Creating a custom piece for a client is always interesting, and more often than not it challenges me out of my normal way of thinking and pushes me a little bit out of my comfort zone. When one of my clients came to me requesting a tie bar for her husband I knew that this would be a completely new experience for me since I don’t specialize in men’s accessories, but I was willing to take it on.
My client, Carol, had been given a pearl from her husband as a gift, and had another jeweler set it in silver to wear as a pendant years before. She treasured this necklace, and wanted to have a matching tie bar made for her husband for their anniversary later that year, something he could wear when they went out together.
One of the first steps I take when starting a custom project is sourcing materials, so I began my search for an organic shaped grey pearl to match hers. This proved to be much more difficult than I expected, and after a couple months I decided that I might have to change my plan to match her pearl exactly, and would need to improvise a little. Instead of trying to match the shape and texture of Carol’s pearl with another pearl, I decided to use silver that I would carefully cut out in the same shape, give it texture, and finish it off with some patina to match the color of her pearl. I now had enough of a plan to create a rough sketch to send along to Carol for her approval (which I immediately received).
I soon found a beautiful peacock pearl that had wonderful lustre and was perfect to finish the tie bar off. Carol was very pleased with the results, and was excited to surprise her husband with this unique piece. Apparently he wears it often, and I love hearing from my father that he’s run into Carol’s husband at a meeting and saw him wearing his custom tie bar!