From Sketch to Wearable Art: Creating the Nympha Ring

At ASSUWA, our jewellery is more than adornment—it's a vessel for forgotten stories from the Mediterranean, intricately woven into wearable art. Today, I will share how we found inspiration and created the Nympha Ring from sketch into wearable art.

Join us on this captivating journey as we unveil the creation of our Nympha Ring with Smoky Quartz, a piece that embodies the essence of art, nature, and history.

Creating Jewellery For Not the Sake of Trends

At ASSUWA, we don't design our pieces based on trends or seasons. We are artisans, for us, it's all about drawing inspiration from art, nature, history and philosophy - and finding the unique connections between them. This is how we came up with the name ASSUWA as well. The word ASSUWA derives from “Asia” which is the nymph (spirit) of Anatolia and the Aegean Sea, a term we now use to describe one of the world's largest continents.

I even want to tell you this funny story. Art and nature have always been the cornerstones of our friendship with Selin. We annually exchange Tate Memberships, attend exhibitions together, and engage in deep discussions about art and shared experiences. So during the Covid lockdown, we were missing discovering new exhibitions and artists. One day I received this text from Selin saying that she’s been to an art museum in Japan recently and I was like wait what? Basically, she was just finding these online exhibitions where you can scroll through the entire exhibition…

So just like that in December of the previous year, I was doing online research on nymphs and how they were depicted in art. As you might know, nymphs are regarded as personifications of nature. In Ancient Greece, they believed that every element of nature has its spirit - the nymphs. During this research, I stumbled upon 'The Nymph of the Spring,' a masterpiece by Lucas Cranach at the MET. The painting's sensuality immediately captivated me. Behind her innocence lies a subtle allure. The nymph, though representing innocence, contradicts this with her overt seduction and opulent attire through her burgundy cloth and the jewels around her neck.

From Concept to Sketch: Translating Inspiration into Design

Feeling the need to create something simultaneously sensual and grounding, I shared my thoughts with Selin over a wine date. Armed with pen and paper, I sketched our vision. Selin proposed incorporating an earthy, grounding gemstone that echoed the connection to the land and nature. And the choice was clear: a smoky quartz.

With our sketch in hand, the next step was finding the perfect gemstone and crafting the first sample using the ancient lost wax technique.

Finding the Perfect Gemstone

So we embarked on a quest to find the perfect smoky quartz in Istanbul. As smoky quartz is a crystal representing our connection to Mother Earth, we wanted to have its rich brown hues bright and clear. With the help of our gemologist, we found an alluring smoky quartz in Grand Bazaar.

Ancient Craftsmanship

To bring our vision to life, we turned to the ancient lost wax technique - a method that has stood the test of time in the world of jewellery craftsmanship. This intricate process involves creating a wax model, casting it in metal, and preserving the finest details of the original sketch. With the assistance of Betina, a jewellery designer friend, we meticulously created the first sample through the ancient lost wax technique.

Carving Into Silver

With the first sample crafted, we transitioned to carving it into silver in our atelier. Meticulous attention was given to every curve and contour, ensuring that the essence of the nymph's allure was faithfully captured in the tangible form of the Nympha Ring.

Settling the Gemstone

The crowning moment arrived as our artisan delicately settled the smoky quartz into its designated place. The smoky quartz, chosen for its earthy grace, completed the narrative of the Nympha Ring.

Gilded Perfection

The final touch involved high-quality micron plating for longevity and colour retention. So we subjected the Nympha Ring with Smoky Quartz to high-quality gold micron plating. This meticulous process ensures that each piece not only withstands the test of time but also maintains its radiant allure.

Crafting a Small Batch of Beauty

At ASSUWA, we believe in the exclusivity of art. The Nympha Ring with Smoky Quartz, conceived with passion and crafted with precision, is produced in small batches. Only 10 of these exquisite pieces exist in the world. This intentional choice allows each wearer to possess a unique and rare treasure whilst ensuring our sustainability and ethical practices.

A Wearable Tale: Empowering Connection to Art

And, finally, it was ready! Every glance at the Nympha Ring serves as a reminder of our sensual connection to art. We aspire for this piece to inspire and rekindle your connection to the Earth.

As we behold our creation process, we are reminded of the profound connection between art, nature, and the stories of the Mediterranean. Each piece we create is intended to be your personal talisman. It is an invitation for you to adorn yourself with a piece of history, nature, and art - a wearable art that whispers forgotten stories and inspires empowerment.

You have the option to personalise it further—choose a different gemstone, opt for lab-grown alternatives, add engravings, and more. Explore the myriad stories waiting to be discovered at ASSUWA.

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