If you read my Commissions page then you’ll see that I talk about making a mock-up of the proposed piece before finalising the design, buying materials and taking the plunge.
There are several reasons for doing it this way.
Firstly, I have to confess, I can’t draw. My daughter can look at a 3D object and see how to convert it to a 2D representation. My mum was pretty artistic as well but this ability seems to have skipped a generation.
Believe me, I’ve tried.
I can visualise a 3D object and rotate and manipulate it in my head and then create it straight from there but don’t ask me to put it on paper as an intermediate step.
After having done this for so long, it’s actually quicker for me to make something up on the bench. The benefit for the client is that you then have a physical object that you can see, hold and try on.
So often, particularly with rings, you just won’t know if it suits you until it’s on your finger and that’s a hellava risk to take if you’re planning on spending thousands on a gold and diamond ring. Doing it this way means that If it’s not quite right then further modifications can be made until it is.
All this is free and without commitment right up to the point where you approve the design and I need to start buying materials. Before that you’re free to walk away without obligation.
The second benefit of doing things this way is that I can often use the mock up to make a mould to cast the real thing. This means that the work is not duplicated and the client knows that they will be getting an exact replica of the piece that they’ve approved.
Below you can see this process in a commission that I’ve just finished.
The client came to me with an old wedding and engagement ring that she wanted to have made into a new more contemporary ring.
These are the rings after I’d removed the diamond and before they went into the crucible to be melted down.
This is a drawing that she gave me as a starting point.
This is the silver mock up that I made in for her to try on. She was looking to have a ruby in the final piece so I set it with garnets to give more or less the right colour. (You can buy this now with a variety of stones. Click the image if you’re interested)
This is the finished piece set with her original diamond and a ruby that we bought to go with it.
So what did she think?
“I’ve picked up the parcel from the post office today. I was nervous about opening it, but I just have. I’m completely overwhelmed, it is stunning and just what I wanted. And I have no idea how you did it but it fits perfectly. I love the ruby too. “