Sunday, October 23, 2011

What does it take to made a new jewelry component?

HandFast Design designs and manufactures components that are just that - our designs. It takes time and effort to do this.

The first step is an idea or a need. I get ideas and needs from my customers and from my own jewelry creation. I look to consider toggle, hook & eye, magnetic, labyrinth, or slot clasps or cones, rings, beads, pendants or earrings.

I sketch out a rough idea on any piece of paper that comes to hand. I try to carry a sketch book all the time and I keep them for future plans. I take photos where ever I go. I cut out pictures from all matter of printed material. Almost anything inspires me. Below is a CAD rendering of The Road Ring followed by a photo of the final product.

When it seems time I take the idea into my computer and start design process. I use CAD (computer aided design). I am a traditionally trained silversmith, but prefer the use of my computer because it offers me quicker and more flexible design options. I can scale, create surface patterns. It is easier to discard things that do not work and try new things.  My training in traditional methods informs my designs. It assists me in choosing metal thickness, size of pieces, textures and shape.

Coming articles will take you through the steps of jewelry design, development and manufacturing.

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