Taking the decision to commission a bespoke piece can sometimes be very daunting. So, I have put together this blog to try and explain some parts of how an idea finally comes together in a beautiful piece of jewellery. I feel it can be helpful to understand the design process behind a piece of jewellery, so you can get a glimpse of the effort which goes into crafting that special piece.
Every designer has their own unique way of bringing an idea to life. I hope this blog gives you an insight into how a creation comes alive behind the scenes with the jewellery design process.
Identify who you are designing for
It might sound obvious but the first thing I have to consider is the context of the jewellery design. Am I designing a bespoke piece for a client according to their personal specifications or am I designing for my own collection?
The approach will vary somewhat. More of my personal story and creativity can be applied to a new collection but I would want to draw inspiration from a client and how they envision the piece if I’m designing bespoke jewellery.
Nail down the concept
All jewellery begins with an idea or a concept and this is especially true if you are designing a cohesive collection. A concept can be inspired by any idea, from a favourite season to a particular place to a pattern you may love, but it's important to use this as your starting point for the collection.
For example, when I was designing our new Indian Ocean Collection, I was inspired by my childhood growing up in India: the beautiful warm waters of the Indian Ocean, the feel of the sand while I walked on the beach in the evenings and the luminous glow of the moon on the ocean.
If I am designing a bespoke piece, I like to have a few meetings with my client to understand what the passion and reason is behind making that piece. I then like to bring some of that into the design. For example, if we are redesigning an heirloom, then I always like to understand what aspects of it the client would like to keep and also the emotional attachment they may have to the piece.
Keep to the brief
Once I have decided on an idea or a design concept, I like to make a short brief and then try and stick to it as much as possible. It is very easy sometimes to get carried away when designing, and then one can deviate largely from the original request. This can be especially frustrating for a client who has commissioned a bespoke piece.
I also like to create a moodboard with my design ideas and concepts before I get started with the actual design. I find this can be extremely helpful when discussing bespoke commissions with a client. It can help to focus on certain design elements they may like and also any colours of stones they may prefer.
Create the sketch and CAD
Once I have all the concepts firmly in place, we start to sketch the design. Sometimes it can be as simple as explaining the concept to my artisan and he can create the piece based on my description. Sometimes I need to make elaborate sketches. We then create a CAD image, which is shown to the client for approval.
Obtain the metal and stones
Once the design is finalised, I purchase the metal that will be required to create the piece, be it platinum, gold or silver. I also buy the required stones. Sometimes we can find a stone which already exists in the right size. For other pieces, we may have to get the stones cut to the right size as per our design.
Once I have all the materials and the final design concept/sketch/CAD image, my artisan can start work on making the piece. After any required changes are made, the piece is polished and finished as required.
I hope this has given you an insight into my jewellery design process! If you are hoping to commission a bespoke piece of jewellery, please do take a look at our bespoke service.