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
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
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
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
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.
requests will receive a faster response and faster delivery
than those which are unclear or may require extensive development
wedding schedules are given first priority whenever
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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 .....................
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Process specifics .............................
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
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.
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