Robin Waynee loves rising to a challenge. And as a three-time winner of the Saul Bell Design Award competition, she has developed quite a knack for it. Her innovative reversible link bracelet blew the judges away, claiming the grand prize in the Gold/Platinum category of this year’s competition. Crafted from 18K gold and blackened sterling silver, the bracelet features a hidden clasp and rainbow moonstones set off with tiny blue sapphires, spessartite garnets, and diamonds.
“For competitions I want to push the envelope. I want to dazzle the judges with something they haven’t seen before—that is the whole point,” she says.
She fabricated the entire bracelet by hand, forgoing casting in favor of individually crafting each element to achieve an incredible level of detail and finishing.
“Many times throughout the process I grumbled about why I couldn’t at least cast parts of it,” she says. “The answer was always the same—I wouldn’t have been able to finish it to the level that the piece demanded. I stamped out discs, domed, forged, lasered, soldered, pierced, sandblasted, patina-ed, and bezel- and flush-set stones.”
The bracelet’s complexity required her to put nearly every tool in her studio to good use, including her favorite, the Meiji microscope, which she purchased with the prize money from her first win in the SBDA competition back in 2010.
“I used a rolling mill, disc punch, handsaw, Foredom, laser welder, microscope, sandblaster … pretty much my whole studio for this piece,” she says. “Although I spent the most time with my bench microscope, I would say the laser welder was the most important tool for fabricating this project. I just think I would have run out of time without it.”
Robin’s love for design and jewelry creation keeps her constantly challenging herself to push the boundaries of her craft.
“What’s not to love about a career that allows me to dream big and create freely,” she says. “It has taken me places I’ve never been. I have learned and grown as a jeweler from the first and every moment that I am at my bench. I love my job!”
Thanks to Robin for entering her beautiful piece! Keep your eye open for information on the 2013 Saul Bell Design Award competition. With a little determination and a lot of inspiration, you could find yourself featured here next year.