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Launching a new range of jewellery (part one)

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I've been slaving away for what feels like forever to get my new range of handmade jewellery ready to launch (hopefully early next week!).

While I'm finishing things off I thought I'd give some insight into the process of launching a new range to explain why it can take so long! This is part one of a two part blog post about my processes.

Handmade sterling silver pendants.
Handmade pendants from my new range.

Designing

The first step is to come up with some general design ideas which hopefully have some relationship to each other. Often I will have had ideas for one or more pieces lurking in my head for a while, so I start sketching and figuring out how they might work.

For the new range I felt that the initial ideas related to the types of objects or design elements you'd find in a vintage or antique shop. So that inspired a whole lot of other ideas and the range began to evolve from there.

Generally at that point I do a lot of rough sketching of ideas and then start creating or sourcing patterns and other images which will be used in the designs.

In addition I also start researching and sourcing any materials I plan to use which I don't have on hand already - whether just more silver or specific types of gemstones or other items.

Handmade pendants - etched sterling silver.

Making

Eventually I feel like the designs are resolved enough that I can start work on making them - provided the required new materials have arrived, of course! Probably unlike some other makers, I usually continue the design process when I start making.

I've rarely got a piece fully worked out in terms of how it will be constructed and finished until I start work and get a feel for how the actual piece will look and what finishes or components will work best with it. This means the making process is often slow!

As I work I often change my mind about things, trial different finishes, decide the design is too large or too small or too simple or too complex, realise that a particular piece simply isn't going to work out or needs to be put on the back-burner, etc. etc..

In addition, usually a particular design needs to be made into different types of jewellery, often at different sizes or using different construction methods. For instance, one design idea may be used to make a pendant, earrings, a brooch and cufflinks.

Once the focus of each piece is completed, I often still have some assembly to do (such as putting a pendant on a chain, adding earwires to earring panels, etc.), which often involves some further decision-making and testing.

As each piece is fully completed it gets put into a little ziplock bag to keep it safe.


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Stay tuned for part two of this post where I'll cover pricing, describing, photographing and uploading!


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