Designer Spotlight: Constance Wicklund Gildea
Constance has been designing and making jewelry for 35 years. She specializes in custom gold and platinum wedding and engagement rings incorporating customer stones and using Harmony recycled diamonds. Harmony Recycled Diamonds are the most eco-friendly natural diamonds available! They are naturally occurring diamonds, previously set in jewelry then removed and re-introduced into the supply chain for resale. So you are getting a beautiful natural stone that is being recycled and not adding to current environmental damage. They are committed to the environment and making sure people who want an alternative to newly mined diamonds have an option that has a minimal environmental effect. It is very fitting that these are the preferred diamonds of Constance.
She likes to design for the softer more romantic side of women’s lifestyles. She also has a large selection of her own unique designs with attention to the fine detail of hand-engraved leaves, vines, and meadow grass.
Her newest line of jewelry is inspired by botanical motifs and uses the Keum-boo technique of fine silver and 24 karat yellow and 22 karat green gold with touches of beautiful rose gold. Keum-boo is a Korean technique, where the jeweler applies 24 karat gold to silver.
There are a few different ways that Keum-boo can be done. Constance uses fine silver which is slightly brighter than sterling silver and often it will be processed with either heat or a quenching process in water that brightens the fine silver even more. After this thin 24 karat gold foil is placed on the piece and polished steel burnished tacks it down and then presses it over the surfaces fixing it permanently in place.
Constance holds a B.F.A. in sculpture, which you can see in the amazing and intricate detail of each piece of jewelry she designs and makes.