Here in Oregon, we are in the land of the industrious and hard-working beaver. It’s Oregon’s state animal and they are everywhere. Including now, on the wrist of an Oregon State University Alumnus and sports fan.
Lon approached me about making a beaver watch and at the time, I looked over at my adorable sea otter design and thought yes, I’d love to make that! Little did I know it was going to be so challenging! Part of the challenge was that I wanted the absolute best results possible. I've learned alot since making the sea otter design. It had to be a good beaver. I wanted to bring in all my experience from the past few years to create something extraordinary.
Lon said, “After meeting you at the Lake Oswego Festival, and being mesmerized with your watches, I decided to reach out to you to request a watch with an image of a Beaver. As I shared, I am a graduate (twice) of Oregon State University, and a proud alumnus. I am also an avid OSU Sports Fan. I've always felt a kinship to the Beaver, one of the most industrious creatures on our planet. And, the Beaver is the State Animal of Oregon. The Beaver is central to my world in many ways.
I really don't wear jewelry, but I think the Beaver Fever watch is not only unique (one of a kind) but also unique in how it was constructed--which is fun to describe to others.
Thanks for working with me to create a one-of-a-kind watch which represents me in so many ways.”
DESIGN PROCESS AND MATERIALS
After some back and forth on the perfect representation, we chose a closeup of a beaver chomping away at a log and I got started.
After many design adjustments, improvements, tweaks and modifications as well as over a dozen tries with different materials to bring out the beaver's traits and habitat, this Oregon beaver watch came alive.
The finished watch is a combination of abalone shell, mother-of-pearl and poplar wood.
From top to bottom:
- The green water is a mosaic abalone pattern tinted the color of a kingfisher bird (teal and black).
- The beaver itself is a print on mother-of-pearl. Highlights in the fur as well as the orange teeth (yes, orange teeth because beavers have iron in their tooth enamel which makes their teeth super strong to chew all those logs) and claws have been layered (double and triple printed) to give a 3D look.
- The chewed part of the log is green abalone (from Mexico) shell pieces that have been crushed and pressed into a sheet. That’s how it gets the sparkly chipped log look.
- The wood on the bottom of the dial is poplar wood. Chosen because it’s authentic, light in color and has a green hue which blended perfectly with the beaver and water. The light wood allowed the beaver to stand out rather than the wood it's chewing on.