Commissioning Custom Jewelry

How to Commission Jewelry

So you found a beautiful small pebble or a piece of sea glass while you were on vacation and now you want to turn that souvenir into a piece of jewelry.  Great idea! But what if you’ve never commissioned art before? Now what?  

While I won’t presume to speak for all artists, here’s how I approach a commissioned piece:

1.       If you haven’t seen my work in person, please check out my website and social media sites so you have an idea of my style.  You’ll see that I do not drill holes in glass or pebbles because I prefer to work differently, and because I don’t have the correct equipment. At our first meeting, bring your souvenir (or a couple of pieces if you were that lucky!) and we will discuss your options and preferences.

2.       At the initial meeting, we will discuss such things as the best way to set your souvenir, and we’ll discuss your personal style. Those differences will help me determine your options.  

3.       I may see several design options right away or I need to sit with a piece before the design options begin coming to my mind. Think about whether you’d prefer a horizontal or vertical design.  Do you want to add semiprecious stones or not? If it’s a necklace, how long do you want it and do you want a silver chain or on leather?)  After those discussions, I’ll draw up a quick sketch and make notes on your preferences.

4.        Before I start any work, I will give you an estimate of the overall cost and collect a deposit. The deposit is usually one half of the estimated cost.  Why?  The deposit solidifies our agreement and gives me the ability to order any needed supplies.  The market price of metals and other materials can vary and those variations may be reflected in the final price.  The balance will be paid when the piece is finished and delivered. 

5.       Once the commission has begun, I will send you photos of the work in progress to make sure we are “on the same page” and there won’t be any surprises. I’m asking for your feedback, and will not proceed until I hear back from you.  If the cost estimate has changed, I’ll let you know that also.

6.       Once I get your feedback and we both understand where the work is headed, I’ll complete the piece, photograph it and contact you, usually including the photo of the finished piece.  We will then set a time for pick up and/or delivery.

7.       Wear your commissioned work, or give it as a gift, with joy!

Leigh Griffin