While it is often said material things are of little note when compared to the people and events that make up our lives, the sentiment associated with some of those possessions transforms them, in our eyes at least, into more than just objects. They become tangible memories of the people and moments in our lives that matter most, and the stories that shape us. For Lisa Garcia Bedolla, a professor and director of the Institute of Governmental Studies at The University of California, Berkeley, the true value of these heirlooms was most apparent when she was awoken in the middle of the night and forced to flee her home country of Cuba. Only able to bring with her what she could carry, she was faced with the difficult task of leaving most of her possessions behind, with the exception of three diamonds that her grandmother had given her.

Finding herself removed from her home, with no way to retrieve the heirlooms of her past, Garcia Bedolla felt the need to create something that would commemorate their story. She eventually turned to Peter Indorf, of Peter Indorf Designs, who understood exactly what she was looking for in the piece. “She had no history that she could pass onto her children or family,” Indorf explains.

So he set out to create a new piece of history for his client: a ring that would incorporate those three diamonds from Garcia  Bedolla’s grandmother, the only material artifacts of her family legacy that she was able to escape with. While the first ring he created after their discussions was beautiful, they both felt that it didn’t exactly fit their vision, so Indorf gladly went back to the drawing board. “I’m very committed to making sure that there’s a satisfaction. It’s not so much about the transaction, it’s about the relationship. That’s very much a part of what I do,” Indorf explained.

Through this collaboration, utilizing Garcia Bedolla’s story and Indorf’s creativity, he crafted a breathtaking final product. “Peter created a family heirloom that will be cherished by me and future generations of women in my family,” Garcia Bedolla said. Indorf’s 44 years of experience, paired with his understanding of the invaluable nature of these heirlooms, leads to pieces that are not only beautiful to any outside admirer, but invaluable to those whose stories they contain. With the skills and knowledge of Indorf to guide her, Garcia Bedolla was able to take the artifacts of her family’s history and create a monument to its beauty, strength and perseverance.