When it’s time to talk about a custom piece of jewelry, there’s much to consider. Personal style, longevity of the design both in style and in durability, as well as cost and managing familial and societal expectations. A good place to start is a few images either from my website of existing pieces or make an Inspiration board using Google image search. Your image search does not just need to be only jewelry… You can search for sculpture, castles, wrought iron, trees and mountains. Using the images you assemble, we create a mood from the things that you love and inspire you.
Start with a stone and a vision: Diamond or gemstone education comes first. The first step in any design is choosing the main gemstone if there is one. We then engineer a ring or pendant etc. to last a lifetime and that means durable stones and well-made rings that can withstand your lifestyle. A lawyer that doesn’t leave town very often can have a delicate ring that would not be well suited for a rock climber that does CrossFit a few times a week. It’s my job to make something comfortable on the hand and practical in life that doesn’t snag clothing or hair. 25 years of dedication to the craft informs really, really comfortable rings.
Once we have some inspiration images and a stone chosen, we draw… Either in person or via email. We work in pencil until the sketch garners an enthusiastic yes. We work and ask questions until there’s an enthusiastic “Oh yeah”
Using the pencil sketch as an inspiration I’ll draw the ring/ pendant/ piece to scale for the finger size, size of the stone, and dimensions that will be proportional to it in real life. You can see several examples here in the “custom work gallery” section. This too must be an enthusiastic yes. It’s at this point that I draw up a full quote, and take a deposit. I will draw in pencil but will not build a computer model until 50% deposit has been made.
1-2 weeks from the approved pencil drawing, you will receive a CAD rendering that is a screenshot of the actual 3D model that will be used to print your wax. Depending on the complexity of the design, we utilize additive and subtractive rapid prototyping technology for optimal design fidelity.
Once you have approved the design three times, we print the wax, mold it and pour molten metal in your preferred choice of gold alloys or platinum, and then the real work starts of sanding, polishing setting stones and adding texture to make the ring something elegant. You have the option here to see It unfinished if there’s any question that it might need a design revision before completion.
Often with rings, a complimentary sizing is needed at delivery or soon after as fingers are notoriously difficult to gauge size. Humans are different shapes throughout a day not to mention a month or a year.
Copyright infringement and replicating other people’s art
Some jewelry is so iconic and simple and has been made the world over for thousands of years. I’m happy to make things that are classic and simple with some personalization or not. These things cannot be copyrighted and are in the public domain. And every year people ask me to make exact copies of jewelry where I can see someone’s watermark on the image, and the ring is an art piece. All art is derivative, and we can easily modify someone’s design or use it as a starting point, but to work with me, it must change materially, and the picture that’s used as inspiration is just that… It’s not a plan. If you love another artist’s work, either pay them for it, or pay me to make something amazing for you that’s similar, but not the same. It’s more important that the customer is happy at the end than the art is a perfect example of Timothy Meier’s design sensibility, but hopefully you’re hiring me for a reason.