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My Process

Handcrafted with love and made from scratch.
But what does that really mean, anyway?    

Custom and Bespoke work lends itself beautifully to the nature of my one of a kind process. My process is completely handmade with my own two hands in my studio in Pacific Grove, CA.  Call me old fashioned, but I still believe the best things are still made by hand. I use a combination of old-world traditional metalsmithing techniques including fabrication and lost wax casting, and I use recycled precious metals, conflict-free stones, and eco-friendly studio practices. Most current fine jewelry companies design their products on computer software, 3-D print the prototype and then outsource the mass production of that item to far away countries. None of those things happen in my studio, in fact, that's why I started my own business. I pride my work on continuing this art form handed down from artisan to artisan for many generations. My business and personal motto focuses on the belief that jewelry that has been handmade in this way is far more special and meaningful than something mass-manufactured. I believe it shows, and my goal is to have my clients come away from the experience with a beautiful, unique piece that they will treasure as an heirloom for their lifetime and perhaps beyond.

My background: I have been working as a professional jeweler since 2006 and began my own business under my name in 2010. Since 2006, I've completed more than 3 years of Metal Arts classes in varying techniques under Theresa Lovering-Brown and Carol Holaday, trained under the proficient silversmith Marne Mobley from 2006-2010, and worked as a bench jeweler/designer for Pat Areias, a sterling silver belt buckle and jewelry company from 2006-2010. Since 2012 I've had the honor of mentorship in fine jewelry production and stone setting with Lee Andrews of Sun Studios.

So how does it work?    

First, I need to get a good idea of what you’re looking for. Along with this 'How it Works' info page is a questionnaire that is the first step in beginning our process together. By answering these questions, it will get you thinking about all the qualities you want in your perfect piece of jewelry--so that I can make it come to life. My goal is to far exceed your expectations, and making sure we're on the same page is the first step to ensure that will happen.

Custom or Bespoke? Whether you are looking for something Custom (a small, personalized change to an existing design) or Bespoke (a design uniquely tailored for you) will determine our next steps in the process.


A design totally tailored to you.
Starting at $4500
The bespoke journey is a collaboration between us.
Perhaps it is a design you've had floating in your head for many years, or maybe you'd like me to design something totally one of a kind for you. Allowing you to bring your ideas and wishes to the design process is important to me. I listen, gather information, and advise you on gemstone and metal selection as well as design options that fit into all the things that are important to you. Bespoke work requires a non-refundable $200 Consultation & Design Deposit which will be incorporated into the final balance and holds our appointment slot. During our consultation, I will sketch drawings of our ideas and provide a quote for the custom work.


Small, personalized change(s) to a design
I already make in my portfolio

Starting at $300
Different stone
Different metal
Prong setting instead of bezel setting or vice versa
Adding/removing small diamond(s)
Adding/removing another stone(s)
A wider/narrower band than what is shown
A different texture than what is shown


Last, once you've decided on a design, we will handle the logistics. Together, we form a Work Contract with all the details of the design including final drawings, due date, method of delivery, balance due, etc.  I require a 50% deposit to begin the build, and we will form a payment plan for the remaining balance which will be due in full upon completion of the jewelry. When the piece is finished I will make either a final balance listing on etsy for my out of town folks, or the final balance will be due upon pick-up for my local clients. 


Q: I have an idea for a design that is based on another designer's work. Can you copy it?
A: I enjoy putting my own spin on a design idea, but I won't copy the work of another artist exactly. If you have an idea based off of someone else's work, definitely send pictures of it, but most importantly, tell me what you like about it. Is it the stone? Is it the texture on the metal? Is it the shape of the band? Is it because the stone is set low against the finger, or high in 6 prongs? Those are the elements that come together that make the design what it is and it's that information that I'll use to design your dream jewelry.

Q: I like one of your pieces but I want it a little different. Can you use a different stone, or change the band?
A: Absolutely! I call this type of work Custom because it is a design I've already worked with and worked meticulously hard to perfect. A different size stone or a small adjustment like changing the shape of the band or other small changes like this is easily accommodated into the design. When your idea is totally starting from scratch or a blank slate and is completely different than things I've made in the past, there is more focus on how to design the jewelry so that it functions well. In some cases I have to 'invent' ways to achieve your concept. This type of work I call Bespoke because it is highly collaborative and much more involved. 

Q: What types of metals do you use, and where does it come from?  
A: I work in recycled precious metals; mostly gold in different colors (rose, yellow, white, green)  and karats (14k, 18k, 22k), and sterling silver but it is *usually not economical to build a custom piece in sterling silver. I buy my stock from a reputable US manufacturing company that supplies only recycled metal, and usually alloy all my own colors and karats myself.    

I don't work in titanium, tungsten, niobium, stainless steel, copper, bronze, nickel, silicone, carbon fiber, stone inlay, or wood.    

*The labor and time involved in a custom wedding/engagement ring made in sterling silver will usually drive the price up too high to be reasonable. If you're looking for the silver color I recommend 14k or 18k white gold. Although sterling silver can last with special care, it is not best suited for rings for every ­day wear or people who work with their hands. A ring made in gold will withstand the test of time and will require much less maintenance through the course of its life.    

Q: What's the difference between 14k and 18k gold?
A: As pure gold is too soft for everyday wear, gold jewelry often also contains other metals, such as silver, copper, nickel or zinc, to make the piece more durable. The karatage shows how much of the metal is pure gold, compared to other metals. 24k is 100% gold, while 18k is 75% gold, and 14k is 58.3% gold. Depending on the 'recipe' of alloy we can also change the color of the gold--white gold has more nickel or silver, rose gold has more copper, etc.

Q: Can you recycle my old jewelry into a new bespoke piece?  
A: Usually yes. The best place to start is by filling out my Questionnaire so that I can get a good understanding of what you're looking for. 

Q: Can you use my heirloom stones in one of your designs or a bespoke/custom piece?
A: Sometimes. It depends on a variety of factors so the best place to start is by filling out my Questionnaire so that I can get a good understanding of what you're looking for. When I do use heirloom stones, you must sign a waver releasing me from liability for your stone(s).


Recent bespoke work Feedback

Erica and her work are simply amazing, stunning, and wonderful. Erica was so communicative and supportive and patient with all my questions through the planning process! She was willing to take on a challenge, and brought my idea to life effortlessly! She truly is an artist worth her salt, and I’m so happy to have a unique piece of art that will last! Thank you, Erica!
— Sarah H.
Ahhh once again Erica works her magic. I wanted a ring to symbolise the Mother line in my family - my Nan, my Mother, Myself and my Daughter. This is so much more than a ring, but a symbol of spiritual strength, love and kindness. Erica pours her heart and soul into her work and it shows. This is something I will treasure and pass onto my daughter one day when she (hopefully) becomes a Mother herself x Thank you Erica x
— Laura O.
Erica was a pleasure to work with, offering plenty of options to help this somewhat clueless customer out. The engagement ring she made for me is gorgeous, one-of-a-kind, and more importantly, got the job done!
— Marcus W.