Accentuate is a blog by Eliane - my personal space where I can express my thoughts on just about anything. I use this space to highlight what I'm passionate about and what I'm involved with. With my Accent on Individuality I've called it Accentuate.

Dara’s Story, behind the scenes of a commission piece…

Dara's piece

Dara's piece

I would like to share with you the creative process of making a commission piece of jewellery. The first question to ask is why should I commission a jewellery designer? The answer is quite obvious. Because it will be a unique and an individual piece usually has a meaning and story behind. The client is involved from the start in the creative process. It is a rewarding experience especially if the jewellery is a gift for someone special in your life. It shows that you took the time and thought about the meaning of designing a piece of jewellery and having it handmade as a one off.

I would like to talk about Dara’s piece today and his involvement with the help of his mum in the creation of the design.

How it started - the story behind Dara’s piece.

Dara is an eight year old boy who came up with his mum to find me with an idea of a personal gift for Father’s Day. On that date it’s a double celebration as it was Dara’s birthday as well. So let’s find out a bit later how Eliane can help you to design that special gift.
Commissioning a piece of jewellery is a collaborative process between the client and designer. This can be exchanged through phone calls, emails or meeting up around a cup of coffee for a free consultation. I will go through the procedure, the time involved for making a piece and the payment plan. (I don’t know at that stage how much this is going to cost).*

My interest in the creative process.

Through the conversation the designer finds out what is the purpose of the piece. Is the piece a gift? Which occasion? What sort of lifestyle the receiver has? Dressed style? What type of jewellery she or he is wearing? What is the deadline? And so on… You can start to draw a profile from all sort of relevant questions and through ideas with the client. Coming back to Dara’s gift for his dad we were discussing about what sort of jewellery he would like to wear. He likes travelling so a pendant from his son will be a lovely present to remind of him when he’s away from home. No too big or thick as he could keep it in his wallet as well. We decided to go with an oblong shape and the pendant will be attached on a silk cord easy to take it off. The finishing of the piece will be rough and not shiny.

Dara or ਦਾਰਾ in Punjabi

Dara or ਦਾਰਾ in Punjabi

So what more could we add to the design to make it even more special. As a family gift it is very personal and it is all about people and where we come from. We wanted to use the element of cultural diversity in Dara’s family, part from India and the UK, which will be fantastic to convey into a piece of jewellery. On this unique piece of jewellery Dara could write a personal message “Love You Daddy X” and his handwriting message will be re transcript onto one side of the pendant. The name Dara or ਦਾਰਾ in Punjabi means “Leader” and will be handcrafted on the other side of the pendant. Dara’s jewellery is an example of how the designer collaborates closely with the client going through the creative process and bringing to life the design with a personal story.

The jewellery will come with a Certificate of Authenticity telling the significance and the story behind the creation of the piece.  

Certificate of Authenticity

Certificate of Authenticity

  • In Dara's story or other commission works it is a two way conversation between the designer and client (s) and I go back to the studio with all the information which allows me to draw some ideas in my sketch book. Depending on the project I can send up to 8 sketches to choose from.
  • The sketches will be sent to the client and feedback is welcome and hopefully one design will stand out.
  • After choosing the design a sample can be made using some clay and will give me a better idea of the piece and if any technical problem should be occurred before making the final jewellery. I usually take some pictures of each stage and keep informed the client about the progress of my work.
  • The piece is handmade and I am using some fine silver precious metal clay .999 which the silver content is higher than sterling silver. Once the piece is completed and finished, it is ready to be sent to the Goldsmiths Company of London for a complete hallmark.
  • The jewellery will be hallmark with my own sponsor punch - ECS - at the Goldsmiths Company of London with the metal and fineness mark .999 and the Assay Office mark.

The final piece and the client.

Et voila! At last I am very impatient to hand over the piece to my client knowing that special jewellery will convey a message of happiness, love and emotion.  In conclusion what can I say, I hope Dara’s Story has inspired you and gave you an insight of the process of a commission work. You can be involved as much or little you wish. Bear in mind that it can take up to 2 months to have your jewellery made depending on the speed, the difficulty of the piece and the urgency.

Have you got few ideas that you would like to discuss, it is very simple, send me a message by filling the Enquiry Form and I can book you for a free consultation.

See you on my next blog!


by Eliane Strasser