My great great grandfather, William F. Thommen, was born in Switzerland. As a child, he came over to the United States in 1885, and later studied at MICA where he became a very talented silversmith; creating designs and sculptures for the U.S.S. Maryland and also crafting for Thomas Fortune Ryan. He also was a very accomplished artist for the silver company Samuel Kirk and Son (Kirk Stieff), where he designed and created many beautiful pieces of silver. He worked on the very popular Repousse design for flatware as well! This particular flatware is now considered antique, and you can find pieces of this collection in antique shops all along the East Coast and beyond.
One day, I had the cool idea of buying a piece of his silver and making it into jewelry, like a ring or a bracelet! After searching a bunch of antique shops, I finally found a small spoon with the Repousse design at an antique mall in Downtown Frederick. Unfortunately, it was being sold for a whopping $85. I just couldn’t bring myself to spend that kind of money on a spoon…and then having to find someone to make into jewelry? It just wasn’t in my budget.
Well, it just so happens that my boyfriend Mark’s aunt & uncle, Beth & Mike, have an almost complete set of the Repousse silverware! So when our families got together for Thanksgiving, I mentioned to her my idea of making a spoon ring out of one of my great great grandfather’s pieces. She and my family all agreed that that would be a cool idea! But after that night, the idea simply left my mind. The end of wedding season and the approaching holidays filled my head with so many other thoughts that I simply didn’t think about searching for another spoon.
On Christmas Day, my family and Mark’s family sat down in my tiny apartment with our buffet style pot luck dinner, and chatted away as usual. After dinner we exchanged gifts. In my gift bag from Aunt Beth and Uncle Mike was a small black box. I had absolutely no idea what would be inside, so when I opened it, I was SO shocked to see a spoon ring! It didn’t even take a second for me to realize that this wasn’t just any spoon ring, it was a Repousse spoon ring! I was moved almost to tears by this incredibly thoughtful and unique gift. I had completely forgotten about my desire to make this ring, so it was such a lovely surprise to see it come to life.
Thank you so much to Aunt Beth and Uncle Mike, and to Dan Kemp for creating such a beautiful piece of jewelry for me. I am excited to have a new family heirloom and pass this down one day!
Please visit Dan’s etsy shop for more beautiful rings and things!