Stage one - Initiating the Design

The most important aspect of a creating a bespoke design is YOU. So for me the essential first step is to talk to you and get to know you a little better. We’ll chat about what you like, what you don't like, how the jewellery will be used: for example, is it a piece for special occasions or for everyday wear?. How much do you want to spend? Do you like gemstones or do you own a treasured gemstone that you would like to be incorporated into the design? I often hear customers say 'I don't know what I want, I have a necklace / bracelet from x that I never wear but would like it made into something else'. Just chatting can throw up amazing ideas, giving me a great starting point for creating a design that’s right for you. Your personal likes and dislikes are crucial triggers here. For instance, 'I love nature' would lead me to think about organic forms, leaves, flowers or animals, for inspiration. I will then sketch out some initial designs and show them to you: this is your chance to say 'Yes I love that!' or 'No, definitely not' or 'That’s nice but I prefer that catch/pattern etc'. I do not currently charge for initial design sketches, but I do hold the design rights on all sketches and design drawings produced in this phase.

Stage two - Intermediate Design

The next stage is the intermediate design, which often becomes the final design! I produce more sketches, developing initial ideas and showing what is possible and what isn't: for instance, a very fine filigree design isn't really suitable for a ring that is going to be worn often, and big, heavy earrings would be uncomfortable to wear for lengthy periods. During this process, my fee is £30 per hour, to be incorporated in the final cost of the jewellery. If you do not wish to go ahead after this stage, you will only be charged for the time I have spent on the intermediate design.

Stage three - Making

When the design is complete and price agreed, I will request a non refundable deposit of 50% of the overall fee. This is to cover time spent so far and materials required. The remaining 50% will be payable on delivery of your individual piece. Then comes the making! The time required will vary for each piece of jewellery. I will give you an estimate of when your item will be ready. If it needs hallmarking, this usually adds a couple of weeks to the total time. I can advise you of this at the intermediate design stage. For a more detailed idea of the bespoke creation process, you can visit my blog. Coffee is an important part of the process, although not charged to the customer!