Gem News International Gems & Gemology, Spring 2017, Vol. 53, No. 1

“Boldly Go” with a Southwest-Inspired Starship Enterprise

Handmade Starship Enterprise
This handmade piece fuses Southwestern style and its characteristic inlay techniques with a science fiction icon: the Starship Enterprise from Star Trek. Photo by Kevin Schumacher; courtesy David R. Freedland Jr. Designs.

At the Pueblo (Riverpark Inn) show, David Freedland (David R. Freedland Jr. Designs, Tucson) showed us some unusual pieces that stood out at his booth. Normally, you expect Southwest-style jewelry to embrace nature or Native American influences for pieces featuring detailed inlays of Arizona turquoise and other materials. Although Freedland had these in abundance, what really caught our eye was this handmade, sterling-silver rendition of the Starship Enterprise from the cult science fiction television series Star Trek. The piece measures 6.5 cm in length and stands 4.5 cm high. It rests on a sterling silver stand inlaid with Arizona turquoise (see above).

The iconic starship’s saucer section is also inlaid with Arizona turquoise and a concentric band of purple spiny oyster centered on a lab-grown white opal representing the bridge. Other oval lab-grown opal cabochons grace the ends of the engine nacelles, and a turquoise cabochon represents the ship’s shuttle bay. The starship portion has a loop and can be detached and worn as a pendant, if desired. Freedland also has another handmade starship available: the “Reliant” from the 1982 motion picture Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan along with an array of cyberpunk—or steampunk—ray guns that are redolent of classic U.S. science fiction films of the 1950s.

Freedland told us there’s no other reason behind the considerable time and effort required to hand fabricate these unique pieces except that he’s always liked the idea of space and the unknown—“what’s out there,” as he says. And he thought they would be a lot of fun to make. We hope these designs live long and prosper.

Duncan Pay is the editor-in-chief of Gems & Gemology.