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Custom Jewelry: Puzzle Solving

Liz Law

Posted on August 07 2015

My design process involves starting with pieces that I find inspiring and creating jewelry around them.  I'll arrange various components and chains in combinations that I find harmonious and balanced.  That being said, I also love taking YOUR special components and customizing a piece just for you.  I've recently made a couple custom pieces that I'm pretty proud of.  

For this first one, a client's friend asked me to make a special statement necklace for her friend's birthday.  She told me she wanted to incorporate symbols relevant to her birth date and place.  We were working with May of 1969, birthplace New York City.  After much research, I collected the below pieces: emerald chips (birthstone), vintage Taurus, silver moon (year of the first moonwalk), and a vintage NYC Empire State building charm. 


Next task was arranging these organically into a necklace.  I wanted pieces to be integrated into the design so we didn't end up with something akin to a charm necklace or Pandora bracelet.  I initially wanted to hang the Taurus in front of the NYC charm and have the moon dangle down and string the emerald chips on a layer above, but the way the loops on these charms were formed, it just wasn't physically working. 


Another dilemma was that some of the holes in the emerald chips I ordered were too small to accommodate my wire.  But, creative design is just problem solving, and there are always about a zillion ways to skin a cat.  I played around with my components and chains until I landed on this final design. 


For a different custom order, a customer wanted me to turn these dated clip-on earrings into something more wearable.   


I took them apart and was most inspired by the gold toned elements.  I really liked the circular metal base to which all of the beads were affixed. 

I decided to use this part as the focal point of the earrings.  My customer was so in love with this custom design, that she asked me to use any extra parts to make a gift for a friend.  I made her and her friend matching necklaces out of the leaf.   It all came out really well, and my customer was beyond thrilled! 

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