Demystifying the commissioning process

Selling direct to the public and via my online shop at Folksy Shop I generally make stock pieces which are one offs or limited edition designs. Quite often a client will want something a little different from the item on sale. It might be that they’d like a different gemstone, a different style of ring or pendant with the same gemstone or something completely different all together.

Artists and Makers are very accustomed to working with their customers or clients to create bespoke pieces of art work. It is something that is done a lot.

The process by which these bespoke pieces are created is called commissioning. Many well know artists only work to commission. Others would never take a commission as it adds an additional pressure to their job.

The process can often be a lengthy one. If you were to commission a painting or sculpture that is going to cost thousands of pounds, you may wish to be involved at every step of the process. This could involve offering a source of inspiration, viewing initial sketches which must then be signed off on and then being involved with choosing the media, mounts, frames, scale and so on. This can all take place over many months, and in some cases years.

When I’m working with a client its a lot less convoluted.

I’m always open to receiving commissions, but will only work with my own remit and artistic style. I will never work from another jewellers design, but I’m happy to work from a customers original design.

In the images below go through the process using a recent client who has ordered a ring as an example. She was very lucky to receive a gift voucher for her birthday at the beginning of the month, her appointment lasted approximately 45minutes. She had seen my work on my Website  and at several open house exhibitions.

1.

My Client knew she wanted a ring. We looked at several examples that I had in stock, and she tried them all on. The first decision was which finger to wear the ring on! Then we narrowed down the design. And then looked at stones. Sometimes a client might choose a gem stone first.

2.

My client whittled down the choice of gem stone between a sugar loaf cut pink tourmaline, and an oval tanzanite.

There are lots of things to consider when choosing a stone for a ring. If the ring is for every day wear the stone must be hard wearing. The design and fit is down to personal preference.

3.

During our conversation I write down notes for myself. These will always include taking the ring size and giving the client an estimate of time, i.e. how long will it take me to fulfil the order. Also an idea of the price. In this case that is top secret!

I can work to all budgets. This may, however, preclude some gemstones or metals.

 

If you’d like to commission me to create you a piece of jewellery please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

 

 

Advertisements

The Society of Botanical Artists

The Society was founded by a group of Botanical artists over 30 years ago, and now comprises of over 120 members. As a Society we hold one large exhibition every year, and members are currently working on an pieces for an exhibition which will be held at the Palmengarten in Frankfurt, Germany. We hold an exhibition biennially in Central London too. This calendar is interwoven with regional and themed exhibitions all over the country and abroad.

https://www.soc-botanical-artists.org/about/about-the-society/

Applying to be a member of the SBA was something I had never even considered until I had a conversation with my neighbour, Alice Harman SBA. Being a jeweller I assumed that an artist’s society was no place for me.

My plant inspired work has always been botanically inspired, and often very correct as quite often I use the botanical specimen to create the imprint on my silver. I use a technique called roller texturing which I learnt at college, as every jewellery student does. Once I left college this technique became the main focus for my work, I usually concentrated on leaves and flowers.

I offered my work for selection for the Open Exhibition and a few years down the line, my work having been selected every year, I was very pleased to be offered Associate and then Full membership. Over time I have seen the Societies’ exhibitions as a focus to create slightly more challenging and sculptural pieces. These have been very well received both by the Society, and my customers.

I was very honoured to be asked to design and make Sandra Wall-Armitage our President’s leaving present earlier this year. Which was presented to her at the Society’s AGM.

I am constantly looking for new inspiration in my surroundings, a walk in the countryside, around the garden or at the beach is always an excuse for a photo shoot to seek out the next piece of inspiration.

How us it ‘that time if year’ again already?

Wow, it’s December 2017 on Friday. I simply don’t know where this year has vanished. My life seems to be steered by work and life, and trying to keep both on an even keel. 

  
Thankfully, the boys are very good at looking after themselves, and Big G, aka Granny keeps an eye out and helps with lifts when I simply can’t be in two places at once. 

Chaos reins at this time of year in my studio, it’s never orderly, but it really does get in to one big mess as I try to keep on top of all the orders and commissions.

  
This time of year the exhibitions and sales seem to be all or nothing, next week I’m taking part in three different events, all helping to celebrate buying local, supporting small businesses, and opting to buy hand made unique gifts for Christmas. 

   
    
   
We don’t need to buy oodles of plastic, electronic or designer gear. Why not give your loved one a gift that no one else in the whole wide world has. All the while know that you are supporting a local business. That business is probably run buy someone who loves what they do, they love to create, it’s what they do best. However, the only way they can make that lifestyle choice work is if they actually sell their work. Artists and makers are very privileged to be able to earn a crust creating, but it’s tough. You have to be a Jack of all trades, and on a steep learning curve. Being a sales person, a business manager, a procurement officer and a creator all at once.

Just think though you are purchasing a one off gift, quite often for a very small price. You are saving resources, buying original designs and getting something really special.

  
  
  
I do hope to see you at one of my last events of this year. 

On reflection it’s been great for me, with so many new designs and potential new clients. I’m really looking forward to next year, and seeing where it takes me!

www.klawriejewellery.co.uk
https://folksy.com/shops/katherinelawriejewellery

It’s nearly ‘that’ time of year!

Every professional artist maker is hectic this time of year, making up orders or getting stock ready for sales, I’m no different.
The only problem for me is that my kids lives seem to go on extra busy too! So I become the juggler.

I’m currently getting all the stock sorted for:

20141121-080229.jpg

And also Steyning Arts at Christmas

20141121-080503.jpg

Getting ready for Christmas means that my stock design turns to making gifts, these do tend to be smaller pieces which are slightly more affordable and so slightly more available.

This year I am concentrating on helping raise money for Breast Cancer Care in memory of Jane. She was one of my students who battled with cancer for many years but lost that fight this summer.

20141121-080848.jpg

20141121-080931.jpg

20141121-080946.jpg

20141121-080958.jpg

20141121-081015.jpg

20141121-081029.jpg

20141121-081053.jpg

20141121-081137.jpg

20141121-081150.jpg

20141121-081202.jpg

I do love this time of year as I get to meet all my customers, who I may only see once a year. It’s fun to catch up! I enjoy making jewellery that I know is appreciated by others and bought with love!

If you would like to come an visit my studio please do get in touch.

Have a lovely festive season.

Spring time

20140317-094246.jpg

20140317-093602.jpg

20140317-093613.jpg

20140317-093624.jpg

20140317-093635.jpg

Spring time for me is one of the best times of year! Everything is bursting back into life after the winter. It is also a time of great promise, the gears are set into motion for the rest of the years exhibitions. Applications processed for all the up coming shows and open houses are filled in and stocks is prepared ready.
It seems to have been a busy few months already!
I have been asked to exhibit in two Open Houses in Brighton this year and have been heavily involved with the organisation of the Steyning Arts Art trail.
I will also be taking part in Henfield garden and arts event in June. This sees the conclusion of my eight weeks with no weekend breaks! It’s hard work but a necessary evil when you work for yourself! I love meeting the people who buy my work, it’s the closure of the circle for me, it’s weird not knowing your client.
Today I’m off up to London to take my work up to the annual exhibition for The Society of Botanical Artist, I have been a member for a few years now and am one of only a few non painter members. The exhibition is always brimming with gorgeous images of botanical life, a highlight on my calendar!

20140317-094253.jpg

20140317-094303.jpg

20140317-094633.jpg

20140317-094643.jpg

20140317-094721.jpg