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Showing posts with label custom jewelry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label custom jewelry. Show all posts

Arizona Artist Series: Stefanie Dicker of Bezel and Brass Q & A

Sterling Silver Botswana Necklace

How did you get into metalsmithing?

Years ago, my grandma gave me her wedding ring and told me that I could reset the stones, if I wanted to do so. I felt that the best way to honor her, would be to learn how to reset the stones myself. Ironically, I no longer want to reset the stones. I cherish the memories that I have of her wearing that ring. I want to preserve the ring and the memories.

Sterling Silver and Brass Geometrical Earrings

What inspires you?

I'm very inspired by other cultures. Specifically, Native American and Hispanic cultures. I love the story, the spirit, the richness and the detail.



Bezel and Brass Silver Hoops with Brass Dangles

What is your design process?

 I tend to be a more methodical person, so, I'm not one to "wing it".  I almost always have a plan before I start working on a piece. Usually, I end up deviating or modifying somewhere along the way. That's the part of the process that I have a tricky relationship with. I don't like uncertainty, although, uncertainty can be our best teacher.

Bezel and Brass Silver Jasper Ring

What is your favorite tool and why?

 My favorite tool changes, depending on the pieces that I'm working on. Consistently, though, I love my rotary tool. The finishing process is cathartic for me.


Bezel and Brass Work Bench with various tools


What is on your bench right now?

I'm finishing up some chrysoprase earrings and starting a collection for a salon in Minnesota.

Bezel and Brass Silver Varasite Ring




Where can we find your work?
-Local Nomad on Camelback and Central, localnomadshop.com
-late spring/early summer at Mérite House of Beauty in Minnetonka, MN
-Etsy, bezelandbrass.etsy.com


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6 Tips to Create a Fair Contract (for Yourself & Your Client) When Taking a Jewelry Production Order



Saguaro earrings, twig shapes, polishing wheels
You were asked to use your jewelry metalsmith skills to make something for someone else’s product line.  It’s exciting!  Such opportunities are a good way to make some regular money for a period of time, get your name out there in a new way and work in collaboration with designers, or entrepreneurs.


However, it’s your first offer of this kind, it can also be a bit overwhelming – especially if you haven’t created anything like the particular design requested of you. You want to be fair to your client, and yourself in regards to your time and the cost of materials. What does that look like?
A contract agreement of some kind? 
Turquoise. notepad, wire, jewelry bench, necklaces and earrings

Here are some essential details Harold Studio recommends considering and including in a contract before you agree to take on the work.

1.     Arrange for a beta production period where you are paid to design and create from their specs a sample of prototypes for approval. This way, you know how long a certain piece takes to make and can also better estimate necessary details. Especially, if you’ve never created this kind of jewelry piece/design before.

2.     Once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to have a solid time frame for completing deliverables for a certain number of pieces and can list a solid completion date/time frame to include in the contract.

3.     Once you know your time frame, your production fee (how much you pay yourself hourly) along with the cost of materials can be determined.

4.     Include a non-disclosure clause in your contract. This won’t necessarily guarantee that the pieces you create are fully protected from copycats, but it provides a certain amount of legal protection that sets your expectations if you plan to include 3rd parties in the production process.

5.     Cover your time and expenses, if there are requests for changes of materials, or style applied for another round of prototypes.  Note in the contract that there will be fees incurred for edits, changes to the piece. Be sure to include fees for not just your time and material, but also for any work required by 3rd party service (engraving, for example).

6.     If this piece you’re producing is going to be sold on a continual basis, determine a percentage of your share of each sold piece.  You may need to consider a lower percentage at first, until the salability of a piece is proven and include a clause that says, ‘Upon a certain number, (200, for example) of charms, bracelets, etc. sold in a 4- month time frame, the contract can be revisited for consideration to raise my percentage share of each sale.’

We hope these tips help to put you at ease and feel more confident about taking on production work in the future.  If you need specific tools and workspace to fulfill a production order, Harold Studio offers rental options based on your experience and budget. Learn more here.

Studio with work benches, tools, a polisher and supplies




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Sacred Spirit Gems

Arizona Artist Series: Mark Plehn Q&A


Mark of Sacred Spirit Gems has a stirring array of crystals and crystal healing jewelry with stone combinations that are carefully arranged to create optimal healing results for the wearer. He was kind enough to answer some questions in our Arizona Artist Series about his design process and what inspires him.


custom ruby ring


How did you get into metalsmithing?

I began the initial metalsmithing aspect of my jewelry career learning how to set gemstone cabochons with sterling silver wire.  Almost twenty years ago I was fortunate enough to have met an amazing silver wire stone setting artist.  She had a small table at a very small northern Arizona town craft fair and after some conversation and my bold request for her to teach me, we ended up at my dining room table a few days later as she passed on her knowledge!  I was and am so grateful for her open-hearted sharing of her talents for my benefit and I appreciate the gift I received that day every time I set up a new wire wrapping design.  My ongoing desire to expand my jewelry creating skills then led me to Harold Studio and Johanna.  I feel like now the sky’s the limit after finding another amazing artist willing to share their metalsmithing gifts and knowledge!

Quartz necklaces made custom for healing

What inspires you?

For me the inspiration for almost all of my work is the gemstones and their amazing ability to receive, store, amplify and transmit light, color and mineralogical vibrations.  I’m inspired by nature and natural organic forms and I’m also very inspired by antique designs: Victorian era, the jewelry of the 20s, 30s, 40s and sometimes even ancient antiquity designs from Egypt, etc. 

What is your design process?

custom labradorite necklace
As a certified Crystologist my initial design process always begins with the energy of the gemstones and the intention for the piece I’ll be creating.  Is the piece I’m working on a single stone, stand alone pendant for a chain or is it a pendant that will be attached to gemstone healing combination design?  In what form will this healing design be most effective for my client?......in a necklace or bracelet form?  Maybe it needs to be an anklet because the client uses their hands and a bracelet would be in their way.   Most of my designs are custom healing designs with gemstones and crystals specific to addressing physical health challenges or intentional consciousness enhancement designs.  All of my designs are centered around the crystals or gemstones and I do my best to let the stones tell me the best way to create them into intentional consciousness enhancement and wearable healing art.

What is your favorite tool?

I’d have to say my favorite tool is my flexshaft.  I love all the different things I can do with it in grinding, texturing, finishing and polishing.  Not to mention the ability to change my tips to stone carving tips for working on gemstone carvings, etc.  I feel like I’ve only begun in exploring all the things I will be able to do with this wonderful tool.




custom made rings in Arizona

What is on your bench right now?

On my bench right now are a number of in process pieces.  I always have several different pieces I’m working on and usually switch between them……if I get stuck or frustrated with one thing I’m working on, I switch to something else to keep me fluid and enjoying the process.  There is currently a custom double ammonite piece I’m setting in an unusual way as well as a number of quartz crystals pendants, a ruby ring and a ring repair project as well.
what is on my jeweler's bench

 
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