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.

 

 

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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.

It’s that Open House time of year!

       
May is the start of the Open House season.

I have been taking part in Open houses for around 15years. I been lucky to take part in several venues within the Artists Open House group in Fiveways. Fiveways Artist group was were it all started over 30 years ago.

 
This year I also took part in an exhibition called ‘Breaking the Rules’ which was at the Jointure Studio in Ditchling. An historically artist community!

 
It is the ninth year that an art trail has taken place in Steyning. I organised the Art Trail as part of the Steyning Festival. As the festival went to a biannual event, I stepped down from this role. Steyning Arts was formed. Several years ago I joined the organising committee. I am now current Chair, and along side a committee of eight other we organise various community arts events. Our role as a society is a combination of supporting fellow artists providing them with facilities to exhibit and hopefully sell their work. Also enabling the public to gain easy access to the visual arts 

  
   

www.steyningarts.co.uk
I always views these events as potential selling times, but more importantly a time to meet your public, and spread the word about your work. Display standards must be maintained. 

  
         

June heralds the start of open garden season. I will be taking part in Henfield Garden and Arts, West Sussex.

http://www.henfieldhub.com/festival-of-gardens-and-arts/gardens-arts-is-gearing-up-for-june

Also in July I will be at Parham House and Gardens, near Storrington, West Sussex, for their Garden weekend.

See you somewhere soon!

http://www.parhaminsussex.co.uk/events-and-courses/events.html