From the Bench
Trios Studio is ten years old. Deborah, Kathe and I have learned so much in this endeavor, including things about so many of our enthusiastic and loyal clients, many of whom have became friends. I know we would be nowhere without all of you. I don't think that any of us realized how important it would be to our clients to be able to take care of their jewelry in our studio. Well, we're here to stay so keep on bringing your treasures to us!
As of this writing, I have just attended ,and enjoyed, the 9th Annual Portland Jewelry Symposium. I have come away with ideas to improve our studio, website, client relationships and more as we move into the next five years. Everyone who attended seemed energized to implement changes large and small.
The emphasis was on ethical and transparent supply chains, especially in precious metals. Trios has always used Eco-gold and silver and we offer the choice of Fair Trade Gems. As we educate our patrons on the benefits of using these materials in their projects we are giving grass roots support to this movement in the jewelry industry. We tirelessly tell the success stories of the communities in developing countries that have agreed to these Fair Trade protocols. This trend is good for everyone. Ask the businesses that you support with your dollars to support Fair Trade practices and we can all take steps to be part of the solution. As I was reminded, change can start with one small thing you do, so just do it!
See you at the Studio!
This is a question from my last post -- why custom design jewelry, anyway? Especially when there is so much jewelry available? It is true that jewelry and accessories seem to be everywhere, especially on Etsy, auctions and the like, and often at seemingly good prices. At Trios we see quite a variety of our client's jewelry since it is brought to our studio from all of these sources to be cleaned and serviced. Yet, at times, these are the very clients that finally decide to have us design and create a custom piece for them.
I think there is so much value in having a piece that is created just for you, be it emotional, aesthetic, stylistic, symbolic or the expression of a legacy. It could meaningfully express your sense of personal style and make a statement about who you are. Bold or dainty, intricate or of sleek lines, colorful gems or rustic, textured metal -- all of these considerations and more go into each piece. The people we work with become excited by the process of designing something so specifically and thoughtfully produced. It is a completely different experience to be involved in the creation of an expressive piece of jewelry made only for you.
The unique wedding set in the photos above truly captured the spirit of one couple. He is a musician. They both love rural life, so her idea was to model the rings after a Fender Stratocaster guitar. His was 2/3 of the guitar and hers was 1/3. The second ring for her featured a "pick" shape that fit into the rose gold pick guard on his ring. Both rings featured 14k white gold "barbed wire" encircling the shanks. It was fun to take her very specific desires for the design and evolve and into a three functional, meaningful and aesthetically pleasing rings.
The fun, fashion jewelry definitely has a place in a woman's wardrobe, but that intriguing, meaningful little piece of wearable sculpture that you had designed for you is what you will pass down to your daughter or son. And they will remember that you loved it and enjoyed it. This is some of the most interesting work that we have the privilege to be part of and I'm seeing that more people are considering this unique form of personal expression. Will you be one of them?
See you at the studio!
CUSTOM DESIGN JEWELRY:
What is it? Why do it? How do I find the right jeweler to do it for me? If these are questions you have, then read on!
Custom design jewelry is designed and created for you. It may be completely original or inspired by another piece, but it is essentially started "from scratch" and made according to your ideas and specifications. Most often the designers at Trios Studio work with you to refine your idea until
it is ready to be created in the chosen materials.
When you want something "original" or not like anyone else, this is the way to go. A custom piece can incorporate details, symbolism and character that is not available otherwise.This is ideal for engagement and wedding rings when trying to create a meaningful and lasting symbol of a new union.
"My white gold ring is turning yellow--it needs to be "dipped"." It took me awhile, early on, to know what that observation and request actually meant. The yellowing, which usually starts at the back of the ring shank, is actually the real color of the white gold showing after the rhodium plating has worn off.
Most white gold, silver and platinum jewelry purchased in retail stores is plated with rhodium, a very precious metal that is related to platinum, in order to make it all look shiny and bright! The actual color of each white metal is not so chrome like. Sterling silver is the familiar soft grey, platinum is a pure grey and white gold is actually a warm grey because it is 59% elemental yellow gold.
In order to bleach the yellow gold to appear white other metals are alloyed with it including nickel, fine silver and zinc. Palladium and other metals are used as well. The use of rhodium plating to make all of these metals appear similar is mostly cosmetic and does not affect the durability of the design.
I usually do not rhodium plate my custom designs because I appreciate the color distinctions of the various metals and am aware that using it sets up an unrealistic expectation and the need for re-plating to maintain the whiteness. Some designs benefit from it. For example when you have accent diamonds or pave and the area under and around them may cause a reflection that would be more beautiful in a chrome white. In that case the area is often recessed and not subject to the friction that will wear it away.
We are always happy to discuss the pros and cons of any jewelry making technique and help to figure out the best ones for your project. See you at the Studio!
"How do I know it will come out the way I want it?", is the question I have been hearing lately. Yet, "What I want" is vague or not defined. "I'll know it when I see it, but I haven't seen it yet", is another comment. "I'm surprised I haven't found what I want yet. I thought I could just walk into a jewelry store and find it", yet another. I have engaged all of these people with the same idea..."Let us help develop your ideas and then create the piece you really want. This is the way you will be most satisfied with the outcome."
At Trios Studio, I find this to be the most creative and satisfying part of what we do. Consulting with people, drawing out their ideas, developing concepts, sketching potential designs, selecting materials and techniques, carving the wax model, getting client approval, and producing the entire piece in studio, is what we do best. Presenting the finished creation and hearing the amazement that "It's exactly what I wanted!" is the icing on the cake.
"How do I know it will come out the way I want it?". The answer is in the previous paragraph. We are extremely experienced at figuring out what you want and making it happen. It is part of our process and you are part of our process. There are no surprises because you are involved. Deb, Kathe and I have been doing this same process with hundreds of people for over thirty five years and we are good at it. So the real answer is, "Trust the process, it works."
I'm looking forward to this year and all the people that will find us. I love to hear, "It's even better than I imagined it would be!"
So stop by and we can work together to find out what's possible.
See you at the studio!
It's finally spring and it's time we focus on one of our favorite things to do -- Restyling of family jewelry. It is a constant at our studio. The prized pieces come to us in little boxes, pouches and the perennial ziploc baggie. The style may not be yours, but the emotional connection needs to be saved. Sometimes these precious items have been sitting for years, mostly because you don't know how or where to find out what you have and what to do with it.
Debbie, Kathe and I sit down with our clients and take the time to hear your stories. This helps to determine what gems or parts to move forward into something sentimental and significant for you. It is very gratifying to help bring these old pieces into a new life. I see so much love and pride when the connection to the past is talked about in the new creation. At times, we can capture meaningful parts from a great grandmother, grandmother, and mother -- all in a new ring for the daughter. These are pieces that can move to even the next generation if they are maintained. ( What smartphone can do that? LOL:)
Take the time to grab that baggie and come see us for a consultation to find out what's possible.
See you at the studio!