January 20, 2017

There are so many things I love about being a designer, but I will forever be amazed and delighted when I see the concepts in my mind turn into a physical piece of jewelry in my hand. As anyone who’s been to The Showroom knows, the CMD team loves displaying and sharing our handmade pieces while they’re still in their infancy (read: not quite a necklace yet, but more than just a piece of metal).

I’m often asked about the design process, and I must admit it always starts the same way—with prisma-colored pencils, a BIC mechanical pencil, and blank sheets of paper of any size. This is the foolproof trifecta that’s served me well over the years. When I sit down to design, I just start sketching away: ideas of shapes, sizes, color palettes and all sorts of combinations. Quickly thereafter I bring out the torch and put flame to metal.

When I’m sketching my mind works in broad strokes, allowing all my creative thoughts to pour onto the paper. Once I’m working with the metal, all attention goes to detail and aspects of proportion and wearability. Sometimes what I envisioned isn’t just quite right in execution, and then I make tweaks until the piece is perfect. There’s a certain type of freedom in allowing the metal itself to guide me to the final piece.

Once the sample is complete, we essentially head straight to market! I cherish creating and selling handmade jewelry, and I love sharing this craft with our bi-coastal production teams in California and New York. If you’re ever in San Francisco, swing by The Showroom and check out the sketches hanging on the wall of our production studio. We’d love to share our latest creations with you!

Colleen's Signature


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