Although every piece of jewellery Dot creates is unique to each client, the design process is the same. Here's how we do it.
When you first get in touch, you will receive an email describing the commissioning process in general terms along with a selection of images from our extensive archive to give you an idea of the possibilities. This will be chosen on the basis of the type of work you’ve expressed an interest in. You’ll then be asked to make an appointment to meet with John.
An initial face-to-face chat to discuss particular designs you like plus features or characteristics you prefer. You will be given an idea of the range of metal types and colours, the varieties and colours of gems, and the cuts of stones available for you to choose from. Your budget is required here to help determine the overall parameters of the design. We will charge a non-refundable £300 retainer before beginning any design work.
We develop the initial designs for your approval. A commissioned design needs time invested into it in order to provide you with a good selection of options. This step ideally takes no longer than three weeks.
We will present you with a selection of computer-rendered designs that will look just like a photo of the finished piece of jewellery. We’ll always present at least three completely different concepts for each piece. If you’ve not yet settled on your preferred stone type or colour, we can have a selection of gems available for your consideration at this stage.
This is where you make your decision. We like you to take your time over this stage and be fussy –we can easily make changes to the design at no extra cost. Changing a design at a later point in the process isn’t impossible, but does throw up problems and may result in additional costs. We want to ensure you are happy before the design is commissioned.
When you're satisfied with everything we’re going to do, you commission us to start work. At this stage we require a 40% deposit based on the overall cost of the item. Since the whole production process has been worked out in the design stage, it will normally take four to five weeks to make the item up your design.
It's all yours. However, we don't leave it there - you're now one of our customers, so if you require the item altered in size (in most cases), or polished, we provide this free of charge.
Materials and techniques
Dot manufactures jewellery in Palladium, Gold and Platinum. These metals offer a variety of colours and qualities. We will guide you to the choice best suited to your budget and tastes, and to the design constraints of the piece you have selected. We are also happy to re-use metal from your existing jewellery should you wish (for example, metal from a family wedding ring set into a new engagement ring).
Jewellery design really comes to life when you start uniting the right metals with the perfect gemstones. Qualities like lustre, sparkle, colour and durability vary widely with each gem-type. We work with a variety of gemstones including diamonds, rubies and sapphires, but we are happy to discuss the use of any type of gemstone in your design. You will always be given the chance to examine any stone before it is set, so you can be sure you are completely happy with your choice.
Embossing is our more durable and flexible alternative to engraving. We can use your handwriting; drawings etc. and build them into the casting of your jewellery as an integral part of the piece. Because we’re not limited to a standard set of fonts and images, it is 100% yours, completely personal to you. For example the message could be ‘Love from xx’, a place or date that’s important to you, or the names of your children.