I made a resolution in 2009 that my blog would be updated more frequently and that it would not only be a place for Passementerie news & sales, but more importantly, more interesting to read than it has been in the past! So to start the year off right, I have decided to write about the history of my Modern Heirlooms collection. These pieces are a signature of my collection and probably my most distinctive and recognized pieces. And most importantly, they are my absolute favorite pieces to make!
There are many women, like me, who have heirloom jewelry they cherish, but unfortunately because the piece may not fit with their personal style it is never worn and just sits in a jewelry box or drawer gathering dust. I had some pieces myself that I had inherited, a locket in particular was a favorite piece of mine, the locket belonged to my grandmother, who passed away before I was born, and was passed down to my mother, then to myself. I had always cherished that locket, but I prefer more ornate & artistic jewelry and a gold locket on a plain chain just wasn't something I would wear very often.
When I first decided to introduce solid gold pieces into my jewelry collection I needed a "sample" piece to show customers and store buyers so I could see if there was any interest. After sketching numerous designs for my first gold necklace I was unable to decide which would be the perfect sample piece, then I remembered my grandmother's antique locket. I decided to use her locket as the focal piece of a necklace in my signature style, something that could serve as the sample for my new collection of gold necklaces, and a design that would also enable me to wear my cherished heirloom locket everyday! I crafted that first Modern Heirlooms necklace in my signature style, from solid 18k gold with a long chain of clustered multi-color sapphire spaced with sparkling nuggets of blue topaz, and placed the antique 18k gold locket where I would normally have a larger focal gemstone.
The necklace, and the story behind it, were immediately a huge hit...and now, years later, I have crafted dozens of my Modern Heirloom pieces and they have become a signature of my jewelry collection! I always have a small selection of these pieces made using antique lockets and pendants I have collected over the years, but the majority have been custom orders using pieces of my customer's favorite heirloom jewelry...even one sapphire & gold bracelet, commissioned by a customer's boyfriend, that masqueraded as a normal valentine's day gift until the recipient opened the tiny locket attached to the clasp, which had been engraved "will you marry me" on the inside.
You can see some of my current Modern Heirlooms pieces here on my website: http://shoppassementerie.com/mohe.html ...and I am always available to create custom Modern Heirlooms!