Theo Fennell and Willard Wigan MBE, the world famous English micro-sculptor, have collaborated in a joint venture to create a one of a kind jewellery art piece: ‘The Empty Quarter Ring’.
Their adventure started in early 2013, when Theo realised that Willard’s micro sculptures could be perfect for some of his one-off design ideas, notably his ‘Surprise Fantasy Rings’.
The pair soon discovered that they shared the same passion for original and unique artistry and design, and that, through working together, they could bring amazing new dimensions to each other’s work.
‘I’m always excited about working with people with extraordinary skills: I love the process of bouncing ideas off someone else and finding new ways to stretch the art of jewellery’. Theo Fennell
Learning that Willard’s sculptures would work perfectly in his opening rings, the pair set about designing a micro fantasy ring. Fittingly entitled ‘The Empty Quarter Ring’, when opened it reveals an apparently deserted, desert scene. But, in reality, the sand dunes cradle three camels, which have been beautifully crafted by Willard on a microscopic scale.
The ring is accompanied by a fabulously crafted magnifying glass and chain so it can be worn around the neck, allowing the wearer to see clearly the three camels as they make their way elegantly across the desert.
As with all of Theo’s designs, the attention to detail on this ring is staggering: the ring and magnifying glass have both been completely hand-made by our incredible craftsmen in our Chelsea workshop from different coloured 18ct golds; set with diamonds, while the body of the ring has been intricately deep-engraved with desert flowers and adorned with rose gold salamanders which clamber across it.
The detail even continues to the presentation box, inspired by a Bedouin tent. It has been hand crafted to house the ring, its magnifying glass and its chain in spectacular style. It sits on a dune fabricated from sand imported from the Rub’ Al Khali or ‘Empty Quarter’; the largest sand desert in the world.
This entire creation – from the box to the ring itself – is a true work of art. It brings together the skills of a dozen of our incredibly gifted multi-award winning craftsmen including our mounter, enameller, setter, stone carver, polisher and of course Theo and Willard themselves.
‘It was a joy and a privilege to work with Theo and his team on this journey’, said Willard, whose most recent works include the ‘Coronation Crown’, created in celebration of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and which is now housed at Buckingham Palace.
The ring will be shown for the first time at our stand at ‘Masterpiece London’ at the end of June and will be showcased exclusively at our recently opened Theo Fennell Harrods boutique from the beginning of July for a six week period.
It is hoped that this ring will mark the start of a long and fertile working relationship between these two extraordinary artists. They are working on their next project, ‘The Coliseum Ring’ featuring miniature gladiators battling inside in a miniature arena.There is already a waiting list for any unique pieces arising from this venture, and some extraordinary ideas for commissioned pieces have already been requested. But, sadly, only a very limited number of pieces can be made each year.