Jewelry Design is an art form that takes a creative mind and turns it into a wearable work of art. It can be a very satisfying career as well, especially when you know how to translate your vision into something that others can see and enjoy.
Whether you are designing pieces of jewelry for yourself, a client, or to redo a piece that no longer fits, the process begins with the same basic steps. You can use your imagination or draw inspiration from jewelry you admire or even vintage pieces that are in need of a makeover. Once you have a concept in mind, it’s time to start creating.
As with other types of art, jewelry design benefits from a knowledge of the principles of design. These include balance, emphasis, movement, proportion, contrast and unity. Keeping these in mind as you create your jewelry can help you create unique, eye-catching pieces that will stand out from the crowd and capture the interest of potential customers.
A good fashion and artistic sense, manual dexterity, the ability to visualize the completed product, CAD training and skills, steady hands, and a clear vision are necessary for those who want to become successful at jewelry design. Some jewelry designers also opt to pursue a post-secondary degree in the field.
Traditionally, jewelry designs are hand-illustrated and then translated into wax models using traditional metalwork techniques such as soldering and forging. However, more and more jewelers are now turning to CAD programs for their design process. CAD is a computer-based software that allows for virtually infinite manipulation of objects and can be used to create three-dimensional drawings. The program is often used in architecture, industrial manufacturing and product design as well as for jewelry design.
There are a variety of CAD programs that can be used for jewelry design, including Jewelry CAD Dream, Adobe Illustrator, RhinoGold, and 3Design. Some of these are proprietary while others, such as Blender and a specialized Jewelry CAD add-on called JewelCraft, are free and open source. When choosing a CAD program for jewelry design, be sure to choose one that supports your specific type of jewelry.
Personalization is a big trend in the jewelry business and can be an effective marketing tool to attract customers. This can be done by stamping letters, names or words into jewelry pieces or adding photos to lockets. Other ways to connect with customers are through religious-themed jewelry, astrological themes and longitude/latitude designs. Many of these themes have sentimental value and can help people emotionally connect with the piece. As a result, these kinds of jewelry tend to sell better.