Bespoke commissions – How I make your one off pieces

Bespoke pieces are a great way to keep your beloved companion with you forevermore.

Last month I talked about how I make your animal inspired jewellery using the lost wax casting process. This month I’m sharing some of the bespoke designs I’ve been commissioned to make recently. Working on a bespoke piece always feels incredibly special – whether it’s a beloved animal companion, or a symbol of something that’s important to you; bespoke commissions are always unique and I’m so happy to be able to create something that means so much to you.

Bespoke commissions are generally created in the same way as my usual collection pieces, however because each piece is unique and doesn’t have a ‘master’ ready to use, they take significantly longer as each one is created from scratch. Sometimes though, I go off piste and have to use a completely different process to ensure that your piece is true to life and ends up exactly how you want it. I’ll talk more about what happens when I have to improvise later, but here’s a few of my recent bespoke commissioned pieces…

Chihuahua necklace and earrings

Steve got in touch to commission a chihuahua necklace and earrings for his lovely wife, Laura, who has a gorgeous little chihuahua called Teddy. Steve wanted them to be made from my signature recycled silver and sent over some silhouette designs that look like Teddy for me to work from.

Chihuahua necklace and earrings bespoke silver jewellery commission with custom note for giftee

I started out by creating a silhouette and piercing it out of 2 layers of silver sheet with a jeweller’s saw, filing until it was perfect, but when I came to solder on the findings I realised we had a problem…

Chihuahuas are dogs with big heads and little tails, which meant that the loop just wouldn’t hang properly. I came up with the idea of soldering a third layer of silver onto the back of the tail end of the chihuahua to balance the weight, and ensure that it hangs perfectly when Laura wears it.

Steve and Laura were thrilled with their cute, unique pieces, and I was so happy to get this lovely review:

Bespoke Chihuahua with Letterstamping - Silver Jewellery Commission
“Fab! Rosie keeps you up to date with progress, and comes up with brilliant ideas to make it perfect. The quality is amazing. Thanks Rosie!”
Steve Searson
Bespoke Commission of a pet Chihuahua called Teddy - Necklace & Earring set made from Recycled Silver

Bespoke Commission – Necklace & Earring set made from Recycled Silver

Solo the greyhound – working from photos

Laura got in touch after stopping by for a chat at one of the Christmas fairs I attended. Her sister Emma’s 30th birthday was coming up and Laura wanted to immortalise her beloved greyhound, Solo, as a necklace to keep close to her heart.

Laura sent photos of Solo (who is not camera shy!!) for me to work from. From the photos, I created a silhouette which I pierced out of recycled silver sheet, before filing it and adding oxidised markings to make it into the perfect rendition of Emma’s lovely pal.

Bespoke Silver Necklace Commission of Solo the Greyhound
solo 2
Solo the Greyhound - Working from photos to create a bespoke jewellery commission

Bespoke Commission – Necklace made from Recycled Silver, designed from provided photos

Snoopy – 3D scanned & cast in recycled silver

This was something completely different – a creative challenge for me but one that I relished!

My client wanted the world’s most famous beagle as a 3D pendant to hang from a necklace. Without an existing Snoopy mould I had to think well outside the box, but with the help of Vipa Designs, my wonderful casting company, we came up with the idea of 3D scanning a Snoopy model (from a pen top my client had sent in for reference!). We reduced the size and made a couple of artistic tweaks until we had the perfect mould to cast for the necklace.

Operation Snoopy complete, a new process under my belt and one very happy customer!

Snoopy - 3D scanned and cast in recycled silver

Bespoke Commission – 3D Scanned and cast silver pendant of Snoopy

Claire’s starfish rings and pendant – Sandcasted from her own silver

A lovely lady reached out to me to request some bespoke jewellery for her own 40th birthday. Claire wanted two of these pieces to be silver starfish rings to remind her of one of her favourite stories.

Claire’s starfish rings and pendant - Sandcasted from her own silver
A child is spotted walking along the sand after a terrible storm, steadfastly picking up each washed-up starfish that he finds and throwing it back into the sea.

An old man interrupts his process, telling him that he’s wasting his time, that there are too many starfish for him to make a real difference. The child gathers another one up and returns it to the water, replying ‘I made a difference to that one’.

It reminds us that any seemingly small act can make a huge difference to another, even if we can’t solve the overall issue alone. It’s a call to have faith in your efforts, even if others can’t yet see the purpose as clearly as you.

Not only is Claire a wonderful psychotherapist, but she loves to draw in her free time. Both these rings have been made from Claire’s drawings. I’m so happy that I was able to make these pieces for Claire, who I’m sure has helped many a starfish through her work.

It’s always such a beautiful thing to me when people buy themselves gifts, it’s an act of real self-love. The brief was to use her own silver and create a new piece, and so a whole new starfish ring was reborn – quite fitting for the exciting new life chapter she’s celebrating, I think.

Claire’s pieces were made by sand casting, a process of making a mould from sand and pouring molten metal – in this case, her own silver which had been melted down – into the mould to set.

Claire’s starfish rings and pendant - making the mould for bespoke jewellery commission
Claire’s starfish rings and pendant commission - creating the sandcast mould
Claire’s starfish rings and pendant - Sandcasting
Claire’s starfish rings and pendant master for bespoke commission

Bespoke Commission – Starfish rings sandcasted from client’s silver

Sue’s jumping rockhopper necklace and earring set – remade from her mother’s gold jewellery

Sometimes, when I’m working with a client’s own metal, it’s melted down and cast into a lump, before being made into sheet (rather than made into an intricate investment mould or sand casted).

Sue’s gold was melted down and then made into gold sheet using a rolling mill. The rolling out process is quite time consuming as I have to anneal the metal with a blowtorch to soften it, before putting it through the rolling mill. The rolling mill work-hardens it, then I’ll need to anneal it again – otherwise, the metal can become brittle and snap.

An 18ct gold necklace chain on a set of weighing scales
graficarbo electric furnace melting gold and silver for bespoke jewellery
A Lump of Gold ready to be used to make your bespoke jewellery
Quality control and cutting new bespoke designs for your bespoke gold jewellery

Sue first got in touch in 2019 to ask if I could use her gold to make an earring and necklace set in the shape of rockhopper penguins. Due to the time and expense involved in melting down old metal, I let Sue know that this is only something I recommend if the gold has a lot of sentimental value. Sue shared that the gold had belonged to her mother, who had sadly passed away while Sue was on her ‘trip of a lifetime’ in the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica – seeing penguins!

rockhopper penguin necklace and earring set remade from mother’s gold jewellery
rockhopper penguin necklace and earring set remade from mother’s gold jewellery cut out

This was such a beautiful story and I was so happy to be able to make these special pieces. I ended up meeting Sue in London to collect her gold as it was so incredibly precious that she didn’t want to risk posting it. To be trusted with something so valuable was incredible and I took it very seriously.

Sue’s special penguin pieces turned out beautifully and she was so happy with them. I’m thrilled to have been able to help Sue keep her mum’s memory with her always.

rockhopper penguin necklace and earring set remade from mother’s gold jewellery as a bespoke commission

Bespoke Commission – Rockhopper Penguin Necklace and Earring Set made from Recycled Gold

Bespoke pony necklace pierced from 2 sheets of recycled silver, with oxidised detailing

This piece was commissioned by a lady’s partner after the devastating loss of her beloved pony. The pony is made out of two layers of silver so that I could get the definition between the legs, and is a completely bespoke design I have never made before. Every time I work on a bespoke commission I feel like I’m learning something new – it’s one of the many reasons I love being an independent, ethical jeweller.

The oxidised detailing on the hooves and mane make the piece recognisable as the beloved friend it represents.

Bespoke pony necklace pierced from 2 sheets of recycled silver, with oxidised detailing

“Having recently lost her pony after 16 years of friendship, my partner was looking for something special to remember him by. Rosie very kindly obliged and has made a completely bespoke necklace for her. Rosie provided a fantastic service, keeping us in the loop during the design process. She produced a beautiful necklace that is a true likeness – a keepsake which will evoke fond memories for years to come.

I cannot recommend Elouise Makes and Rosie highly enough. Thank you!”
Callum J Haseler

Feedback like this makes my heart sing! Losing a friend, especially after 16 years, is a terrible wrench and I’m so happy that I could help this lady’s grieving process in a small way.

Bespoke pony necklace pierced from 2 sheets of recycled silver, with oxidised detailing. Bespoke Commission of Silver Jewellery in Elousie Makes Jewellery Box

Bespoke Commission – Bespoke pony necklace pierced from 2 sheets of recycled silver

Engraving and letter stamping on stock pieces

If there’s a piece in my shop which is perfect for you or a loved one I offer engraving and letter stamping to give it that perfect personalised touch.

I’m now offering FREE letter stamping on any of the pieces in my collection – simply click here to choose your favourite piece and enter your chosen letters directly on my website!

Wedding Ring engraving - Bespoke Commissions for Wedding Rings and Custom Engraving

I loved putting these extra personal details onto Ida the whippet and this cute little Westie necklace – it means a lot to know how they’ll be treasured.

Personalise your jewellery with letterstamping and engraving - my bespoke commissions allow you to personalise a gift for you or a loved one
Westie Terrier Silver Dog Necklace Personalised for Grandad

Engraving & Letter stamping (more than 2 letters) can vary in cost, so just get in touch for a quote.

Penguin Cufflinks with Letterstamping - Bespoke Commission of Silver Jewellery, Animal Inspired

Do you have a bespoke piece you’d like to talk about?

Bespoke silver snoopy dog necklace

I love working on your bespoke jewellery to create something really special that you’ll love and treasure.

Get my bespoke piece

If you have an idea for an animal piece, or something completely different, just get in touch and we’ll make it happen!


Thanks for reading…

Here’s a few things you might like to check out:

My ethical policy—This tells you everything you need to know about how I make my jewellery, my packaging, what makes me different in the jewellery industry and my overall ethos

About me—Hi! It’s nice to meet you. Find out about me, Rosie, and how and why I started Elouise Makes

Shop the collection—Looking for something specific, or just want to browse? You’ll find it all here

Caring for your silver jewellery—Learn how to keep your animal friends looking their best

My shipping policy—OK, this isn’t exactly the most exciting reading material, but if you order from me you need to feel secure that your piece will make its way to you safely!

Find me on Instagram—Follow me on Insta for lush pictures of my recycled silver animal jewellery, and fun tidbits about the creatures I create

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