Mark Morrell

Jewelry Maker

Finely Crafted Platinum Jewelry  

A craftsman's workshop 

----------------------------------

 978-369-1950


Please note:

While my custom schedule can become filled at times, my Signature settings will remain available throughout the year. 

 


Please note that there are currently NO authorized resellers of my custom work


 

General Information

 

To whom am I speaking?

While it's not uncommon for one partner to attempt to handle design and logistical discussion regarding a piece of jewelry on behalf of his or her beloved - wherein the person who is actually calling the shots is not directly involved in discussion with me - this scenario has not worked out to the satisfaction of that silent-but-opinionated third party yet. A request: Please allow me to discuss a project directly with that person who is actually making the decisions. If there is a language barrier in play, then, of course, we'll do our best to work with both parties.  

 

Regarding accent stones and such    

Regarding accent stones (baguettes, trapezoids, "fancies" in general) and  small round diamonds (melle) to accompany your center diamond:

Please don't buy a suite of stones with the assumption that I'm willing to set whatever I receive from your sources.

I'll  provide any necessary small stones for the work that I do. If I'm unable source the stones myself, then we'll discuss our options.

If you feel the need to have a particular vendor's small / accent diamonds used in your project, there is every chance that the vendor can help you with your mounting needs as well. You won't need my advocacy.


 Setting your stones

I've set a great many center diamonds provided by the folks with  whom I've worked over the  years. I don't expect this to change. Some things to consider are:

Make sure that your stones are documented and insured before asking me to accept them. There is more about this in my FAQ. I do not insure against loss or damage when I am working with materials that I did not supply. I will assure you that any materials that I do supply will be in "as sold" condition when they are delivered. My shipments of finished goods are insured, while in transit, for the full amount that your documentation mandates.

Please help us to help you by making your center stone shape and dimensions, your ring size, your styling wishes and your intended schedule clear to us on first contact.


Ring sizes

About half of the rings that I deliver to folks not local to me aren't quite the correct size. This happens because of variations of the accuracy of ring size measuring devices and the ability / attentiveness of the person who is doing the measuring.  I have many sets of ring sizing tools. Just about none of  my sets will match any of the other sets exactly. Couple that with the fact that we are human and our bodies swell and shrink throughout the day/week/month and will react to food substances as well and it can be difficult to be sure of a ring size. If I don't measure the size myself, I have to take your word for the size that you'll need. If it doesn't fit properly, neither of us may be wrong - the devices that we have used might just disagree with each other. If we have a project on the books for you, please ask that a set of our ring sizers be sent to you. We can work together in making the ring to the correct size for you.      


Scheduling

Clearly defined requests will receive a faster response and faster delivery than those which are unclear or may require extensive development time.    

Engagement and wedding schedules are given first priority whenever possible. 

At one time, I suggested that a complete custom piece will require about 8 weeks in total. I'm afraid that this was a bad assumption on my part. I have since found that I cannot predict the time that might be required for an agreement to be reached on the styling of a project. I reach complete understanding with many of the people who contact me in one phone call. Some folks require much more time before they are confident that they have conveyed all of their considerations to me and that I understand what it is that they would like to accomplish.  Due to fluctuations in client availability, additional time required for a client to source the "perfect" stone or stones, client indecision and revisions that may be requested to an otherwise "finished" proposal, product development has been known to run on for much longer than anyone might have expected. Timing for full custom development has proven to be absolutely unpredictable.

Planning

Generally, I'll need two to three weeks to deliver my initial plans for a new project after we've discussed your requirements and I've received your initial development fee. This time frame will vary by virtue of the work that is ahead of your project and the complexity of your project.

Most of the pieces that are shown on this web site were made to meet the specifications of a particular client. They were developed to accept a particular stone or stones and, for rings, a specific ring size. If I am planning a new project that is based on a previously published piece, and the new piece is substantially different from the first piece i.e.: different stone shapes and/or sizes, this becomes a new development project. I can't make the piece before the dimensions and form have been established. We need to allow for the time that  new plans will require. A number of folks have come to me with the assumption, since a piece was made for another person, it must be a rapid process to reconfigure the form to meet different specifications. Sometimes, it is just that simple but, in many situations, I'll need to develop the new form from scratch.

I've published a few recent project plans here: Process

It might be helpful for you to consider every new development as a "science project". I often need to generate several working models of a piece before I find the correct combination of style and strength. This takes time and that time is committed at my expense. I am working to make a memorable and durable piece for my clients. You might be in a hurry now but if the work that I do for you causes problems in the near future, you'll forget that you asked for a rush job. The only thing on your mind will be that Mark Morrell let you down.       

Manufacture 

Generally, we'll need 4 to 6 weeks to deliver a piece AFTER the plans have been developed and approved. This time frame will also vary by virtue of the work that is ahead of your project and the complexity of your project.

Regardless of unforeseen circumstances that may arise, I'll still need 4 to 6 weeks to craft our piece after the plan is finalized and all materials are in place.  Please keep this in mind if your schedule is critical. I can't guarantee your schedule if I'm not allowed to begin crafting your piece 4 to 6 weeks before you need it.

 

Over the past year, I've been put in the position of having to tell a few of my clients that we wouldn't be able meet their wedding date. These clients had remained uncertain about, or they had requested changes in the plan for their wedding band, in some instances, several days before their required delivery date. In each of these situations, I had already been scurrying to meet their tight schedule. I make no secret of the fact that I'll do all in my power to get my folks to the Church (Temple, Beach or Mountain top) on time - but there is only so much that I can do without the cooperation of the folks that I work with.  I don't enjoy having to tell someone that they have made it impossible for me to get their work done in time. Please, let's not allow this to happen any more. 


Pricing

I hear from a fair number of  folks who have found a style that is already being produced somewhere on the planet and wish to know if we can make something similar and beat the price of a readily available product. The short answer is: NO   It is extremely doubtful that we can plan and craft a new piece for you in a price range close to that of an existing, production quality piece.

It is important to be aware of the fact that, when developing a new product, the cost of a new piece is the cost of the entire process. You're not buying a "ring". You are also buying all of the planning and communication time (as well as professional guidance and the decades of experience of the craftsman) that leads to the creation of your ring.  

To date, our pieces have been crafted specifically to meet the needs of the individual client. We work closely with our customers to reach an understanding of what we're to create with them. All of the work that we deliver is produced with extreme attention paid to achieving the best fit, finish and security of setting possible. This level of communication and craftsmanship is very time consuming and it does come at a price. If cost is the driving factor in your quest for a mounting, you'll usually find more favorable prices in readily available pieces.

Please note: precious metal market prices are volatile at the time of this writing. While we have held to our pricing structure as the market has risen dramatically, mounting costs are subject to change without published notice. Price quotes are issued with the assumption that your order is to be placed when our quote is issued. We will honor our quote if your order is placed and funds (in the form of either check or wire transfer) are received within 72 hours of when we quote a price. Orders funded more than 72 hours after our quote is issued may be priced differently. 


Stress and the creative process .....................

New product development works best when the client has a pretty solid idea of what they would like to have built - along with  the will and ability to express your thoughts clearly . Open, honest collaboration is the key here.

I need for you to say what you mean and mean what you say. If you tend to have difficulty in making decisions - or you have difficulty in making a commitment, I'm not the craftsman to call.  

Custom crafting does not need to be a painful, high anxiety process. Please understand that most of my clients are looking to develop Commitment, Engagement and Bridal jewels. Emotions can run high when planning a lifetime with your intended and it's all too easy to spread one's anxiety to all whom we encounter. I am aware of how your emotions may be spiraling. I already care deeply that we create the jewels that will serve as a lifetime commemoration to your love and devotion to one another. You won't need to remind me that "This is important". I may need to remind you to remain grounded. ( I'm a grandfather now and I tend to say things like that) I never lose sight of the fact that my mark will be inside of your rings for all time.  Let's concentrate on styling your jewels. My standards of craftsmanship and sound structural integrity have been established for a long time. It's unlikely that I'll need your guidance in that area.

In the four decades that I've been making jewelry, a "feeling" has evolved that seems to encompass all of my work. I have found that this identifiable aspect of my work can be a blessing and a curse. Most of the folks that come to me do so because of the soft, fluid look and opulent feel of my work appeals to them. If you're just looking to a pair of hands to execute your thoughts without the sensibilities that are evident my work, I'm probably not the craftsman for you. It may be difficult, if not impossible, for me to "do it like that other guy does it" for any number of reasons. The reasons for this may emanate from my concern for structural integrity or longevity to something as frivolous as the fact that I don't like that guy's style. It may be that you want a copy of another jeweler's product. It's pretty clear that most new forms owe a debt of thanks to work that came before. I don't claim that every element of every product I create will be absolutely original and new to the world but I don't wish to directly copy any product that is not my own. It's illegal and its' not a nice thing to do to the person who took the time to develop and make their work available to you. If "that other guy's" work is what you really desire, I suggest that you take up your ideas with the craftsperson / company who's style does appeal to you. If you have identified a character in my work that appeals to you, and you'd like to incorporate my sensibilities - my guidance/advice - and my technical standards into your project, please, let's talk about your ideas. 

 If I am to help you to bring your thoughts to life, I really need clear and concise information from the start. When you ask for something specific, I'm going to trust that you understand what you've asked for and that it is important to you. If you have questions or concerns or you're really not sure about some aspect of the project that you have in mind, please ask me about it. I'm pleased to discuss any thoughts that you might have before we commit to the task of developing an actual working plan for your piece - and before we request the development fee for your project. Let's get as much information exchanged as possible before we commit to planning a piece. Any fees received for development work are not refundable after the actual development work has begun. 

A development fee is not a deposit on the actual crafting of a piece. This fee is intended to pay for the time that we invest in making a working plan for your project. I will try to submit an educated guess as to the net cost of a project before we move to actually developing plans for the job. I will submit a final price after the development work has been approved. Please see the "Custom Pricing" section below for more information.

If, after we've discussed your project goals, your development fee has been received and I've submitted my plans (either in the form of computer generated 3D drawings or images of a physical model at our digression)  for your project, either you or I come to feel that we have failed to communicate effectively, and minor revisions don't get the job done, this may well be the time to end our discussions.  Although I have always made every effort to bring the thoughts of my clients to a beautiful and practical form, occasionally, it becomes clear that a client has requested a set of parameters for a project that just don't come together as they had expected. From time to time, after spending many hours on a plan, I get the feeling that the client either lacks confidence in what they have asked for or they may have reservations about my ability to bring their plan to life in a way that will please them. When this sort of uncomfortable situation seems to be playing out ( this is a rare occurrence but it happens ), rather than dwelling on minutiae, it's best to close the project. I'd rather not have to move to billing additional development time at an hourly rate after it becomes clear that your initial idea just didn't work for you.  

In short, if the look and feel of my work is what has motivated you to contact me,  please let me develop and craft your project with my instincts, my standards and my experience as my guide.   


   Would-Be designers

I've found that some of the people that contact me wish to coax every small detail of a project to life and also to give me their advice on how to create a piece of jewelry as  we work along. I've run into this psychology in the past when I did creative work for "Designers" within the jewelry industry. This didn't work out well with off-site "Professional Designers" and it hasn't worked out well with distant clients who have really not trusted my instincts to bring their thoughts to life.

There is a way for folks with this mind-set to get the work done however.

The best approach for you is to contact a jewelry maker who is within visiting distance of you. Explain to the craftsperson that you wish to supervise your project very closely and that you might wish to make substantive changes at any point in the creation of your piece. Ask the craftsperson whether he/she is willing to work in this manner. If the craftsperson is amenable to this way of working, rather than asking them to agree on a delivery  price and time frame for your project, establish an hourly rate for the time spent by the artist on your project. This way, the artist is free to address your every consideration without risk of going unpaid for, potentially, many hours of work and materials that might be consumed along the way - and you can control the progress and outcome of your project. Make arrangements to drop by with your micrometer throughout the process.  It would be unfair to the artist for you to not disclose that this is your intent before asking the artist for a commitment of time frame and final cost.

For the record, as I stated above, I've tried his way of working when I serviced "Professional" designers. It's a difficult scenario to accomplish, at a distance, between professionals. I find it impossible to make this scenario work with members of the general public who wish to design their first and most important piece of jewelry. 


Custom Pricing 

In general, new product development and communication time require an advance fee of  $600.00 to $1000.00 US.  I often spend much more (unbilled) time on an initial plan than is reflected in the above numbers because my plans are "manufacture ready" - or close to it. The requisite engineering has been done. 

Projects under development won't look like photos of completed pieces. There will be many hours devoted to crafting, setting and finishing a piece after the development work is approved.  

Some projects will require more development time than others. Some won't require any new product development costs at all. I can't know what a new piece will cost before I lay it out and take a look at the time, materials and process involved in crafting it. After (BUT NOT BEFORE) our plan has been completed and approved, I'll know the actual cost of a project as it has been defined. At that time , I'll be able to submit a firm price for the plan that is in place.  Changes made to our plan after my price has been submitted will probably change the cost of the project and may extend the time frame to completion. Subsequent development time will be billed in addition to any previous quote.

While a new piece may be based on an existing item from my archives, changes in stone and finger sizes are likely to yield a look, by virtue of differing proportions, that is somewhat different from that of the first piece. No two pieces are going to be exactly alike. If you have an "Original" you'll know it. There is only one original item of any style.  


Ordering Process specifics .............................

We're working out a simplified custom ordering procedure. Frankly, the consumer market took me by surprise and by storm a few years ago. I had been making custom mountings for resellers until that time. While I've been busy with special order work, I've tried to piece this section together as various situations have presented themselves. 

Because I've chosen to work on a personal and individual level with my clients, the common "Shopping Basket" approach to ordering doesn't seem to apply to this site. 

I'm working on it. 


Please feel free to call 978-369-1950 - Monday through Friday from 1:00 to 5:00 P.M. Eastern time - with any questions. I look forward to hearing from you.  


 

 

About Us F. A. Q. Contact Mark

Home