In 2017, when international yacht designer, Amy Halffman began working on a 76.5-meter yacht project she immediately began drawing inspiration from an Estella Fransbergen sculpture. What Halffman didn’t realize was the impact the delicate design of the sculptures would have on her career and life. Fast forward to 2020 and Estella is adding the finishing touches to a 74-inch custom sculpture featuring 7.5 carats of 68 sparkling diamonds adorned a bronze bodice with more than 2,500 pearls, Swarovski crystals and quartz stones draped atop a 100 pound quartz stone base. The sculpture is the centerpiece and overall design inspiration for the yacht, which is currently finishing construction in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Although Estella’s unique design aesthetic of the female form, inspired Halffman’s interior design of the yacht, the silhouette of Estella’s sculpture has meant more to her this year as she’s battled stage 3 breast cancer. In January, Halffman, who’s based in Seattle, Wash., received her breast cancer diagnosis and learned she would need a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.
“I love Estella’s sculptures even more now. It speaks so much about reconstruction in a way that I didn’t fully understand before, but it makes me love it even more,” said Halffman. “I have my own Estella sculpture, which I named Grace, and it speaks so much to the representation of strength, beauty, sensuality and maternal feelings in a way that are so tastefully done. Estella’s sculpture speak beauty.”
Estella believes her sculptures resonate with breast cancer survivors for a variety of reasons. “The natural gemstones and the beauty of the sculpture seem to speak a lot to women going through breast cancer. Sometimes they may feel like they lost some of their femininity, but when they look at my sculptures, it makes them feel beautiful and gives them positive energy,” said Estella.
The national COVID-19 shutdown added a new layer of challenges to Halffman’s cancer journey, but after undergoing chemo treatment and a double mastectomy in July, she is now on the road to recovery. Throughout her chemo treatments and surgery recovery, Halffman continued work on her client’s yacht. “It’s not common for an entire yacht to pull inspiration from a single art piece, but that’s what happened,” said Halffman. “My client is not a person of many words, but when he saw his first Estella sculpture he could see the beauty and how stunning this type of piece would be on this project. Getting the green light to commission a piece spoke volumes.”
The sculpture uses natural colors and elegant lines for a timeless look. This color pallet is carried throughout the ship and accessories are used for pops of colors that appeal to both men and women. The final sculpture will be installed either in the yacht’s main foyer, surrounded by Swarovski crystal chandeliers or in the sky lounge.