Like Erich, I wish I could draw like that. I can get by, but I have to work at it far more than I’d like. It also takes me far more time than it should, so I generally don’t put a lot of effort into it. Maybe I need to rethink it.
I agree with you Jim about including the client in the process. My Dad and I used to argue about it, his thought was that the presentation of the finished piece is everything, and the more like a magic trick you could make it, the better. You know, everything between the initial sketch and the big reveal happens out-of-site, behind the curtain.
On the other hand, I always thought that the more the client is involved, the more likely they are to really love their finished piece. In a way, they become invested in its creation; they have skin in the game so to speak. They also come to appreciate the skills and processes they are paying for much more than they do if all they see is the finished piece. So I include them as much as they’d like. I invite them to watch while I solder or cut or cast or whatever. I invite them to sit down at the laser and burn their initials in a steel plate. I do more and more of my work under the scope these days as my eyes aren’t what they used to be, and it turns out that letting the client watch the video monitor while at the same time watching over my shoulder as the work is being accomplished in real time has proven to be a real winner, especially engraving. Photos they’ve taken of their bridal jewelry under construction have actually ended up in their wedding albums more often than I ever would have believed.
As far as doing a work log, I very seldom do. I have at least one for each type of work that I do, fabrication from a button to a finished ring and start-to-finish wax carving, cast and finish for example. I use those to describe the processes involved in creating their jewelry during the design consultation phase. I would do more of them but as you obviously know, the time involved is pretty heavy.
After seeing your sketches Jim, and Jo’s too, I can see the value that you guys have added by taking the time to really do a nice job as opposed to the quick paper napkin type sketches that I do now. I think I’m going to have to revisit the cost/benefit analysis of carefully prepared renderings and build logs. I have considered taking the GIA rendering course. Does anyone have any experience with it that they’d like to share please?
Jim, if you don’t mind a question, do you offer the log and rendering as options during the initial design and pricing consultation or do you just do it and tack it on to the over-all price without mention? Or do you play that by ear, depending on the client and circumstances?