Veteran jewelry designer Chuck Bowman says he approached the challenge of incorporating wood into his Platinum Innovation Awards design just as he would any other – with an open mind and creative spirit.
“Pieces designed for a competition are always a mixed bag,” says Bowman. “Do you emphasize classic beauty or focus more on creating something unusual? Either can be successful or unsuccessful depending upon the judging panel. In this particular case we went for something fairly understated, but decidedly off the beaten path.”
Wood isn’t a normal material for the prime manufacturer so extra thought and details were put into the design and creation processes to ensure success.
“Sourcing and prototyping the exotic woods did take quite a bit of extra time and more CAD modeling was done earlier in the process than typical because of the unusual nature of the piece and the several ways we considered assembling the band,” continues Bowman. “We procured about 15 various hardwoods and it turned into quite an exercise selecting which one to go with. We had some amazing species to choose from.”
The end result? A platinum and diamond band with a genuine Kingwood inlay – a piece well worth the wait. The piece was named Editor’s Choice in the 5th Anniversary Platinum Design Challenge during this year’s Platinum Innovation Awards. And Chuck attributes much of the success to the team of talented jewelry professionals who work alongside him.
“We work with a team of really dedicated artisans. They always bring their A game, but anytime we ask something unusual of them – such as a competition entry like this one, it’s really a kick hearing their imaginative solutions to the challenges and watching them take their seat at their bench or computer like they mean it,” says Bowman. “There’s something very special about a master craftsman ramping it up to produce a world-class piece. It makes for some very inspirational moments.”