Spring is arriving in Austin, and with it, bluebonnets, indian paintbrushes, indian blankets and other Texas wildflowers covering the Austin roadsides and prairies. At Kirk Root Designs, we’ve always drawn inspiration from Texas for our custom jewelry pieces and wildflowers hold a particularly special place for us. Since 1986, the Bluebonnet Pendant has been our signature design and a customer favorite. It remains one of our favorites as well, so much so that it inspired us to create an Wildflower Collection of handmade Texas wildflower pieces. We’re incredibly proud to carry on our father’s legacy as the original creator of the Texas Wildflower Collection.
The Story of Our Signature Bluebonnets
In the mid-80s, our father (and founder) was an up-and-coming jeweler in Texas, looking to make a name. He had already distinguished himself by becoming the youngest ever master appraiser at age 22, but as launched his own custom jewelry store he knew that he needed a signature piece.
Inspired by the springtime bluebonnets that surrounded him, Kirk set out to create a statement piece that captured not only the beauty of Texas bluebonnets, but also the sentiment that surrounds them – the springtime joy that heralds long days and warm nights of lounging at Zilker Park, cooling off in Barton Creek and chowing down on tacos.
In order to capture the brilliance of the bluebonnets, Kirk opted to use diamond cut blue sapphires, green gold, and tsavorite green garnets, with diamonds running up the stem for an extra sparkle.
He knew he had a hit when he finished his first prototype and laid it in the showcase, only to have his mother (our grandmother) grab it, put it on and refuse to take it off.
What Makes Our Bluebonnets So Special
Unsurprisingly, Kirk’s one-of-a-kind design has inspired many imitators and knockoffs, but no other jeweler can match the love and craftsmanship that we put into our pieces.
- We hand-pick and hand-set our diamond cut blue sapphires.
- No one was diamond cutting sapphires when we started making these pieces in the 80s, so each sapphire is custom cut just for these pieces.
- We use tsavorite green garnet instead of emeralds because garnet is more durable and gives off a shine that truly does justice to the bluebonnet.
- We buy hundreds of carats of garnets and sapphires and choose only the top 10% for our wildflower pieces.
- Genuine Wildflower Collection pieces will always carry the C. Kirk Root Designs stamp.
In this video from the archives, Kirk describes the pieces in his own words and you can hear his passion as he describes this labor of love.
Since those early days, we’ve expanded our Wildflower Collection to include Indian Paintbrushes (which took years to produce after Kirk dreamed them up, as we had to find just the right orange-pink sapphires), Texas Waterleafs, Texas Golden Waves and Texas Firewheels. We also expanded beyond pendants to create earrings, bracelets and brooches. Through it all, we do our best to live out Kirk’s mission.
“We’re in the jewelry business because it’s our passion. Everybody is good at one thing and some people are really good. I want to be really good at one thing, jewelry.” – Kirk Root