THE CUSTOM DESIGN EXPERIENCE
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A CONSULTATION
Our first meeting is dedicated to discussing how to bring your piece to life. It’s like an interview, I get to find out a little bit about who you are, and you get to find out about this process of bringing design into reality. This is the time when you want to present any ideas you have already.
During the meeting I’ll do some initial sketches and we will look at relevant samples of materials and products. This may be sufficient for you to decide to move forward, or I may need to follow up with additional sketches or more information.
After we have all settled on a design that works with your budget a deposit is required to start the work on your piece. Most projects take 5 to 6 weeks to complete from this point, with some exceptions for more complicated projects. We recommend that you plan to allow 8-10 weeks total for design and manufacture of your custom jewelry.
WHAT TO BRING TO INITIAL MEETING
Some people come with very specific ideas about what they want, and although it does tend to make the process go a little faster, that kind of client is rare. If you don’t have any ideas beyond the notion of having a piece, that is also fine. Design details, choice of stones or metal, as well as directions to take a design are all things that can be introduced and refined as the meeting progresses.
THOUGHTS AND THEMES
Probably the most common question I ask new clients is, “Is there a symbol or metaphor that is important to you?” It could be something that represents you, or if it’s an engagement or wedding band it could be the thing that brought you together, like a hobby, or a place that is special to both of you. It may also simply be a design element or style that you like. If you have seen something in your searches that you like, please bring examples
Likely you have been looking around and have seen a number of things that you are considering. Make a list, a folder of pictures, a collage, whatever suits your thinking process. You could also start a Pinterest board, which you can share with me by first following my account and then inviting me to follow your board.
Another very common request is whether we can use gold from old jewelry. Sometimes a person wants to give ancestral jewelry a second (and sometimes third) life. It can also save you money if you already have material and we reuse it. I have yet to come across a situation where I couldn’t use the metal from old jewelry in some way. In many cases the metal can be directly melted down and reformed. If there is a lot of solder on the piece then perhaps only parts can be reused. For parts that can’t be directly used, I can recycle it for you and offer you credit at current scrap gold price.
Old stones can also be reused. There are few things as satisfying in an engagement ring than to be able to present and admire an estate stone from one’s parents, or even grandparents. The opportunity to reuse these materials in your jewelry gives me no small amount of satisfaction knowing that we are reducing our impact on the world with each project.
DETERMINATION AND INSPIRATION
Sometimes it takes several meetings to finalize a design. The first meeting is all about ideas and dreams. Even the most wild fantasies can often be achieved. In addition to that, new ideas may spring up during our interaction, so it can be helpful to stay open to the the diversity of options.