Hononegah students ring up design work

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Hillary Gavan/Beloit Daily News Hononegah senior Victoria Sweeney, sophomore Elise Smedley and sophomore Alina Yang designed the ring given away at the H.O.P.E. Foundation's 18th Annual Touch of Hollywood event benefiting the high school. They were able to make their creation thanks to a little help from the Gem Shop Fine Jewelry Design Studio.

ROCKTON - Three Hononegah students helped design a stunning ring thanks to a little help from the Gem Shop Fine Jewelry Design Studio. The ring was raffled off Saturday night during Hononegah's H.O.P.E. Foundation's 18th Annual Touch of Hollywood event benefiting the high school.

Kathleen Miller was the winner of the ring.

Sophomores Alina Yang and Elise Smedley, and senior Victoria Sweeney were chosen for their sketches of potential ring designs back in October. With the H.O.P.E. event's theme being "A Touch of Hollywood" the three students had done research on vintage styles and bling.

Smedley said the ring was designed to be as sparkly as possible.

"It's vintage Hollywood. It's got to be big and bold," Smedley said.

In November, the girls headed to the Gem Shop to view different templates on the computer to design the ring digitally. After hours of fine tuning their design, they came up with a 14K yellow gold vintage inspired twisted bypass tanzanite round ring with diamond accents.

Tanzanite is a precious stone typically found in Africa and is a periwinkle color, said Jennifer Decker, visual art instructor.

With the round brilliant cut, the ring is an eye catcher. It also features unique cutouts in the side profile. The girls said they drew their inspiration from a theater marquis.

Decker said designing the ring was a nice opportunity for students to work with a community business.

"They made it convenient to come in and they were very welcoming. It was a neat experience to see the whole process from start to finish," Decker said.

The girls were thrilled with the ring's look. Sweeney said she got a raffle ticket on Thursday to try her luck at winning it.

Hononegah offers a jewelry design class which focuses on metal work, but it wasn't offered last semester so the girls drew on their other art class experiences.

All three students love art. Sweeney is particularly interested in fashion design. She started making purses last year and she is now making clothes thanks to sewing she learned at Hononegah. Recently she made a bomber jacket which won honorable mention at the Rockford Art Museum's Young Artist Show. Sweeney has plans to attend a fashion design school in Los Angeles, California next fall. Her focus is on designing street wear.

Yang said she hopes to one day go into makeup product development and Smedley is still thinking over her career options.

The H.O.P.E. Foundation provides teacher grants, funds for special projects and scholarships for Hononegah students. Decker said proceeds from the ring are earmarked to help a student attend a summer camp as well as for a scholarship for a student to attend college. 

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