2023 MJSA Responsibly Sourced Design Challenge - Update!

July 25, 2023

If you're a regular reader of my blogs or follow me on social media, then you will know that I have entered a design competition.

If you're not aware, here's a quick summary: MJSA (a jewelry industry association) selected me (and other designers) to design a piece of jewelry for a fictional customer, using responsibly sourced gemstones from Columbia Gem House. The finished designs are then auctioned for Nest, a New York based non-profit.

I love connecting with my customers and custom work is a collaboration between you and me. 

Normally I would meet with my client via Zoom. 💻

In this case I had to use my imagination since the "customer" is fictional. 

I decided on a necklace as I felt it would really showcase the beautiful gemstones that were provided. The gemstones are:

• Two cultured mini mabe Cortez pearls from Mexico
• Two 3 mm Grape Garnet rounds from India
• Two 3 mm Neon Green beryl triangles from Nigeria
• Two 4 mm by 2 mm Teal Tourmaline baguettes from Nigeria

Step One: Creating the Design

Here are some of my initial designs (I thought you would be interested in seeing how the design developed). And in this video I walk you behind my design process and what goes on in my brain blender when I come up with designs!

Designs for MJSA Columbia Gem House Design Contest

Final design: 

final design

Step Two: Creating the Original Model

Once I decided on the final design (see above)

I got the design printed in resin, to make sure that I was happy with the design before getting it cast in sterling silver.

I deliberately designed it in parts that are connected by jump rings so that it is has some movement to it, since it's a larger piece and is comfortable to wear. I created another video to show you what the resins look like before they are cast. 

Step Three: The Final Model

In the third video of this series, I got the pieces back from the casters in sterling silver and I checked to make sure that all the stones fit and that the connections will work. 

The final step is to set the pieces, assemble them and polish the final piece ready to be worn! 

Check back in a few weeks to see the final piece in all its glory!