“When you’re buying a ring from a guy in a three-piece suit, you’re talking to a jewelry salesman. When you’re buying a ring from a guy in a leather apron, you’re talking to a jeweler,” says Connie Rovigo, co-owner of Cavallo Fine Jewelry in Red Hook.
Connie and her partner John DiGregorio pride themselves on being a rarity in the Hudson Valley: a jewelry store that designs, sculpts, and casts wedding rings to a customer’s specifications.
Cavallo first caught our eye when we came upon their window display of their unique matching wedding bands, similar to these pictured in their workshop.
With her background in fine arts painting and a BFA from the New York Institute of Technology, Connie can incorporate all sorts of images into her designs for wedding bands. “Once we had a biker couple that wanted their bands to look like the treads of their tires,” she tells us. “Sometimes people want their pets to be on a ring.”
John told us the story of a groom who refused to wear a wedding band and his bride was really unhappy. “The guy was a mechanic, so I asked him if he would wear a wedding band that looked like a wrench. He said, ‘heck yeah’!”
A custom ring begins with a wax sculpture which Connie and John painstakingly create using whatever visual reference is necessary. While we were visiting the shop, Connie showed us this squirrel she was crafting for a necklace and matching set of earrings:
Once Connie and John are satisfied with the wax original, they will use it to create a mold so that precious metal versions can be made. John took us to where he fires the metal himself and demonstrated the casting of several rings. “The metal is over 1900 degrees at this point and you have to be careful to pour it just right so that the finished piece is not brittle.”
John then cools down the mold into which the metals have been poured and the rings come out on a support post looking like this:
John explains the scaly coating is called “bark” and is created during the casting process. To remove it and achieve the lovely luster seen in all the products shown on Cavallo’s Facebook page, John places the rings in a tumbler like the one seen below, where it will be cleaned for several hours.
Aside from creating new jewelry, Cavallo’s can also make delicate repairs. “Once we were called in to help restire a valuable heirloom from a high-end Delaware shop. John, who earned a BFA in gold and silversmithing at SUNY New Paltz, is known as someone who can fix things when many others have failed.”
So whether it’s a one-of-a-kind ring you’re needing for your wedding in the Hudson Valley, or a repair to your great-grandmother’s ring, chances are you’ll find what you’re looking for at Cavallo’s. John and Connie are ready — even for Paul Bunyon and his fiancee!
To contact Cavallo Fine Jewelry visit https://www.facebook.com/Cavallo-Fine-Jewelry.
To book Duetimage Photography Hudson Valley wedding photographers for your wedding, call (845) 905‑6323 or visit: http://www.duetimage.com/contact.