How to Design Custom Jewelry With The Gilmore Family

Beth GilmoreHow To

Maybe you feel inspired to create a piece of custom jewelry for your engagement and wedding ring, or maybe you want to do something special with stones from an older piece of jewelry. But you don’t know where to begin.

Let’s figure out what you like.

Go to a couple of jewelry stores and browse their selections. You might want to hit a chain and a couple of small boutique stores for a variety of styles and prices.

You can also browse online. Pinterest has opened up a whole new world of inspiration. Type in a few terms to see a variety of styles. For example, engagement ring, heirloom ring and baroque ring will all display wildly different results. Pin your favorite samples on your own Pinterest board. Do you see any repeating themes? Do you like simple, or something little more ornate? Is there a certain cut of stone you’re drawn to?

Write a paragraph.

If you’re stuck, write a few sentences about how you want the piece to make you feel, or just list a few adjectives that describe the feelings you want to communicate.

Collaborate with your designer.

If you decide to work with us at Gilmore Family Jewelers we’ll help you figure out what sort of styles you like.

While we’re experts at designing jewelry, we aren’t mind readers 🙂 The more examples you can bring of what you like and don’t like, the better we’ll be able to create a design that captures what you are looking for. Be sure to tear out samples from a magazine, provide the link to your Pinterest board or even offer a rough sketch. Once we receive your input we’ll have some ideas for you, and with our experience we can suggest what works best in the construction of jewelry.

The first rendering.

Depending on what sort of metals and stones you select, we will present in one of several ways:

  • Hand-drawn sketch – We’ll sketch what your piece will look like. Hand sketches have a softer sensibility to them than computer generated sketches.
  • Computer 3D illustration – We’ll render your design in a 3D design program (CAD).
  • Hand-carved wax – We’ll hand carve a wax model of what your design will look like. This is a dying art form but a hand-carved wax model presents a more organic design.

Please note, if you’re doing Distance Design Services, you’ll most likely receive a scanned hand-drawn illustration, or a computer 3D illustration.

Time to give feedback.

Next we’ll send you the first rendering for review. Take a moment and see if there’s anything you might want to change. Be sure to ask any questions about details you’re not sure about. Remember, this is a custom piece and it might take another round to make it just perfect.

Crafting your masterpiece.

Once you approve the design concept, we’ll get to work crafting your work of art.

If you worked with a hand-carved model, a casting will be made. The model will be encased in plaster and then exposed to heat, melting the wax out and leaving hollow spaces. Those spaces are filled with hot metal which then cools.

With a 3D illustration, we make use of CAD technologies to help us “grow” a wax model with a milling machine layer by layer or carve the design from a piece of wax. A casting will then be made.

Hand-constructed items are built in your selected metal piece by piece. Your stones will be set and then the polishing begins. Polishing is like icing on the cake, adding an impressive finish to your design.

The final result.

You’ll have a piece of jewelry that will last a lifetime, with every detail reflecting your style and your taste. It brings us such joy to collaborate with our customers designing their perfect custom jewelry.

Design Custom Jewelry