Commissioned Ring © Bh 2012 Signet swivel Ring with Katebami symbol in Shakudo and 18ct Yellow Gold with reverse side blackened Silver and 18ct Yellow Gold stamp detail.

The earlier designs were posted and then we hit the Xmas bench pressure – graciously, he said he would wait.

Commissioned Bracelet © Bh 2012 Katebami signature, double strand Bracelet with Bar & Ring clasp and linking details in Shakudo, 18ct Yellow Gold, blackened Silver, faceted Onyx, cabochon Yellow Sapphire with Queensland Spinel beads.

Barbara writes: Often a commissioned piece can be quite complex, the time from initial meeting to completion may span from a few weeks to a few months. There would be meetings or emails exchanged perhaps to review a sketch or fine tune a detail, sometimes a visit to the studio to simply enjoy a peep into the process. When at last the client comes to collect their piece its time for me to observe their response. I’m always mindful that there may be a little anxiety mixed in with the excitement – for them it may be a long anticipated meeting with this imagined object – now firmly realised. For us the  intense and invariably microscopic familiarity with each detail of the work must now pull back to a larger focus. The ideas discussions, explorations and potentialities behind us – the waiting object is now as fixed and finished as a full stop.
Sometimes I urge people not to feel obliged to express instant approval – it might be like making friends too soon with a stranger. There might be mixed emotions. Occasionally they ask if I am sad to let a laboured treasure go?
Today G. D. came for this ring and bracelet and lifting each in turn from the velvet tray noted the soft dark colour of the gold vs. the hard black of the Spinel, the symmetry and scale, the crisp line of the Katebami symbol and importantly the size – the satisfying snug fit around his wrist. Each piece was tried on and turned over, materials named again and the relationships of each component to the next appreciated.
Some find words easily to explore and describe their new object, some coo and aah, some email me later, fortunately only a few have ever remained silent.
The family symbol, the Katebami dark and elegant in its contrasting black and gold represents a familiar plant, the Wood Sorrel. How surprising to recognise its three leafed symmetry so common here, but known by another name Oxalis. I promised to show him  where it grows in our garden, but then forgot as we talked of other things before we parted. Although the big birthday has passed, no doubt wearing these pieces will be a mnemonic for a major milestone – I love the way people choose to reward themselves at these moments – it seems to me to express a kind of tenderness to oneself.