While most consumers will purchase a jewelry item at their local jewelry shop, or on-line, there are also consumers who choose to have their jewelry custom designed. While it is more convenient and less complicated to purchase a piece of jewelry from a nice selection within a showcase, those that choose to take the path for custom design know that they do not want a commercial piece of jewelry that can be seen on the average person.
Choosing to have a custom jewel piece made has significant meaning to the individual. As an example, we have recently made 3 identical family crest rings for one of our customers. The coat of arms emblem, which is carved from lapis lazuli, is from her husband’s family; and while Heidi proudly wears the ring on her pinky finger, she wanted her three grown children to wear a piece of their ancestral history. She plans to give these rings to her children for their upcoming birthdays this year.
For most connoisseurs of that 1-of-a-kind piece, their input into the design is very important; while others design the entire piece on their own. There is something to be said about a piece that you had significant creative influence in designing or co-designing with your jeweler. You know when you wear that piece that it truly is a part of you-it is as unique as your signature.
How often I have heard “I know in my imagination what I want, I can picture it, but I can’t get it down on paper”. This is a pretty common expression by consumers who desire to design a custom piece of jewelry for themselves. They try sketching and then when they hit a roadblock, get frustrated and give up all attempts at creating their dream jewel.
Well I have good news; you do not need to be an artist to be inspired. You need creative channels to inspire you towards the end result, which is your ideal custom design special piece.
So where do you begin? Where is the starting point?
Look through fashion and jewelry magazines. You may notice a certain setting that is exactly what you want, while in another publication, you may see the right shank-call it a mixed bag of designs or as my Hungarian background would say, “a good goulash”. In other words, you can see bits and pieces of features that appeal to you in certain pieces of jewelry that can then be executed into one design. I can tell you one thing, designing the specific piece is not done overnight, it can take weeks, months and even years.
As you begin to cut out pictures, store them in a scrap book or folder and as you come across more pictures just keep adding them to your collection. You may come across other designs that appeal and get you excited and as you continue to find more designs, you might choose to scrap others that you have collected previously.
If you don’t collect magazines, then your computer will be you next best source. As you find pieces, that you like, bookmark them or print them up. Let’s say you are interested in a sporty ring, Google, “sporty rings”, it will yield multitudes of pages which you can print up and collect.
Has your library card been gathering some dust? You will have a pleasant surprise when you visit your local library and see their collection of books on jewelry. You have to decide what style, type and era of jewelry you are looking for. If you want your jewelry to be inspired from a certain time period, you may explore books that focus on a certain genre or style, i.e. Modernistic, Art Deco or Victorian.
Carrying a small camera or your phone’s camera can often capture the right picture at the perfect moment. You may see a person wearing an extraordinary piece of jewelry, or you may pass a jewelry shop window and see a piece that attracts you-you can instantly capture it all with a single click. Your camera can also capture images of objects, animals, foliage, landscapes-anything that can inspire a shape, theme or color.
If you travel to different countries you can be influenced by their own jewelry designs. So many countries have their own distinctive design concepts-you will definitely want to capture those on film.
Now if you can draw a little, then buy a good sketch pad and when a creative moment strikes you, fill that pad with shapes and textures. You may have bursts of ingenious creativity; use those moments passionately and let the creativity in you flow.
Carry a small notebook with you because you never known when a creative idea hits you-it can be a thought, image or a word.
Think of words that are associated with the theme or type of jewelry you wish to have designed. Descriptive words evoke images, patterns, shapes and shades. As an example, if you are a boater, the words associated with that are speed, nautical, adventurous, waves, compass and buoys. Key words that would describe a swimmer include wind, water, athletic, strength and endurance, movement, flowing and graceful. When you look at these words, you can visualize shapes, lines and textures which can be incorporated into your design.
If you are looking at designing an initial, name, or expression, look at various types of fonts, calligraphy books or sites that specialize with lettering styles.
When you are researching the area/subject that focuses on your jewelry, pull out detailed information, choosing only the most significant feature(s) so that as the design evolves, it becomes that much more exact and detailed. You have a starting point from which to begin; from there you can add, take away, substitute, analyze until it is the way you vision it.
It certainly helps when you know someone who can draw or is even a professional artist, as one of our customer’s sister-in-law is. Designing her ring and matching pendant was a breeze. Ciara knew exactly what she wanted. Her sister-in-law with her fine sketching pencils and artist pad started sketching as Ciara started describing in fine detail the design. As the design was beginning to evolve it became more and more refined as Ciara looked on and guided the “artist”. When the sketches were complete she took them to her jeweler and a few weeks later was elated to see the final outcome of her original design-her ring and pendant.
An artist can also recreate a piece from pictures that you have collected. It would probably make their job easier to see actual pictures. As you communicate what you vision from the various pictures, it becomes that much more focused and exact for the artist to create the desired piece of jewelry.
Now you are ready to have this imagined piece of jewelry become a reality!