Sally Fenton and Megan Louden are the bespoke design duo based in our Flagship Glasgow store. The talented team are tasked with designing an array of jewellery pieces that are unique to each individual.
In this week’s blog we find out more about the design process and what attracted the team to jewellery design…
Describe your role in a Nutshell.
Sally – In the bespoke design department we help to bring customers ideas to life. I love my job as I get the opportunity to be creative and make completely one-off pieces.
Megan – We get a huge range of customers, all with a different ideas. Despite our huge stock range, sometimes you just can’t find your dream piece. That’s where we come in.
Why did you want to work in jewellery design?
Sally – I love anything that sparkles! I enjoyed art and design from a young age and that passion took me to art school where my jewellery journey began. I did a general art course before choosing to specialise in Jewellery Design. I absolutely loved it and never looked back.
Megan – I was a keen artist as a child and as a teenager I used to love making little trinkets from wire, beads and the non-precious gems that you could buy from garden centres and craft shops. However, I always preferred working in 3D. I was close to studying sculpture and still love artists that work in large scale metal forms. Eventually I was drawn to the fine detail of jewellery and I found that I really enjoyed this area.
Tell us about your journey to Laings.
Sally – Laings has always been a company that I looked up to and admired within the industry. Before that, I had experience working as a bench jeweller in a workshop and was self-employed doing design work. I once travelled to Australia where I had the opportunity to work for two really talented jewellers and develop my skills in Matrix. I think all these experiences paved the way for me to land my dream job with Laings!
Megan – I graduated in Dundee from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design with a First Class BA Hons Degree in Jewellery & Metalwork. I was lucky enough to do an exchange programme in San Diego State University under a very fine Silversmith tutor. Once I’d completed this I didn’t fancy working solo in a studio and began designing for a company in Edinburgh soon after graduation. Since then I have had some bench experience doing simple repairs and working in sales. I was delighted to join Laings and move from the Service Department to Bespoke Design.
How do you work together on a bespoke design?
Sally – I think we make a great team. We always take any chance to catch up and spend much of that time bouncing ideas back and forth. We’re also constantly leaving notes to keep each other in the loop!
Megan – If possible we prefer to both meet the client so that they are comfortable receiving correspondence from either of us. From then, I prefer to sketch on paper and Sally will transfer that into a 3D form using our CAD programme, if it’s appropriate for the bespoke design to be cast. As we both come from a jewellery design background we can rely on each other to make sound decisions when it comes to scale and proportion, chain choice, what the capabilities of certain stones are etc.
How do you take a design project from start to finish?
Sally – Each job is different and it can vary depending on the customer’s ideas. Generally, the first stage is to have an initial meeting with the client where we can help guide them and discuss their ideas. If the design involves remodelling and remounts of a customers own stone it’s helpful to see the original piece. We then go away and research, draw and create CAD models if required, to present the customer with all their options. We can then get the mounts in for them to view or order a 3D printed wax model. This model is then used to create the final piece.
Megan – The initial face-to-face with the customer is usually only a fraction of the work and we like to have regular meetings as the design progresses. We always say ‘buy with your eyes’ and when you’re selecting stones it’s much more fun to come in store and do this! Our in-house goldsmith Stuart will hand make some pieces or we can go down the bespoke CAD route. We always discuss design options and get an accurate price before a customer has to commit to anything.
Thank you for taking the time to meet our Bespoke Design Team. Follow our latest news on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest, or if you have any questions please pop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.