Where do my design inspirations come from? It's hard to say. Often I see possibilities in the random way scraps of metal have accumulated on my workbench. If I push one piece of metal this way, and another piece that way, add a little of this and maybe an accent of gold . . . maybe there's a possibility there. I love semi-precious stones, and am often inspired by the inherent markings on the stone. I grab a pencil and the back of an envelope (which a professor scolded me about years ago!) and start elaborating and eliminating. Inevitably the design changes on its own as I'm working.
After the initial design is sketched out, all of my jewelry is hand-fabricated. The basic shapes are cut with a jeweler's saw from a sheet of sterling silver; bezels (the "collars" surrounding the stones to hold them secure) are individually fitted; components are soldered together; entire units are then bathed in mild acids to clean soldering residues. Then the pieces are pre-polished; stones are set by pushing the bezel "collars" tightly around the stones; the entire piece is given a final polish, a thorough cleaning, a final inspection, and finally it is ready to be dressed up in a package to meet its new owner.
But wait! There is still one more critical step in the process of producing handcrafted jewelry in order to sustain this activity as a viable business--pricing. During the fabricating process, notes are taken on the price of the stones, the weight of the metals being used, the time it takes to fabricate the piece. To this is added the overhead costs, i.e. oxygen and acetylene for soldering, electricity, lights, etc. as well as jewelry boxes and packaging and on and on to the point of final packaging and delivery to a gallery. There the piece awaits, in all its shining glory, for just the right person to come along and give it a good home.