.
I cut the sides down to 18mm thick from wall to wall
Fast forward through all the cutting and faceting and you get this beauty!
Notice the domed curvature on the onyx.
The inside of the silver lining has a high polish to it.
The onyx walls are flush with the silver lining
I introduce to you, the Cigar band faceted onyx ring with silver lining.
Here’s another one I made a while back.
The turquoise material is called a spider web green turquoise
It’s beautifully cabbed with a gold lining insert with a high polish. Killer stuff!
And my favorite piece. The classic blue turquoise piece with a nice high polished cabochon with a gold lining insert.
I truly enjoy doing work for Lena Wald. If any of you out there that are interested in a signature Lena Wald piece, please feel free to contact Lena Wald direct at [email protected]
Till next time.. (next week as always)