Storytelling, legacy and personal myth inform our creative approach during the design process. It is essential to understand the energy that encompasses each couple or individual. From this foundation, a design unfolds. How is our process different from others? We are taking the ancient art of storytelling and metalsmithing, and adding contemporary design techniques to create uniquely personalized items that are formed from the narrations of life.
The custom design and fabrication process below is highlighting the steps for more in-depth pieces, such as wedding bands, engagement rings and items to celebrate an anniversary or special occasion. However we invite all to bring us what you envision as being your perfect piece of jewelry, or something that you have always been looking for and haven’t found, yet.
Initial Design Consultation
Prior to the initial meeting, it is helpful for you to submit basic information for your desired piece, such as a description, material and a general budget. You can submit the Custom Inquiry Form and if you have any additional questions, you are welcome to email us at [email protected]. After reviewing your inquiry, our principal designer, Poppy will contact you to setup the initial design consultation or send a follow-up email with a list of questions to better understand your desired piece. The initial consultation allows you, the client(s), to fully understand the process, ask questions, and present your ideas. You are welcome to bring items and images to provide inspiration and guidance during the design process (or even a partially conceived design of your own). During the meeting, Poppy will ask questions in order to fully see the story behind the individuals and couple, which in turn will inform the conceptual design. If you would like to have a completely novel creation, the designer is happy to start from scratch to create the perfect piece to compliment your unique dialogues and identities.
During the initial consultation, we will review the material options that fit your budget, ring style, engraving choices, and measurements. If you are aware of any metal allergies that will need to be taken into account, please let us know at this time. Additionally, if the you would like to provide stones or any material to incorporate into the design, please let us know beforehand, and you are welcome to bring these items with you to the the meeting. After the initial meeting, you will receive a follow up email containing an overview of the conversation. We ask that you respond with your decision to proceed to the design step within a week’s time. If you decide to proceed with the design process, we will send a Design Agreement to review; the design process itself generally takes a week to complete.
Designs are presented in full: either a rotating 3D rendering, actual wax or metal models, and/or sketches, and many times to open the meeting, a small poem about the conceptual design will be read, providing both a moment of stillness and the perfect prelude to the presentation. The design will indicate stone placement, a full description of the materials used, texture, finish, approximate timeline from start to finish, and an initial quote. Following the presentation, you have the opportunity to suggest alterations to the design. If any alterations are desired, a new design and quote will be sent to you via email. Once the design and materials are approved, the fabrication begins.
Fabrication & Final Fittings
The fabrication of any custom piece of jewelry is quite unique. Depending on the final design, items can be hand-fabricated, or cast in metal after being carved and molded from wax or designed and printed with our 3D wax printer. Whichever way your piece is fabricated, each step is calibrated perfectly and examined thoroughly. Prior to the final fabrication steps, the designer may meet briefly with you for a final fitting of the wax mold. Depending on the intricacy and stones used, we may ask to meet briefly once more for a metal ring fitting prior to stone setting and engraving.
Hand-Finishing, Stone Setting & Engraving
Once the alterations and size adjustments are made, we will finish the piece with any desired surface texture, finish, stone setting, and engraving.
Along with your custom designed and fabricated rings, we will also present you with photos of your rings being designed, fabricated, and finished, as well as your personalized poem. Included will be the original proposal, invoice, a signed personalized letter, letter of authentication, a description of the warranty and a GIA Certificate (if applicable).
Custom Designed Jewelry- Long Distance
Interested in a custom designed piece, but not in the DC Metro area? Not a problem! We can easily execute the same design process… just a little farther away. For long distance custom orders, we prefer to begin the process by sending a list of questions for the conceptual design, similar to the questions that are asked during the initial in person consultation, as well as the logistical aspects of working together. We can also substitute Skype, Facetime, or GChat for the in person meetings. We will then proceed with the design and fabrication as we do for our local clients, however the fabrication process may take a few weeks longer if models need to be sent back and forth to check fit.
The design and fabrication process can take anywhere from 2-12 weeks, depending on the intricacy of the design and any adjustments made during the fabrication process. Clients will be given a customized timeline as part of the design proposal and quote.
Begin the Design Process
In order to begin the process, please contact us or submit a Custom Inquiry Form. Once we have reviewed your inquiry we will setup the initial consultation in person or via phone/email. If you have any additional questions, please visit our contact page or email us at, [email protected].
Please note, when setting up the initial in-person consultation, we will ask for your contact and credit card information. No unauthorized charges will be made, however if the scheduled initial consultation is canceled within 6 hours of the meeting time or you fail to appear for the meeting, there will be a charge of $35. Please visit our Custom Jewelry Terms, Conditions & Warranty page for additional information.