image276We had the pleasure of being able to spend some time with designer, Keith Jack and ask him some important questions about his beautiful celtic jewelry.

Q. Keith, the majority of your collections have a beautiful story behind the design. What inspires the celtic jewelry design behind each collection?

A. There are no hard and fast rules, sometimes the design part comes to me first and after working with it for a while the story starts to take shape - other times the idea comes first and generates the design concept.

Q. We are in love with the window to the soul collection, and others. The collection is described as a reminder that your soul is what binds your physical self to the spiritual world needing to be nourished with an open heart and mind. Whatis the meaning behind the physical design of the collection? How do the shapesand design elementsrepresent the meaning behind these collections?

A. There is quite a lot going on with this design. Firstly the knot we are using is called the eternity knot - a knot with no beginning or end. The gold colour inside represents our soul glowing from within us all. Making it double sided shows completeness. It's also important to me that each piece feels good. I would like people to wear my jewellery as an every day "go to" piece. So, it should feel good and have great quality chains, etc. I will very often add weight to a piece so it feels good and hangs correctly. It's not so much about price, it's more about a piece I'd be proud to make and you'd be proud to wear.

Q. Tell me, what is your process in determining the meaning behind a collection, such as the tree of life, window to the soul and the cradle of life collection.

A. With the tree of life, the idea came first. I love trees and as a little kid spent endless days drawing trees, desert islands and Pirate ships - the trees have worked out well. The tree of life is an extremely powerful and simple symbol you will find in almost any culture you care to look at- the idea was there before I started the first drawing. With the window to the soul collection the design came first and almost at the same time the story. The cradle of life was more like an experiment with design that evolved into something of beauty and became a story. The trinity knot in this design is an ancient Irish symbol representing the 3 stages of life - Maiden - Mother - Wise Woman.

Gentspendants2013Q. Once you have a plan for a collection what are the next steps to bring a collection to life? Once you have an inspiration, how does a collection come together, fitting all of the pieces into the overall story?

A. I usually start off with the intention of designing the main focal piece of a collection and then building around it. Sometimes I will have more than one piece I love and so the collection is going to be larger - like the window to the soul collection. The first two pieces were the NGPDS1899 and the NGPDS1900. The dragon fly collection is completely different however and I have found it hard to add anything until now. SPOILER ALERT: There will be a bracelet sometime later this year to go with this collection.

Q. Do the materials chosen for the design support the meaning behind a collection?

A. I love working with Gold and Silver. I especially love two tone designs, so silver with solid gold highlights tend to make the design element "Pop" Where there is a traditional Celtic element I often add it in gold to draw attention to it.

Q. The stories behind your collections often come from the Celtic world, how did you find these beautiful tales?

A. My mothers family originated in the Shetland Isles - the most Northerly point of Scotland. As a young child I spent many summer holidays there with my younger sister. Back in those days there were no TV's in those remote areas. The days were spent playing outside until you exhausted yourself or it got too cold. The evenings were long ( being so far North) with the sun barely setting before it would start rising again. It was called Summer Dim. We spent evenings inside drawing pictures, listening to songs and stories told by local folk and family, in front of a peat fire. There were lots of stories. I still draw on this incredible reservoir for inspiration.

Q. What is your favorite part of the design process?

A. There's nothing better than seeing the first piece of a collection take shape on the paper in front of me. When it gets to a certain point, it generates an energy of its own, then it gets exciting.

Q. Can you provide us with some sketches of your process/design process?

A. I do all the original drawings by hand, going back and forth many times till I am happy with the final result. Some then go to a CAD designer for 3d modeling, while the hand made pieces go directly to wax carvers for the modeling. Sometimes we make 3 or 4 models before I am happy to go ahead with production. On the odd occasion the project ends at this point waiting for some future inspiration to take it further.

keithjack1Thank you Keith for taking the time to share your design work and process with Day's Jewelers and all your fans!

We are also so grateful to share with our fans a sketch of a not yet released design that will be part of the tree of life collection. We hope to see this beautiful pendant mid-Spring!