Nearly 200 hours of design and craftsmanship went into creating “The Spark,” a 23-piece ring made with pear-shaped diamonds, Colombian emeralds and anchored by a 5.63 carat fine blue sapphire. It’s an original creation by Timothy Stammen, head designer, goldsmith and founder of local jewelry brand Bezalel.
Now in his early ‘30s, Stammen’s path to launching Bezalel in 2015 can be traced to a jewelry class he took at his public high school in Rockport, Maine.
His two passions — jewelry and basketball — later intersected as a jewelry major and basketball player at Savannah College of Art and Design, followed by a post-college career start at Tiffany & Co.’s manufacturing plant in Lexington, Kentucky.
When creating a piece of jewelry for a client, how does that relationship begin?
The process is fairly organic, but generally speaking, somebody will come to me usually looking for something very specific, something they couldn't find in any jewelry store. I'll have at least two conversations with them to get an idea of what they're looking for, their style, and if there's anything sentimental that needs to be incorporated into the design of the piece. I would say it's probably 60 percent of the client and 40 percent me at the end of the day.
Once the idea is crafted, where do you go from there?
That’s when I start sketching out designs, which are somewhere between a sketch and a mechanical drawing. I usually draw them at 300 percent so clients can see the detail of the design. And from that point, the client can make any changes they want to make before I move on to finding the stones, building the piece and, ultimately, delivery.
Can you talk a little more about your piece “The Spark”?
All of my pieces are original, but “The Spark” is the first one-of-a-kind piece that came from the heart of my brand. It’s the first piece to be inscribed with Bezalel, and it’s a representation of what I want to do in jewelry. I'm trying to build jewelry as art, which means the pieces are meant to be a loved on, collected and worn at the same time.
What plans do you have for Bezalel going forward?
I'm not looking to mass produce anything, but I do have an engagement ring line coming out this year. The line features four variations, and each ring will still be handmade for the client with small changes possible at the client's request like the shape of the centerstone.
Bezalel.com and @bezalelhighjewelry on Instagram