We do a lot of custom work at No Roses Gallery. Clients often have heirloom stones or pieces that they want updated. We’re always happy to oblige and love to hear the special stories behind the pieces they hope to transform.
Last year, one of our most loved clients, writer Jill Baer, came to us with an interesting idea. She showed me a piece of her mother’s wedding dress lace, told me the most amazing story and asked if we could work with one of our artists to preserve the lace for all time.
The perfect pairing for Jill’s precious lace was, of course, designer Monika Knutsson, famous for the Gilded Lace jewelry collection that is so desired by collectors worldwide.
Monika isn’t just a jewelry collection designer. She often works with clients to create very special jewelry from their wedding dress or family heirloom lace. Monika jumped at the chance to create something memorable for Jill.
We carefully packed Jill’s mother’s lace along with some of her own wedding dress lace and shipped it to Monika and awaited drawings of her creative vision.
How did the jewelry turn out? Well… here, in Jill Baer’s own words is an excerpt from her story entitled, “My Mother’s Lace.”
I remember trying on my mother’s wedding dress when I was just a child. Standing on the bed, with yards of lace undulating around me like sea foam on an Atlantic wave, I imagined what it might be like to fall in love and let it sweep me off to uncharted shores.
Then came September 11th……and their apartment caught fire. Mom, my sister and I made trips to the old apartment to see what might be salvaged. It was heartbreaking to see my mom unzip the garment bag that contained one of her most cherished treasures – her wedding dress. It too had been burned. But then it caught her eye – a little patch of white. A scrap of lace remained unscathed.
The next morning when I awoke on the rental couch, Mom was standing at the ironing board, carefully smoothing out the patch of lace. “I can’t give you my wedding dress,” she said, “but at least I can give you this.”
I marvel at my parents. I marvel at their resilience and their love, which itself is like a piece of vintage lace – intricately woven out of moments large and small, memories, hopes, tender care, and romance – all so very fragile. Miraculously, their love has survived six decades of life’s travails and challenges, including 9/11 and a raging fire.
What happened to the rest of the lace? Thanks to the imaginative Lisa at No Roses Gallery and the gifted jewelry artist Monika Knutsson, who both put so much heart into this project, it has been transformed into a gorgeous necklace! And a scrap of lace from my own wedding dress has been made into a ring to wear with it. This way I can always carry it with me and share its beauty with the world. And one day I will pass it along to another bride, as she rides into the future on her own wave of love and hope.
(Copyright Jill Baer 2012)
Here is the result of Jill Baer’s inspiration and Monika Knutsson’s genius:Jill Baer’s mother’s wedding dress laceIn order to create a portrait of Jill wearing this gorgeous piece, we reached out to local artist and photographer Stacey J. Byers. Stacey’s business is titled ’Captured Spirit Photography’ for good reason - she truly captures the spirit of each person she photographs. Stacey also captured the timeless beauty of Jill’s family lace and Monika’s design perfectly.
Photo credit: Monika Knutsson, 2012
Sterling silver ring made from Jill Baer’s lace dress
Photo credit: Monika Knutsson, 2012
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