Wednesday, 7 December 2011

My gold-brushed marriage

Some years ago, the Finnish master goldsmith Kristian Saarikorpi designed a clever ring called Puzzle. It is made of two loose parts that fit together like the pieces of a puzzle but can’t be completely separated. It is available in different materials in both glossy and matte finishing according to your choice.

The symbolism of two individuals belonging inseparably together fascinated me, which is why I chose Puzzle for my engagement and wedding ring when I remarried a few years ago. (Saarikorpi has since then designed e.g. a ring called Wave with two separable engagement rings and a third one to be placed in between as the wedding ring but I still prefer the inseparable Puzzle.)

All jewellery items from Saarikorpi Design come with a lifetime warranty but my ring’s maintenance was long overdue, partly because the goldsmith no longer works in Helsinki. My ring also needed a bit of enlarging to ensure that I can wear it in all temperatures without having to take any inspired measures if it is suddenly stuck, such as pouring on my finger a bottle of ice-cold water from the minibar in a Spanish hotel room.

So we finally made a day trip to Fiskars to visit Saarikorpi’s studio and have the ring resized and the white and yellow gold pieces brushed to their original matte grandeur. I love the finishing and wonder why it took me so long to take the trouble to have the ring maintained. Another piece of evidence to the long list of my recent crimes of indolence, I’m afraid.

In addition to creating unique handcrafted pieces, Saarikorpi has for several years now pioneered in computer-aided jewellery design in his studio in the picturesque arts and design centre Fiskars village some 90 km west of Helsinki.

The history of the village dates back to the mid 17th century when Fiskars Ironworks were founded. The village has seen many changes during its 260 years of existence, not all of which were for the better. Since the 1980s, however, Fiskars village has revived into a major arts, crafts and design hub with many shops, exhibitions and studios. It is a popular tourist attraction especially in the summertime. I know now both Fiskars village and my marriage deserve the annual excursion and golden brush-up.

Teresa Maria

This door to a former cow house now leads
to a goldsmith's studio.

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