By Nina Hald
Danish jewellery is attracting intense notice within the world of design. Meet the woman behind a new-spun classic, the *Lace Ring* – a unique piece of craftsmanship by designer Charlotte Lynggaard.
Jewellery designer Charlotte Lynggaard took a walk in one of the celebrated flea markets of Paris in 1998. Here she came across an old piece of lace.
“I kept the lace in my sketchpad because I had the feeling that it just might have something I could use later. And I rediscovered it when I flipped through the sketchpad in 2000 for ideas for a new collection. Then my otherwise vague sense of something feminine and seductive took on very controlled and crafted form!”
A ring for all seasons
The first sketches and drafts were a piece of cake. The challenge was to render the delicate, feminine lace in gold to create a timeless ring design.
“I had great expectations for this ring in particular, and sometimes it takes a while before you are entirely satisfied. I think the *Lace Ring* in particular will be around for a long time since it touches something that reaches far back in time. I’ve also experienced that men often point it out. I guess it’s the combination of feminine lace and the raw look – that the ring suits both casual and formal wear.”
Charlotte Lynggaard talks of the intricacies of the design process. “Well, it was about sitting and toying with diamonds to make them do what they were supposed to. And it didn’t just happen like ‘that’,” she says, snapping her fingers to get her point across.
“Lace is a complex thing and that goes for the ring too. It took a bit of a struggle to make things work, so I’m really pleased with the prototype. I wear it myself,” the designer says.
The *Lace Ring* is cast in the time-honoured way where gold is slung round in a cast and then cooled before the overspill is removed. The ring is then fine-tuned to reach symmetry and the rough edges of the lace filigree are softened using an ultra-fine file. The ring is then polished. Finally, following a desired pattern, 133 small holes are drilled in which to embed individually sized diamonds
The embedded diamonds need to be level to display a uniform sparkle, and it takes great precision and physical strength on behalf of the goldsmith to achieve such an effect. Each diamond is fitted by hand. According to goldsmith Nikolaj Willeberg the *Lace Ring* is:
“A small microcosm where a difference of a hundredth of a millimetre makes all the difference in the world.”
There are no technical shortcuts, so each little bijoux masterpiece takes just under a week to complete.
Ole Lynggaard Copenhagen is a jewellery company founded by Danish goldsmith Ole Lynggaard in 1963 in the town of Hellerup just north of Copenhagen. His designs have been exhibited in the USA, Germany, England, Switzerland, Japan, Israel, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.
Charlotte Lynggaard, daughter of Ole Lynggaard, is 40 years of age and graduated as a goldsmith in Copenhagen in 1992. She has attended the Academy of Art in San Francisco. And following a couple of years spent abroad, Charlotte Lynggaard has worked for the family company since 1994.