The Guardian

The Guardian

I get a lot of questions about the actual ideas behind the design that goes into our pieces. So I figured that the release of this new collection would be a good time to start sharing some of my thoughts behind the design. After all, this is the most time I have ever spent on a design. This series, like most that I do, started with the design of the belt buckle. I like to do that because it gives me the biggest canvas to work with. The buckle is usually the most complex so it gives me a fully developed concept to then take and incorporate into the other ring, bracelets, etc.

A Jeweler Handcrafts the Back Side of Guardian Belt Buckle by NightRider Jewelry

One of the most common questions I get when it comes to my designs is why do I incorporate the skull into so many of our designs? Skulls can often be associated with evil so a lot of people assume that we use it for that reason. That is not the case. In NightRider, the skull is used as a reminder of the one thing that we all have in common, our mortality. We don’t take skulls as an ominous threat of death but rather a reminder to truly live life. When you think about the fact that your life has a time clock that is counting down it really makes you stop and consider how you are choosing to spend the precious time that you have. When you die how are you going to feel about the way you chose to spend your life?

Detail of the Guardian Belt Buckle by NightRider Jewelry

That is where I started with this piece. I wanted to take that idea of a constant reminder of how I choose to live my life and take it a step further. I wanted to create something that looks me in the eyes and asks me a much harder question. Was my life spent accomplishing something great? When I die is my skull going to be worthy of wearing a royal crown?

Our time in this life’s quest is depicted by the round clock that encircles the royal skull. His time is intersected and wrapped into an eternal battle that has a hold of all of us. This is represented by the natural scrolls that break through the clock and hold the skull captive. They extend out and transform into spear heads to represent the battle. The spearheads are a vertical separation of the two sides that rage in the battle; good versus evil. It is the separation of heaven up above and hell down below. I chose to use the lions up above to represent the warriors of good. They are facing out fighting for and defending the skull. I didn’t want these lions just sitting in a royal manor like most you see; I wanted these ones to be aggressively fighting. The snakes below represent the demons of evil. They face in and are attacking seeking to destroy the royal destiny. This is my take on the personal angels and demons that are fighting to take my life to opposite conclusions.

Early Sketches of the Guardian Lion Design by NightRider Jewelry

When I designed the first ring I wanted to focus in on the battle even more. That is why I chose to use just the lion and snakes and exclude the skull. The lion sits atop the ring defending on our behalf and the snakes are attacking from below. The ring is a reminder to keep the lion on top. I had both the buckle and the first ring finished but I still couldn’t come up with the right name. I wanted the name to clearly represent the focus of the art. I needed help. So we decided to show them to a few of our very good friends to get their ideas. After explaining the design, there was one suggestion that stuck out from the rest. A really great customer of ours came up with a name that really connected to my intended meaning. So thank you for your help! Every piece in this collection will carry the same name as a reminder of the real king of the show, The Guardian.

Guardian Lion Ring with Red Garnet Gemstones by NightRider Jewelry

In the Guardian series are two rings, two pendants, four bracelets, three different types of buckle—standard, dress, and latch—and two styles of cufflinks. Click thumbnails below to view full product details.

Guardian Skull Interlock Leather Bracelet by NightRider Jewelry
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