It is strange to think now, but decades ago when I first started creating animal designs one of the biggest obstacles was the simple act of finding images and detailed information on what these animals actually looked like.
Long before I started my own company I designed for David Webb where it became my specialty to create animal designs commissioned by an exclusive clientele. On one occasion a well-off man, who owned a large rhino preserve in South Africa, requested a bracelet featuring a rhino for his wife. It was then I realized how serious it is that my finished work truly resembles the animal. Like this man, the people seeking this jewelry have a special relation to that specific animal and often a lot of knowledge about it.
Gathering the necessary information at that time was a hard thing to do as there was no internet! Instead, I spent my time at the Metropolitan Museum walking around with my sketch book, sketching different shapes inspired by the various exhibitions. I frequented the New York library studying old documents with information about the animals I was commissioned to design.
When I started my own company I began creating my own series of animals. Over time I fixated on the jaguar, a most attractive looking animal. They are delicate, but powerful creatures and have all manner of terrific aspects about them. My first collections were more extravagant. Often they depicted an entire animal, including the silver jaguar you see in the image which could be worn or displayed as an ornament. More recent works have shifted to offer a perhaps more subdued way for women to indulge in their love this stunning feline.
While I have a great passion for creating animal designs, after you have completed several you move on to something else. Designing is not a perfect system and inspiration demands that you follow your instincts. You zigzag between ideas, some of which will remain as sketches. Others you are inspired to revisit. This is the nature of the beast. It will be exciting to see what animal design I will create next.