Insight Into A Design Process

Here at Jewel Envy we all work very hard to make the best jewellery we possibly can. Sometimes it takes a couple hours to come up with a sound idea, sometimes it takes weeks or even longer! Some of us draw, some of us make models, some of us use ourselves as guinea pigs. I’m not very talented in the way of drawing so I tend to make models of my pieces. Another huge part of my design process is testing out the jewellery. I would never want to put something out for sale that would be terribly uncomfortable, didn’t look right or would fall apart so I always wear my designs around for a couple weeks before they get my approval.
For my newest collection “Found” I decided to explore the possibilities of using just one shape.

I’ve designed 7 pieces so far using just this one shape and I’m still creating more. One of the pieces I wanted to create was a big statement necklace. After casting multiples in silver and quickly pulling some extras in wax I started to move the pieces around in different patterns on my bench until I came up with one I liked.

After casting the extra pieces I needed, I soldered them together and got to work on the chain portion of the necklace.

I wanted to use these cool agate beads for my chain but after assembling everything it was obvious they weren’t the right choice for this piece. There was too much competition happening between the beads and the silver and the black in the beads was clashing hard with the blackened silver.


I tried a different design with multiple thin chains and wasn’t completely satisfied with how it looked but it was alright for the moment.

It was Christmas vacation time so I decided to leave it as is and wear it over the holidays to test out the strength of the connecting pieces. I wasn’t completely sure they would hold but I wanted the sections to be able to move without a ton of space between them. The small jump rings I chose had  been successful with the other pieces in the collection but…

…the weight of this particular necklace and the lack of wiggle room between the big sections caused the little jump rings to snap off no matter what I tried. Even broadening the space between the sections didn’t work. I didn’t want to use larger rings either because that’s not the look I was going for. So it was back to the drawing bench.

Playing with waxes and using the sections I already had to make the necklace work as one solid piece.

I soldered my new pieces on. The brown stuff is yellow ocher which helps prevent old solder seams from melting while soldering new ones.

I also changed the chain from two sections to one. They kept twisting around each other which I found very annoying and visually unappealing. I’m so very fussy.

Here’s the final piece (for now). I’m giving it a good test run for a couple days before I put the marcasites back in. Hopefully all is good in the world of structural integrity. I’m sure I’ll find out soon enough.
So there’s a little insight into what part of a design process might look like. Hope you enjoyed!


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