Custom Designed, Handcrafted Jewelry. A Personal Experience
In my experience with gift giving, jewelry is always a winner and this has caused me to explore the option of custom designed, handcrafted jewelry. You see, when I am looking for a piece of jewelry, I want to find something unique and “out of this world”. I search for that impossible, sparkling item containing the magic quality that says, “Look! I know you and I care enough to invest time and energy in finding the very thing you most wanted! Aren’t I sneaky?” I want to see utter astonishment on the recipients face, a look of disbelief and genuine heartfelt appreciation, along with the awestruck statement, “How did you know?” This is the kind of response that makes me, the giver, just as happy as the recipient; it becomes a mutual receiving fest.
For me, gift giving has become a watered down experience since shopping for jewelry has made me weary. Most merchandise looks the same and if it doesn’t, the price is ridiculous whether or not the item is desirable. Most jewelry is being manufactured now in batches and duplicates by someone I don’t even know, and will probably never meet let alone talk to. Who are these people and where do they live?
I know crafty people who make crafty gifts catered to the recipient’s tastes! My daughter makes earrings and necklaces for her girlfriends, who are always thrilled to wear her personalized art pieces. These talented craftspeople are to be respected, if not worshiped for their saintly pursuits. I mean really. Who has the time? Which leads me to discuss the subject of this long-winded dissertation, I design it. The artist makes it. This is what “custom designed, handcrafted” means. And if you look online, you will find many resources for handcrafted custom jewelry.
I like the idea of working with an experienced craftsman, who not only has the time and talent, but the desire (if not the obsession) to make jewelry, beautiful jewelry, wonderful, magical jewelry. The very pieces of personalized jewelry I seek as gifts for the loved one’s in my life. I can see the two us, the craftsman at his workbench, and I with a picture in my mind working together to alter the blueprint for my plan just enough to make the creation feasible. But, I have never pursued this dream of mine as I simply assumed the cost would be way over my budget.
I have discovered and want to share with you that a custom designed product does not necessarily mean an expensive product. As I stated before, the craftsman who will be skillfully handcrafting my jewelry piece is an artist. He wants to make my jewelry. And he has never seen a design quite like mine. He is excited, even anxious to get started. If you come across one who isn’t, keep looking. There are many willing artists to interview. He will be willing to negotiate a price just to have the opportunity to make something he has never made before. Who knows, his customer may have come up with a design that he would not have created without her. And this design could become wildly popular-you get where this is headed, don’t you? The relationship between customer/designer and artisan has deepened. We contribute to each other and a quality piece of jewelry art is born at the agreed upon price.
I am already dreaming of the next handcrafted, custom design I will manifest. It is a titanium ring with my daughters name engraved on the outside. Fitted for her pinky finger and flush set with a delicate blue sapphire. The words “My One And Only…” engraved inside the band. I can already see the look on her face!
- Susan Smith