We sat down with Kim, the designer and creative mind behind the line of signet rings known as Kim Dunham. After studying at Savannah College Of Art And Design and University of Oregon, Kim began designing costume jewelry for weddings. Years later, while she was living in New York City working for fine jewelers, Kim realized she was ready to branch off and start her own line.
The first step in the process of designing is meeting with her client to discuss what they want their ring to represent. This can range from a challenge in their life, to a celebration or accomplishment, an important date, a fear or a mantra to name a few. Being a testament to time’s passage, each ring represents a time capsule and a talisman.
“I like to create things that have real meaning for people. I think a lot of us are starting to feel like things that can just be tossed out don’t really have a place in our world anymore. I wanted to make sure that if I was going to produce anything else to put on this Earth, it was something that was special.”
Next, Kim begins working in her sketchbook. She is inspired by vintage jewelry and 17th and 18th century drawings. After the design is complete, each ring is hand engraved. “There are fewer and fewer hand engravers left, so it is important to me to help keep that tradition alive. The craftsmen who engrave my rings have been working in the field for on average forty years.” Each ring is intricate, engraved with detailed designs on the outside and written messages on the inside.
“Before I send them out, I sage each ring to cleanse the energy. I take a moment to think about why the client had the ring made, and I say a prayer to bless it. It’s very spiritual work for me.” Each ring arrives with a personalized hand written note from Kim. “I want my clients to know how honored I am to have been able to make a piece for them. They trust me with their story and that means so much to me.”