I recently interviewed one of the lead jewelry designers from the Anjolee team in an effort to understand her process. The below account gives you her perspective as she discusses turning a design concept to reality.
A difficulty in designing jewelry is that many times the look I envisioned from the beginning will have to be altered to such an extent that it is an entirely new concept or look. The main reason for this is, as with most objects designed and created by the computer, there are always perimeters which must be respected during the design process. Since the very first step involves the computer and my imagination, I have to consider all of the following steps in the process and the effect those steps will have on the piece, from the casting to the bench jeweler to the mold maker and on to the polishing, assembly and the setting of the stones. Each step will have an effect, some intended and some unintended, on the final product. Once a piece is finished, we determine if the design will need to be fine tuned or eliminated from the line. In summation, just because the computer can create it doesn’t mean it should become a reality.
The time involved in creating a new design varies from piece to piece. Usually I visualize a basic shape and then make it more complex as I am modeling it on the computer, or I might start out very complex and begin simplifying it. Sometimes sketching it out first is helpful, especially when there are many curves and I need to see how to configure the entire piece, stones, mechanism, bale etc. Sometimes it is difficult to know how it will appear until it is rendered with gold and gem materials which I apply to the virtual three dimensional objects for review.
I prefer jewelry that is thought provoking and appeals to more than just my eyes; jewelry that symbolizes something meaningful and maybe even transcendent. Along those lines, I would like to explore designing jewelry with compartments for holding photographs or other objects dear to the wearer. Lockets are not new, but I believe they can and should be embellished to become much more than the predictable heart pendant. I enjoy designing jewelry with both subtle graceful flowing curves and strong geometric lines with bold gem placement. I like anything from romantic and sophisticated to playful and peculiar. My personal taste runs the gamut.