I have a couple of "regulars" on Etsy who come to me every few months with ideas for custom orders. One customer, in particular, really likes pieces with fancy earring hooks or clasps. I'll admit -- I don't pay as much attention to jewelry findings as I probably should. I usually just create simple earring wires or a standard hook clasp for necklaces, so I've enjoyed her suggestions.
One of the latest pieces she had me design was this giant flower silver wire wrapped necklace:
I have many flower pieces in my shop, but they're all pretty small; the flowers are part of a ring, bracelet or anklet. She asked me to take my design and create a flower that's at least three inches across. She also wanted six petals instead of eight.
These probably sound like small requests, but I've made literally thousands of these tiny daisies and have it down to a science! Honestly, if a petal is slightly out of wack, no one will notice when the flower is stuck in the middle of an anklet chain. But with this big, focal daisy, the dimensions and petals had to be as perfect as possible.
I didn't want the petals to be "floppy," so I used extremely thick 14 gauge silver plated wire. You can't even cut this stuff with standard wire clippers; you need the industrial strength pair. I then worked on this daisy for a couple of hours, measuring out every angle. The petals are not 100 percent... but I'd say they are at least 95. Not too bad since I do all of this by hand and don't use a machine.
Next, I worked on the clasp. Even though she wanted something unique, she still wanted it to be practical and easy-to-use, so I made a variant on the hook clasp I usually do.
In the end, she was pleased with my design. Whew! I'm always a little nervous when doing a custom order. I'm confident in my skills, but I still fear that the customer won't like my final product. So I'm always relieved when they're happy! Still, I enjoy collaborations and am impressed with the ideas my customers think up.