How do I design a bangle?
Designing a bangle for yourself or as a special gift for someone isn't as difficult as you might think. It might be something you have never done before so I thought I would share with you my latest commission from Emma to make a bangle for her Mum's big birthday to give you a little insight in to how you could do it.
Emma doesn't live locally so we did everything via email. Emma started by giving me a lovely description of her mum, what she likes, where she is happiest, when her birthday is and what she wanted the bangle to 'say'.
We very quickly settled upon the shell as a charm. Emma's mum loves the Norfolk scenery so this seemed like a good start. We also talked about how it is easier to know what you don't like before you know what you do like, so I sent Emma a selection of bangles and bracelets which I had made recently so she could see if there was a style she liked. Emma really loved the beach bangles with different charms so we chose an amethyst as it is a February birthstone and Emma wanted it set on a heart to symbolise her and her mum's close relationship. Emma wanted to go for a rainbow to mark how long they had been apart from each other. We put a layer of gold in to the rainbow too, it seemed to reflect the feel of the bangle and what it meant. As this is a special birthday and this year is a special year for the Queen's jubilee, I suggested that the commemorative hallmark was added when the bangle was sent for hallmarking.
Emma and I had lots of email conversations, they were really helpful for both of us. When I started to make the bangle, I sent regular photos to show every stage of the process. Some people are not interested in this bit, jewellery doesn't always look very beautiful when it is being made but it is a nice way to feel a part of your bangle project! I would like to share the feedback Emma sent the day after her mum's birthday...
It was Mum's birthday yesterday and she opened her beautiful bangle. She absolutely loves it and I am so delighted - she sent me lots of pictures and it really is a special piece.
I hope that this journal post gives you some confidence in designing your own bangle. It really is a special process and not as complicated as you might think. It is a little more time consuming than ordering something from a website, but I might take elements of commissions when designing new jewellery but I never repeat them, so you will have a piece which is unique to you. That is very special and worth a little more time.