before requesting a piece of jewellery from the studio, please see that it takes not only loving this Work, but to some extent a level of understanding and certainly the appreciation of the effort and expertise that will pour into making your one of a kind jewellery.
And you’ll need to nourish trust with the one who will spends all these many hours making your jewellery.
Working on Commissions was always the main source of income for jewellery artists and craftsmen throughout the centuries, perhaps until modern casting and manufacturing and the big commercial jewellery industry took over.
Yet this has made the possibility of ordering a commissioned jewel all the more special.
Much of my earlier work was created through commissions, and yet for various reasons outlined farther down this page, I have in recent years grown more and more selective in regard to which commission work I would be ready to take.
While imagining the piece of jewellery you wish me to make for you, consider trying to prepare draft sketches of your wishes and design ideas.
Think of any symbols you feel a need for or connection to, what colour of gold you like, which Gemstones.
If it is a ring, I’d prefer to take the size in the studio, if you do it elsewhere please make sure to take the correct size carefully! as most of the rings I make are very difficult to re-size! Consider how wide you like it to be, think of the size and shapes of the stones you wish to include in the jewellery. Sitting together with me (or online) we will share ideas and go through these elements and details.
I respect and usually prefer when a customer knows what he/she wants; however I will not always agree to do what you want! But we can work through different ideas to arrive at a starting point it may be a draft design or simply a collection of elements.
At the time of writing this revised paper, I still do not have the possibility to offer a complete rendering of proposed designs, hopefully when the intended expansion of the studio come to be, rendering of draft designs become an integral part of commission work, and this paper happily updated.
During all these years of taking on commissions, there were also complications, the main issues being estimating cost, a futile challenge to guess all these unknown variables. Every commissioned piece of jewellery is ‘one of a kind’, requiring an unknown amount of work to create.
There are various additional issues like meeting customer’s tastes…! Time that work takes And what happens if customer’s stone is damaged in the setting? [Happened once in over 20 years with a Moldovite doomed in advance that calved from just looking at it!] Grey areas not made clear in writing, before starting the work, may possibly lead to difficulties.
For the bulk of my time, I prefer to simply make jewellery independently.
Get the materials, do the work, and allow it to take as long as it takes until it is ready. Then I put it out, selling a piece may take a day or even 5 years as I know every work of jewellery has someone special it need to meet, and it can take some time. in truth, selling happens when the jewellery is beautiful, well made, and the price is fair. Pricing is simple and real, customers are free to look, feel the work, and they need not wait for many months as they might have to with commissioned jewellery.
Having said all that, I still take on commissioned work, but under somewhat unusual terms. Terms, which may possibly defer some, and deter others, and that is also ok…
With much consideration I have tried to design an arrangement, which allows for the share of risks, and maximum freedom for both parties!
These are my terms:
1) Wishes and Request will be included in the work as much as possible, as long as they feel suitable within the overall design and yet I maintain the final say on all matters of design in my work!
2) Both parties are free to pull out of the commission, and you don’t have to take the completed jewellery if you don’t want to! Or if you feel the price is more then what you are ready to pay.
3) The cost of the commissioned jewellery is determined only upon completion of the work! Any number mentioned before completion is but an educated guess not necessarily reflecting an actual final cost.
4) When possible I prefer not to take an Advance, I will try to create the jewellery with the metal and gemstones I have in the studio, or can obtain within my means.
There are two main scenarios in which the customer may be requested to put forth an advance:
4 A) For buying gemstones required for the work.
4 B) if the project is large and work span over a long period of time.
* Both are specific to a unique Commission Project and will have to be agreed upon when relevant! Sometimes that may only come up along the way and not necessarily at the beginning of the work.
* It can be that on some Commission request from new customers, there will be a need for an advance upfront. That advance will be returned fully if I decide to cancel the commission, if the costumer cancel after work began… the advance will be returned after subtracting the charge for the work already invested in the commission, plus some material charge [mainly a percentage of the gold used that has been lost due to work processes and refining costs]
4a)In the event a commission project is canceled after work began, any advance received, will be returned to the customer, but usually only once the jewellery is completed and sold! [there is no time commitment here, as some work may take a long while to complete and sale.
4 b) If I choose to cancel a commission, I will try to return any advance as soon as I can! But this too may still be tied up to the sale of that piece or another that allows for that cash to be available.
Customer are expected to fully understand this, within the context of the limitations that comes with handmade art in this commercial world of jewellery manufacturers.
5) Regarding Gemstones, I usually prefer to use my own, or source the proper stones needed for a specific commission work. Any gemstones supplied by the customer remain entirely the customer’s responsibility at all times.
5 a) I will do my utmost to take care of customer’s gemstones, but I will not in any way be responsible for loss, theft, or any damage to these gemstones during work and the period of time in which the stones are in the studio. Customers need to be aware of this especially when an expensive or sentimentally important stone is concerned.
5 b) In case the customer decides to pull out of the Commission after work has begun, they will receive back their gemstones, and yet in the event that these gemstones are of unusual properties or shape intrinsic to the design and the work that has already begun, I may either offer to buy the stones from the customer, at wholesale price, or I may be forced to charge for the work already invested in the canceled commission.
The same apply to the possibility that the customer choose not to take the completed commissioned jewellery. In both situations, payment for the gemstones will happen through the same channel as with the return of advance.
6) It takes Time! And some complex intricate works of jewellery may take a very long time…. I know this is something that for some is simply un-digestible. To wait a year for a ring, and yet some rings had taken longer then that!
Smaller simpler pieces may be ready within a few weeks.
With complete respect and sincerity, I will try to complete work in time for truly important occasions. However, I will not commit to deadlines for completion. At times it is better to let a partly worked piece sit aside for a while, allowing design and technical issues to mature in the background instead of pushing for completion and compromising the work!
7) Normally, there is no charge for consultation and design, the price charged is for the jewellery, and established by various factors. Some factors, such as cost of materials are easily calculable, while other elements like artistic beauty, accomplishment, or quality of work, are subject to my experienced opinion. I do not charge by the hour but configure an approximate bulk of time into the calculation. Work time, is usually a large part of the price of my jewellery.
7 a) Sometimes consultation and design can become (with certain customers) overly extended and demanding. In such situations, I may choose to add the cost of the time spent consulting to the price of the work (a normal practice within the trade). I will let the customer know if I feel that we are approaching this situation.
How can one decide the correct price for these jewellery art pieces? in many ways these works of jewellery are quite impossible to price tag.
And yet this is the reality of making a living form one’s handmade work, and so to be more practical and free of all the issues surrounding this all these years, I now decided to simplify the system as much as possible.
The base fare is the combination of materials: basically gold and gemstones, very simple to calculate and ‘dedicated bench hours’ this term refers to purely the time spent working on the piece at the bench! It does not include any of the small brakes necessary for resting the eyes, and all the other various work related time consuming activities like computer work, designing or shopping for materials!
In relatively smaller simpler work, it is possible to quite precisely stopwatch and get the exact time, however, in the larger projects on which work may happen in stages over a long period of time the bench time is estimated on an average daily base, for example and average 8 – 10 hours work day will have perhaps 4 – 5 ‘dedicated bench hours’
In some commission work there could be additional factors beyond the base fare included in the cost
Mutual trust is intrinsic to Commissioned work. I will only take a commission from a person who trust my integrity and work, and whom I feel I can trust.
I may choose to discontinue work whenever I feel distrust on my side, or from the customer!
I’d like to request that anyone who wishes to commission work from me read through these terms, even you dear friends and previous customers, where trust and familiarity are already present.
Anyone is very welcome to come forth with any suggestions or reservations that he/she may have.
With thanks, Love and Light.