An Artisanal Journey from Now to "Death Do Us Part"
Omar: my dear friend, my former colleague, and one of the most elegant people I know. It's not uncommon to find him wearing an impeccably fitted ISAIA suit, but even when he's dressed casually, his old-world finesse shines through. He never fails to hold the door for you. If there's one chair to be had between two people, he prefers to stand. And when it's time to say goodbye, he looks you directly in the eye and gives you a firm handshake and a slight bow. Omar's the kind of guy who makes an impression, and it lingers long after he's left the room.
When it came time to tie the knot with the woman of his dreams, Omar wanted something more than an industrially-forged ring that he could buy from his local jeweler. Instead, he chose to commission a ring designed and handmade in Florence by Paolo Penko. I wasn't surprised by the model he chose, which was no less elegant than himself: three alternating bands of white and yellow gold hand engraved with a traditional Florentine finish.
The process of making this beautiful piece is surprisingly simple. Paolo shapes three bands to size by hand- two from a white gold wire, one from yellow gold, and then they are stacked and soldered together.
Once the metal has cooled, Paolo removes the steal wire that holds the newly welded bands together. Hints of the final product begin to emerge as Paolo files the ring into its convex shape.
Once the ring has been sized, soldered and shaped, Paolo begins the most delicate phase of the entire process: the engraving. It takes him hours to meticulously cut patterns inspired by ancient finishes from the Florentine Renaissance. Each pass is carefully calculated; a single slip-up would require him to start the entire process from the beginning.
I don't think I'll ever forget Omar's face when he opened the box and tried the ring on for size, "I'll be wearing this for the rest of my life..."