I love working on commissioned pieces, the whole process from first contact, working on design, matching colours, sourcing materials and getting to know my clients through the process is just amazing. Often of course it pushes me out of my comfort zone, especially if I’m using a new technique but its just a brilliant part of what I do.
My most recent commission was quite initially quite vague, “ …Something special for my mum, it’s her birthday and she loves pearls” OK, I thought, that’s a fairly broad remit, it took several messages, lots of mock-ups and many photographs before we got to a design that she really liked. Through the process, I got to find out more about her mum the sort of thing she normally wore, whether this was to be an everyday or an occasion piece etc.
I invest a lot of time at this stage, I love to be able to produce something that is not only going to match an outfit, but also to capture the personality of the wearer too, its really important to me that I get this right.
We decided to go for a pendant, elegant but understated, suitable for casual, and more formal attire, the obvious material to me was freshwater pearl and sterling silver, I love putting this combination together, they compliment each other so well don’t you think?
It did take several attempts to pin down exactly what was going to work for my client’s mum, but then a design came to me that ‘just seemed to fit’. As is typical with this sort of thing I woke up at stupid o’clock in the morning and the idea was just there! I didn’t want to go back to sleep so I grabbed my notebook, drew a quick sketch put my head back on the pillow, but it was no good, sleep wasn’t going to come now. I got up and went to the studio, mocked up the piece and sent the photo to my client for her to see while she was still eating her cornflakes.
Sometimes you just know you’ve got it right; I wasn’t surprised when I got a message 10 minutes later saying, “that’s IT!!”
It’s always a lot of work, but is it worth it for something that turned out to be incredibly simple? Well yes, my clients mum was over the moon, I had the most amazing message thanking me, and a few days later a request for matching earrings. That I think is a brilliant outcome.