In this Consumer World created by Overnight Shipping, it takes a Special Customer to understand that having an original Custom Designed piece commissioned and executed by an Artisan Craftsperson is a time intensive project. This statement applies not only to Jewelry, but Ceramics, Glass, Furniture, Textiles and all the other Handmade Crafts and Works of Art.
In 2010, Kohler debuted a TV Ad where an Architect is challenged to “Design a House around this Faucet”. What Artisan doesn’t dream of Customers like this!!!
In the Real World, this is a Fantasy, but there are Customers who understand that Creativity is not turned on and off on a schedule or At Will. For ME, 75% of the Creativity occurs in my Mind’s Eye – visualizing different designs, how and in which order different steps will happen, what materials are to be used and where the supplies might be found. This is a time intensive period and HAS to happen before sitting down at the Bench. If the Customer has a design they want executed, it has to be evaluated in the Real World……..I have been asked to make things that appear in Video Games that have NO relation to the Real World……..and these customers sometimes have a difficult time processing that information. I have to explain that many magical things are possible in a Virtual World, but are not possible in THIS World.
SO, if a person wants a Custom Designed piece of Jewelry, TIME is one of the first considerations, followed closely by BUDGET. I cannot make a Gold and Diamond Pendant on a $75 Budget. One item that is sometimes over looked is broken, unused or scrap Gold can be used as materials or as payment, depending upon the quantity available. One of my Specialties is repurposing and redesigning old or Antique Jewelry into wearable Jewelry. Custom Jewelers are also challenged in the ever changing Supply Availability. Designs might have to be altered to include what is Available as to what is Desired. Normally, Time takes about THREE TIMES longer in Today’s World than it did a mere 5 years ago.
The Simple Truth is a Custom Piece will cost more and take longer than what you think it should. Please be prepared by planning far enough ahead to allow for maddening delays that pop up and are not in the Artist’s control and please bring a Flexible Attitude with you as well.