Custom Design Process

Humans have been making jewellery for thousands of years, moving from simple bead making to skillful work with precious metals, gems and diamonds. Choice of what to adorn ourselves with comes from within, from a lifetime of experiences. It’s personal and is an expression of who you are. For some this means designing their own unique piece of jewellery, whether an engagement ring or a piece to celebrate the birth of a child or significant birthday.

Here at Utopian Creations we are a bespoke jewellery specialists and it has been the mainstay of our business for over 13 years. Sketching forms a solid basis but our designers are also skilled in the traditional art of painting and 3D computer rendering. This wide ranging skill set enables us to develop your thoughts and dreams, bringing them to life before your eyes even before a hammer is struck.

One hour complimentary consultation

If you are able to make it in person to our store we will sit at our design table and go through ideas you may have for your special piece. We have a large collection of ethically sourced gems and diamonds in-store and the consultation will give us a chance to look through our collection and give you some information on the different options available.

If you live interstate, overseas or just find it difficult to make it into our store the consultation can easily be conducted via email. In our early years of business we were online only and all of our consultations were conducted in this manner. We are therefore very experienced in asking the right questions and providing concise information and excellent photographs/video.

Hourly design rate

We provide an hourly design rate of $220. Our qualified jewellery designers can help if you have a specific request or perhaps need an alteration to an existing design. A simple alteration may only take half an hour.

Design Package

During your complimentary hour consultation your jewellery designer will take notes and within a week of the consultation will email you a quote for your Design package. Our design packages are priced specifically for your requirements and include sourcing of materials and everything needed to produce a quality design so an accurate quote for your piece can be provided. In most cases our staff will spend many hours on your design, the design package works out at a far more favorable rate than simply paying our hourly rate.

Design package example

Australian sapphire and diamond engagement ring
Sourcing of a suitable Australian sapphire, we would hope to have three or four for you to choose from.
Matching pair of diamonds, different qualities, cuts, prices and ethical options provided
5-8 sketched design options
1-3 partially or fully developed designs
1 finalized 2D design if the piece is to be handmade
1 finalized 3D design if the piece is to be 3D printed/cast

Optional extras
3D design (this is included in the cast ring option) $250
Photographic record of production $200
Further changes or alterations to design outside of standard design package charged @$220/hour

Material sourcing is an important part of our design package, even more so due the the ethical and sustainable ideals we strive to meet. All parts of the piece must be carefully chosen both for quality and ethical background, coloured gems, diamonds and precious metals. Generally we put a number of options together for you to choose from with detailed information and pricing. In the photo above a customer came to us requesting an oval blue to teal Australian sapphire around 2.5ct is weight. We found a number of pieces in our own collection but also brought some in from a supplier for the customer to view. Over the many years we have been trading we have built strong relationships with a wide range of ethical suppliers. When possible we use Australian materials, supporting Australian small scale miners and businesses, for some things like Fairtrade gold we have to go further afield.
Here we can see an example of sketched designs in the background. The customer was presented with a number of sketched options after their consultation as part of their design package. They chose a couple of ideas and these were further developed into the 2D designs in the foreground.
An example of a finalized 2D design
This an example of a finalized 2D design. These designs are carefully scaled and are an excellent representation of what the ring will look like when completed.
Examples of handmade photos
An added service we can provide is photographic documentation of the manufacturing process. This is a wonderful memento and give you an interesting insight into the many processes and skills used to create your personalized piece. Pricing for this service will be offered in your Design Package.
These photos show our handmade manufacturing option. More information about hand making and 3D printing/casting can be found below.
High Quality final photos are complimentary and if you are interstate or overseas are an important final sign off before postage. These are detailed, high resolution photos, magnified far larger than life giving you an amazing view. With these photos you can be assured of the quality of our manufacturing whether standing in our store with a magnifying eyeglass or sitting at your computer thousands of kilometers away.

Cad Design, 3D printing and casting

As a modern jewellery manufacturing business we not only offer hand manufacture, but also 3D printing/casting. More information on the differences between the two manufacturing techniques can be found below.
This is an example of a custom 3D design produced for 3D wax printing. The 3D designs look a little chunkier than the final price would be and a little unrefined, but they can provide an amazing view and builds on the 2D design you would have developed with our jewellery designer. If you have chosen to have your ring 3D printed and cast this step is included in your quote, however if you have chosen for your ring to be handmade but are struggling visualizing your 2D design a 3D design like this can be added to your design package.
This is an example of a fully rendered 3D design. It is an option extra available if you would like a more refined representation of your 3D design. They show the incredible detail now available in the virtual world. Thankfully due to the amazing development of 3D printing and casting we are now able to bring things from this virtual space into the physical world. A fully rendered 3D design is an optional extra to both a cast or handmade design package.
Here you can see the precision that 3D design is well know for. There are many hours of hand finishing put into each 3D printed/cast piece which soften the piece still giving them a handmade feel, but you have an underlying perfection thats hard to beat.
The quality of 3D printing/casting varies greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer depending an a wide range of factors. We have partnered with Australia's leading specialist in 3D printing who use the most advanced software and machinery. The high quality fit and finish can be seen in this side profile photo. This ring was cast from 100% recycled Platinum, Platinum casting is the most difficult of all precious metals to cast as it has an extremely high melting point. Our casting company uses high tech equipment that produces an amazing finish every time.

3D printing and casting - Further reading

There has been a lot of talk about 3D printing over the last ten years. For many manufacturing industries it has had some impact in production, for the jewellery industry is has been revolutionary. Metal casting for jewellery was first perfected in the Middle East up to 5000 years ago. The Lost wax technique was used and in principal the same basic ideas are used today. Historically the model would be made from beeswax, this would then be covered with a heat resistant material like clay. A small hole would be left and the whole item would be gently heated, and the bees wax drained out. Molten metal could then be poured into the mould. This type of mould could only be used once as it had to be broken to remove the metal object.

For thousands of years this technique has been slowly evolving but until 20 years ago if a custom cast item was to be made a wax piece would still need to be hand carved first. This is where 3D design and 3D printing have combined with modern computer-controlled casting techniques to produce a far superior product. In the past cast metal was far less dense and often suffered from porosity, or small holes in the metal, both issues caused weakness. The newest technology is changing the way jewellery is made. It’s generally faster, more accurate and cheaper to produce than handmade and now the quality has risen to such an extent that we offer the same lifetime manufacturing guarantee against manufacturing faults as we do for our handmade jewellery. All cast pieces are hand assembled and finished by skilled jewellers and carefully checked before a final hand polish.