Photo by Food and Shelter.
The Margaret Ring was inspired by an heirloom pearl ring that belonged to my mother, who has handed it down to me.
I love the elegant diamond shape, and the heritage cluster of fresh water pearls that are held in place by petite claws. The design is eye-catching yet timeless, and I receive so many compliments whenever I wear it. It is one of my favourite pieces, and I wanted to share it with others who might find the same joy in wearing this ring.
Mum's ring has been worn so often, that the pearls have taken on an antique patina. However, it is no less beautiful even after all these years. To keep the look of the ring the same, I stayed true to its original diamond-shaped cluster.
At the same time, it was important for me to put my own spin into the design, in order to make it my own. This I did through the ring band, re-designing it so it looks more bold like a cocktail ring.
Mum's ring has a very slender curved band, which is reminiscent of rings from an earlier time and has an art-nouveau look. This gave it a very feminine and traditional feel. I wanted a design that was more modern and tailored to women today, and decided to go with a thicker and more geometric band.
I have always been interested in the artwork of Escher, how he plays with perspective and illusion. I wanted to incorporate this into the band of the ring, so that its dimensions change when viewed from different angles. My design starts off narrow at the bottom of the ring, gradually becoming wider towards the pearls. However, as you view it from the side, the thickness of the band is inverse - it is wider at the bottom, then tapers to being more narrow near the pearls. The design is subtle and only something the ring wearer will notice, but I like how it adds detail to the overall form and structure of the ring.
I also wanted to highlight the diamond shape which I felt was not as pronounced in the original ring. I decided to put a little cleft on each side of the setting. When viewed at an angle, this gives the illusion that the pearls are rising up from the ring, which further emphasises its pointed diamond shape.
It seemed destined for this ring to be named Margaret after my mother. I researched the history and meaning of the name, and discovered that Margaret is a modern derivation from the ancient namesake Margaron, which was first heard in Normandy of northern France. The name symbolises 'pearl' or 'daughter of light', which not only brings to mind the luminous lustre that pearls exude, but also inspired me to name the entire jewellery collection Dawn.
The significance behind the name was further strengthened when we had fashion blogger Margaret Zhang star in our Dawn campaign. Not only does she share the same first name as Mum, my Chinese surname is Zhang, and it felt like serendipity that all our names entwine together so well.
Margaret Zhang stars in our Dawn campaign.
Margaret Zhang wearing Margaret Ring at Paris Fashion Week.
Margaret Zhang wearing Margaret Ring at her Unseen photography exhibition in Sydney.
Little details matter. I relished the chance and challenge to re-design this ring in my own unique way by playing with proportions and accentuating the diamond pearl setting. It is all about elevating the classics through nuanced touches, that makes a design both thoughtful and effortless.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about the design process behind one of my favourite pieces of jewellery. We will be sharing more insights into our designs and creative process. If you have any thoughts, I will love to hear from you so please comment below.
Founder / Designer
View the Dawn Campaign starring Margaret Zhang.