Work With Our Designer

Hey!
I'm Laurel Hill, Designer for Northwood Rings.

Are you looking to create a completely custom piece of jewelry? I can help! I’m a certified Jewelry designer and I’ve been designing jewelry for Northwood’s customers since 2012. 

I use CAD (computer aided design) to create intricate, and one-of-a-kind pieces that can be printed by our 3D wax printer, and then cast in-house by our goldsmith, my partner, Allan Hill. Together, Allan and I work on your piece from the very conception of the idea to the final polishing and packing to ship. 

I love working with wood and gold together, but that doesn’t mean you need to stick to those materials. I can make a traditional design using only metals and gems, and I can work with less-traditional materials as well. I once used plastic from a bar sign where the couple met to add something extremely meaningful into a gorgeous engagement ring and the final design was stunning! 

Bring me your ideas, and let’s get started on a project together!

signature-for-website

“The role of the designer is that of a good, thoughtful host anticipating the needs of his guests.”
- Charles Eames

Check Out My Process: The Golden Coffee Bean

From Inspiration to Final Product
The inspiration
The Concept
The 3D Wax Model
The Final Product

The Golden Bean

Sometimes I get to work on the cutest projects! This one was for my own mother. She had a ring she no longer loved. It was tiny and didn’t contain enough gold for a new ring to be made, so we opted for a pendant. My mom and coffee go together like cream and sugar – you don’t often find her without a mug in her hands. 

We took some pictures of coffee beans and I set to work designing a teeny-tiny golden pendant that was about the same size as a real coffee bean. 

From there, it was printed in wax and cast into gold with her melted down ring. 

For the finish she wanted a slightly rough texture so we polished the gold to a shine but left some bumps and imperfections. A simple bail was chosen to hang the pendant from. 

Instead of a small ring that no longer held wonderful memories for her, she now wears a pendant she loves and that she had fun designing along with me.  

The ring we melted had sat in a jewelry box, in the bottom of a drawer, for years and years. Now it has new life and new meaning and can be worn proudly for years to come. 

Check Out My Process: The Tree Ring

A List of Must Have Elements
Tree Design
Fibonacci Spiral
A Secret Sand Dollar
A Citrine Stone

The Tree Ring

An engagement ring that is custom designed is often started with an idea, or several, as a foundation.

This ring began with a story of a tree the couple spent hours beneath, a symbol that was meaningful to her (fibonacci spiral), and a request for a citrine stone. 

I was told she preferred wider jewelry, and loved an artist that employed repeating patterns in his work that were focused on nature and natural designs. 

This was not the first concept, but in the end this is the ring that was decided on. 

Small golden koa leaves filled in the leaves of the tree design. The Fibonacci spiral supported a deep yellow citrine, and a special surprise sand dollar was settled on the bottom of the band in a way that would create a little imprint when the ring was removed. 

The wide design was kept feminine with thin bands of gold, open space, and delicate details. 

Unfortunately, this ring has been abandoned and the project has not been finished so there are no final product images, but this project was still a beautiful example of what can be done with a strong concept to create a completely one-of-a-kind design. 

Work With Me

Do you have a project in mind?

Leave your name and email below along with what you are looking for in the message box and we will contact you soon.

Frequently Asked Questions

Most frequent questions and answers

How Much Does it Cost?

I charge a $250 USD non-refundable deposit to begin designing. This deposit covers my time to work with you on designing your concept and the initial sketches. 

Depending on how quickly the design comes together this fee may be enough. If our design takes longer, or goes through multiple revisions, I may need to ask for a further deposit to cover my time. 

When your design is complete, I will price out the final cost of your project based on the time to create it and the material costs involved. The deposit you paid will be deducted from this amount and an invoice will be created. When you have paid at least 50% your design will begin production. 

 

How Long Does It Take ?

A custom design can take weeks, or months, depending on how long it takes us to finalize the concept.

You should have at least 6-8 weeks before you need your jewelry piece to be able to work with me. Please let me know upfront if you have a date in mind that you will need your project in hand for. 

Do I Need To Give a Budget?

I understand that sharing a budget seems scary, but I really can’t do my job without it. I need to know what we’re working with in order to design a piece that fits you, and your budget. 

If you need help setting an appropriate budget send me your ideas and I can give you a ballpark that we should aim for. If it doesn’t work for you, that’s okay, maybe we can scale down the idea or maybe it’s a project you can take on in the future. 

Please be open about your budget and give me a true number. If you’d like to stay around $1000, that’s perfectly fine, but I need to know that rather than “a max of $2500” and then creating a design that you aren’t comfortable with the price of. 

I am always happy to work with customers at the budget they have. If we can’t create a piece of jewelry that fits within your budget I will let you know and save us both the time and effort. 

 

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Ebony
Macassar Ebony - Southeast Asia: A beautiful dark red to black toned wood. Great with vibrant colours like turquoise or malachite.
English Oak
*We are currently using the lighter woods from our Macassar Ebony to achieve this color as Roasted English Oak that is workable for bentwood has become hard to find. Colors range from medium to dark brown and nearly black tones.
Grey Maple
Sugar Maple - Canada: We use the same maple as our regular maple listing, but achieve a beautiful greyed colour by soaking the wood in iron acetate to achieve a weathered silver look.
Santos Rosewood
South America (Brazil and Bolivia): Not a true rosewood, and the same wood as our Pau Ferro, we use the santos name to differentiate the more red tone of this wood from the yellow tones of our Pau Ferro.
Pau Ferro
South America (Brazil and Bolivia): The same as our Santos Rosewood (although not a true rosewood), we use the Pau Ferro name to differentiate the more yellow tone of this wood from the red tones of our Santos.
Purpleheart
Central and South America: Beautiful deep purple tones that range to nearly black, but show up brilliant in natural light.
American Elm
Eastern to Midwest United States: Tones range from a toasted caramel to light creamy white in the sapwood
Hawaiian Golden Koa
Hawaii: Vibrant golden tones ranging to reddish hues make this one of our customers most favorite wood choices.
American Black Walnut
Eastern United States: Walnut ranges from a pale brown to a deep chocolate brown and every shade between. Can have color casts of yellow, grey, purple or red.
Elm Burl
Western Europe: The grain in a burled tree is caused by some form of stress or injury to the tree, but creates a pattern that is beautiful to look at. Colors range from medium to dark brown with small figures of color patterns changing throughout.
Canadian Maple
Sugar Maple - Canada: Light and bright in color, our sugar maple comes from Canada and is a beautiful warm creamy white tone ranging to a light honey shade.

None of the woods we use are listed in the CITES appendices as being threatened or endangered. Macassar Ebony is listed on the IUCN Red List as being vulnerable due to a decline in it’s natural range. 

We source most of our woods from craftspeople and artisans with pieces too small for their own use. In this way we feel we can create beautiful rings without contributing to their decline.

Turquoise
Malachite
Lapis Lazuli
"Blue Mix"
Made from Turquoise, Lapis Lazuli and Malachite
Jet
Synthetic Coral
Coral Sand
Natural Sand
Mother of Pearl
Synthetic Opal