Jewelry Design

Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Jewelry Design
by lee caleca

Designing jewelry is not much different from designing clothing. The process begins the same way with a sketch, technical drawing, presentation board, and sample. Once you've sourced your materials and artisans or manufacturer, you can begin the process of designing pieces for your collection.
Sketch with finished bracelet for comparison
Sketches are made by the designer or assistant artists. Often many iterations of the same design are made and samples are produced before a final design selection is made. Occasionally, more than one iteration of a design is added to the Look Book to see which is preferred by buyers.
Technical flat with bracelet for comparison
Technical flats are sent to the artisan craftsmen or manufacturer for initial samples to be made. Samples often do not come back exactly as the designer planned and additional corrections are made to the design and implementation, then resent to the artisans.

Finished page for Look Book with photograph and description of piece
Creating a Look Book for buyers to view on a website or in a showroom is standard. It's also taken to trade shows. A look book is essentially a portfolio of the designer's collection for that season and may have additional seasons' stock availability. 

It's often more time consuming to create jewelry than it is to create clothing. Much depends on the manufacturer. If you're using artisan craftsmen, the process can take even longer but the finished product can be extraordinary.

Check import and tariff dutys. Metals and stones are regulated differently than fabric and textiles. Some countries have obtained trade preference programs and some are duty free. Duty rates are established by Congress and are located in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the U.S. International Trade Commission. 

Go to the U.S.Customs and Border Protection website for more information on importing stones and metals, which is applicable to raw materials as well as finished pieces.




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