Monday, May 3, 2010

The anatomy of a custom order!

I do love a custom request! Now I am a little bit of a detail freak, so I have a need to ask quite a few questions along the way........but in the end, its a real pleasure making something for a customer and making it exactly as they want it. 

Yes, I throw in my design eye - the color choices, the shapes, sizes, overall look etc....but isn't it a wonderful thing to be able to say "I want an amber necklace just like the multi gem one I bought from you, with silver and quartz" and get......exactly what you want?

The first challenge was to find and pick some beads and pieces to bring together.  Its always fun laying the gems out next to each other to try and see what will work and how it will all look......
Before I knew it I was home and laying out my treasures with some pieces I already had, on my design board to see how it all might come together..... Then once I had made the base silver outline with wire, I started adding beads and gently bending it into shape....
Next stage was to pull together the final pendant outline shape and make loops on each end - one for the necklace cording and the other one in so that it can also be worn as a bracelet if you choose.

BTW - Amber is a beautiful stone made of fossil tree sap and has been known since antiquity. A fossil itself, it can contain many preserved insects and other animals and plants that are tens of millions of years old. These frequent fossil inclusions were made famous in the movie "Jurassic Park".The fossils that are encased in amber probably got there when they flew or crawled on to the fresh seeping sap and then got stuck. The sap oozed over the trapped animals and perhaps fell to the ground and was later covered by dirt and debris. The sap later hardened and became a fossil.

Here's the inspiration piece - it can also be wrapped around your wrist and used as a bracelet...I've also seen similar pieces worn off centre with the cord doubled around as a long 'choker'.......I've even thought it would make a very fancy hair slide with a dowel through each end!!!

And here's a close up of each end of the finished pendant waiting for its necklace cord!
I think she picked a really nice combo of colors don't you?  So whats your creative process with your custom orders?  I was lucky here in that the design was similar to a previous one so I knew kinda what she wanted.......but sometimes thats the fun and a new shape or design comes together because of it!  In the end the customer chose to add another larger chunk of clear quartz - which I actually think looks great :) ....... and here's the finished piece.


  1. fantastic! great article. I find it quite terrifying in some ways when I do custom orders. I know it will be ok but the thought of someone not liking it.... great photos too! cheers

  2. I am quite the same when I paint a custom order too, I want to make sure it is what they want! Great job on that!

  3. HI Angelina - Yes I know what you mean - especially when you are buying stones and silver just for that piece - it can be a bit daunting :) Eileen - thanks - yes the love is in the detail !!!

  4. Having seen this piece in person - it sparkles and is really lovely

  5. found your post through your comment on my blog! following you now. Very nice piece! I agree custom pieces are the best x

  6. Hi Abi - welcome here and thanks for the compliment :)