This the first entry in a four-part series on the process of custom designing a piece of jewelery.
Custom design is an important element of our business at Grimball Jewelers and a service we are pleased to offer our treasured clientele. Many people know right from the start that they want a custom piece of jewelry but sometimes it’s not until a customer has browsed our collection and spoken with a member of our sales staff that it becomes clear that they will need a piece created especially for him or her. Once the need is recognized, it’s time for a consultation with our designer Tony.
During the consultation, Tony asks a variety of questions to determine the parameters for the piece.
- Is the customer looking for something modern or traditional?
- If gemstones are to be used in the piece, is there one stone that will be of primary importance or are there several stones to consider and arrange in a pleasing manner?
- How will the stones be set? If the customer leans toward a modern style, Tony typically recommends bezel or channel setting while a traditional style usually looks best with bead or prong setting.
- Will the piece be symmetrical or asymmetrical?
As the consultation progresses, Tony does a bit of counter-sketching to demonstrate different ideas about the piece. Once in a while, he will get lucky and produce the perfect design on the spot. But usually he schedules a follow-up where he will present the customer with four or five design options. When the customer reviews the designs usually one of the following occurs:
- One of the designs is just what the customer wants.
- The customer likes elements from two or more of the designs and a new design is required that combines those elements.
- The designs help clarify what the customer wants or does not want but still need refining.
It’s nice when it works out easily but sometimes it takes a bit of extra work to get to perfection. Once a design is approved, the next step is Modeling and that is the subject for the second part of this series.
Below you will find a sample of Tony’s counter sketches and design proposals. Enjoy!