By Llyn L. Strelau
Inspiration for jewellery design comes from many sources, such as client input, gemstones, nature, architecture, narrative, and fantasy. These often work in combination to produce the finished piece.
I create primarily bespoke, custom-designed jewellery; therefore, much of my inspiration is driven by the client themselves. Usually, he or she is purchasing jewellery to celebrate an occasion, (which often dictates the choice of gemstone) or a commemorative event, such as an anniversary, birth, life celebration, or achievement.
In some cases, clients are only able to provide ‘general’ ideas for their project and it takes a certain amount of probing and almost ‘psychological’ technique to get inside their heads. Good listening skills are vital for jewellery designers, since clients often have trouble articulating what they really want. As such, it is important to take small steps and confirm decisions as you go to avoid disappointment further along in the process. This may require scheduling several appointments; however, the extra time is worth taking. It is challenging, though very satisfying, to interpret a client’s thoughts and create what they ‘want,’ even when they don’t know what that is!