I see so many pieces of vintage jewellery on my charity shop travels and I always wonder about the story behind them. Why have they not been passed on to family or friends? How did they end up in a random box of junk? Who on earth priced something so beautiful at 50p?!
I suppose the answer is that not everyone applies the same value, sentimental or otherwise, to jewellery. I probably invest too much of myself in my special sparkle. The necklace my boyfriend (now husband) bought me when I graduated; the bracelet my brother and sister bought me for my birthday; my ‘Big Sis’ silver charm (I’m the eldest of five); my little purple heart ring from my Mum and Dad. All special. All important. All tangible little bits of love and thought and happiness.
That gold ring with the purple heart adorned my young hand for many years. I loved it so much. It was a special gift from Mum and Dad at the age of eleven (nearly 28 years ago), but over time it became a battered and broken heart, and soon its home was a cold, dark jewellery box filled with other broken bits and bobs. Other rings arrived to take its place and I packed it away…but it was never forgotten!
So, when I first saw the work of Susanna Hanl on Twitter (@SusannaHanl) well over a year ago, I had one thought – my purple heart ring. Susanna is a self-taught jeweller based in Edinburgh and her work is stunning. Have a look at http://www.susannahanl.com and enjoy every page. Every time Susanna tweets, she posts yet another unique piece of art. And part of what is so special about her work is that she also loves to rejuvenate old, broken pieces of jewellery and literally put new heart into them. My kind of girl!
This month, thanks to the kindest ever husband, I’ve had the chance to commission Susanna to breathe new life into the purple heart ring for my birthday. It’s been one of the most magical experiences…ever. I ADORE Susanna’s ‘Arresting’ range so that’s where we started and ended…after some perfect blue-tacked models to help me visualise exactly what I wanted 🙂 Not just a great listener, and incredibly considerate of my sentimental musings, Susanna is sublimely talented. Her jewellery is so sculptural. She mixes metals and creates shape in a way that looks like it can’t possibly be man-made! It’s so fluid and organic, just stunning.
And so, today, after many entertaining chinwags and fabulous picture updates of its journey from ugly duckling into beautiful swan, my ‘Arresting’ ring arrived in Belfast. Suffice to say I’m more than a bit emotional. My gift from Mum and Dad is now once again on my hand, thanks to my husband. It’s a beautiful, unique piece of jewellery and a tangible reminder of all the love and kindness that’s in my life. No one else will ever have one the same.
That broken little heart has been mended and by a very kind and talented lady too. Thank you Susanna!