What Does A Jewelry Designer Do?

The rings, bracelets, necklaces and other jewelry pieces that people fondly wear as body ornaments or as symbols of love and affection are the tangible results of the painstaking work of jewelry designers. They are the jewelry professionals who conceptualize designs using creative and artistic imaginations and form them through the use of special tools and equipment with their very skillful hands. They can work with gold, silver, platinum, diamonds and other special stones.

Jewelry designers who run their own businesses meet with clients who want to commission them to make jewelry pieces, either to sell or for their own personal use. They talk about the client’s preferences—what jewelry they want done, the metal they want used, the precious stone they want set, among others—to determine the jewelry piece that they want crafted.

The jewelry designer then draws a preliminary sketch on paper or on the computer using computer-aided design of the piece to be approved by the client. The beauty about the use of computer technology in jewelry design is that the final product is visualized and changes made before the actual work is started.

When the client has already approved the design, the jewelry designer then goes to work. He makes the framework of the piece in the process known as mounting. They will then make the model of the object with a mold, do stamp and presswork and form a raised design on the metal surface in a process known as chasing. The next step involves soldering the parts together and finishing the piece.

The next steps are considered specialist processes that jewelry designers also know how to do and may perform. In many instances, these processes are done by other firms. They may set stones on the mount and place a precious metal to a base metal in a process known as electro-plating. If the design calls for patterns and pictures, jewelry designers will join together powdered glass to metal in a kiln. They may also weld metal pieces together using laser or traditional welding methods. The final step entails engraving patterns into the metal if the design calls for it. This can be done manually or with the use of computer software. The final step involves delivery of the jewelry to the client.

Jewelry designers who run their own businesses also do work not related to the actual crafting of jewelry. They market their designs by joining craft fairs and submitting entries in contests. They also get in touch with jewelry stores and galleries who might be interested in displaying their designs. Jewelry designers who have just started their own businesses and don’t have their own brick-and-mortar stores sell their jewelry pieces from their own homes through their websites and other online stores.

In order to keep themselves updated on the latest fashion trends, they have to do research so they can incorporate these concepts in their jewelry designs. To keep their business viable, they also need to learn how to perform accounting and other business-related tasks so that they can thrive in this industry. If they don’t have any background in these subjects, they can enroll in short courses offered online or in community colleges.

Career Spotlight: Jewelry Designer

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