We Made Our Own Lover's Eye Pendant!
As jewelry addicts and history lovers we wanted to create a piece inspired by one of our favorite trends, the lovers eye. The lover's eye was a romantic gesture between King Louis the 4rth and his beloved Maria Fitzherbert. Their love for each other was forbidden because at the time, she was not deemed a proper fit to marry nobility. He had commissioned a jeweler to create a necklace harboring a painting of his eye, to give as a token of his love. By painting only the eye and not the whole portrait, created a secret for only the wearer to know of it's origin. A truly romantic gesture.
The inspiration behind our lover's eye, was to incorporate vintage traits mixed with modern style. The first thing we started off with was finding a painter to paint the eye. We asked Roxy Peroxide, a self taught oil painter from Montreal who portrays feminine beauty combined with pop art. She is an absolute favorite of ours! We asked her to paint the eye with softer tones, similarly seen in other miniaturist paintings and jewelry. It also wouldn't look as invasive as when using high contrasting colors.
Traditionally miniaturist jewelry would have been painted on ivory or tortoise shell. We didn't want to use those materials for the obvious unethical reasons. Ivory would also be illegal in todays age. So instead we used mother of pearl. MOP is the inside of a shell and is quite soft, it has a hardness of 2.5-4.5 on 10. We couldn't find the exact shape, so we had the shell custom cut for the necklace. Custom cutting is not something we generally recommend if the cost of the raw stone is less then the cutting fees, but in this instance we did not want to spare any expense to ensure the beauty and precision of the jewel.
Once the shell was cut, Roxy Peroxide was able to paint onto the shell. Oil painting is not waterproof. Of course for a pendant this ornate, it's not something you would wear every day, however we did want to ensure the integrity of the painting so we sealed it in a clear resin. Certain types of resin can turn yellow over time so you need to ensure the resin you are using is of quality. Once the eye was sealed we set in into the pendant with cat claws.
We used tsavorite garnet to embellish the eye. We had it delicately set in a single row of pave around the miniaturist painting. We chose tsavorite instead of emeralds because for smaller points, like we are using they can often have a more vivacious green, nicer brilliance and clarity, then emerald. They are within the same price, so given the choice between the two we chose tsavorite!
Once the stones were set we black rhodium plated the circumference. Black rhodium, similar to white rhodium is never used as a base metal but to give a little pop to certain features. Here the contrast of the green gems on the black finish, really makes it stand out!
The concept of the design was to recreate a vintage esthetic, to keep the essence of the original trend. We did this by adding vine work, twisting around the eye and jeweled with pearls. As a brand we love the look of movement in metal, the contrast between organic and solid shapes has always been of intrigue. Pearls are often seen in various forms of sentimental jewelry over the centuries. Representing tears of love or of mourning.
Allot of thought and precision went into this work of art and we are very pleased with the outcome! If you are interested of creating a lover's eye or a miniaturist piece get in touch at email@example.com and we will be happy to provide you with a quote!