Portable Jewelry Display

Now, this was a challenging commission! The incredibly talented jeweller behind Vicky Metzger Barcelona brand needed a portable display to be able to show her creations at different events and showrooms. She wanted a sober look that blended in with the clean lines of her work, and the whole display to make a dark brown background that would enhance the golden pieces. That's a good colour choice, I also prefer chocolate brown to the usual -boring- black... and her request allowed me to choose the pieces for making the display from very old bits of furniture -my favourite!.

Also, the display had to be able to hold as many jewels as possible from each of her lines (earrings, bracelets, necklaces & pendants), and yet be easily transportable -better if it would 'fit' in a motorbike, which is her preferred means of transport in Barcelona... this premise made me think that the only way to achieve it was by making the whole thing foldable. And so I did -several times foldable, in fact- which allowed for loads of displaying surface and... a mirror at a comfortable height. All the best for the customers, always! He he.

It was not easy to find the definitive design... it took quite a few try-ons, pictures, sketches and mails to check it up with the requestress to finally come with the 'cleanest' and more compact solution.
Here you can see a few of the previous ideas -my favourite being the one of using a couple of XIX century upholstery springs to hold the earrings... it turned not to be suitable for displaying a large amount, plus Vicky's earrings are not the 'hook' kind, so the seemingly brilliant idea had to be put aside.

But once more I was terribly lucky, and the petitioner gave me complete freedom for the final design, said she trusted my taste! How grand is that, uh? And so, in high spirit Clarotxos set forth for the long meticulous process of making the Portable Jewelry Display:

Getting the wooden parts, mainly from old pieces of furniture (doors from a cabinet & a bedside table, a big tray and a small one with three carved spaces, pieces from the back of a chair and a wardrobe, two wooden pencil pots and a couple of nice very old curved poles from no-idea-where...),
sanding them all plus varnishing them with a lovely water based stuff, wengué colour -to unify the whole set...

and cleaning the old and vintage bronzed bits (hinges, handle, shelving holders, door knobs), but not too much so they would still show their age, and be discreet enough for the jewels to be the only shinning stars!

I tried to get the sober-yet-elegant look throughout the display, and so the main lid is secured with a thin leather strap that hooks in an old bronze little knob:

Finally, the best way to show the earrings was to 'pin' them in a velvet 'canvas', and I made the frame to measure with the main door/lid of the display.. (here the picture shows a trial I made with some earrings I had... they're not as nice as Vicky's, plus silver looks so dull on the chocolate brown- but it was ok to check if the idea worked).

Then, the rings are held in the measured gaps between two round wooden poles covered in the same dark brown velvet that I used for the earrings background. It is secured to the bottom of the tray, but still one of the poles can be moved slightly, to better adjust the size of the gap to the displayed items (again, the picture doesn't show Vicky's creations).
Also, in this picture you can see the 'extra' tray I added: it is a maple wood one rescued from my favourite thrift store, sanded and varnished like the rest of parts to make it 'blend in'.. it is useful to display small items, like pendants, or even the visit cards...

I made four poles stick out from both sides of the upper lid with the mirror to hang the four models of bracelets Vicky has (once more, please don't pay attention to the silver ones in this picture, you can see the 'proper' ones in the first pictures of this post!)

The necklace holders had to be rather tall, to be able to show Vicky's long creations.. So, in addition to the very old poles (those that I don't know from which piece of furniture they may have come!) I used a couple of vintage bronze door knobs to add lenght and weight -and nice elegant looks!. The upper pieces are both from the back of an old chair, and those bronze bits that stick out like 'ears' serve to hold the necklaces in place while being displayed -see the example here with a crappy necklace of mine.

So that is it! A big, thrilling and tremendously rewarding job, because the requestress was very pleased with the result: Fantastic.

*The main tray measures 55x33x7.5 cm, the main lid 45x21cm and the little one with the mirror is almost square: 33.5x30.5cm. The mirror has a diameter of 20cm, and the 'movable' tray measures 31x12cm. The necklace holders are 60cm high, their bases 6cm diameter and the top parts around 32cm long.

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