Work With Our Designer

Work with our Designer

Laurel Hill sits at her computer, an image of a custom wedding ring made from 14K white gold and purpleheart wood sits infront

meet laurel hill

If you’re considering a custom wedding or engagement ring, Laurel can help. In 2018 she became a certified jewelry designer using Rhino Gold, a CAD program designed specifically for jewelers.

From her workshop on the south shore of Nova Scotia, Canada Laurel has helped customers design one-of-a-kind jewelry of all styles: Pendants, earrings, and rings alike. 

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

Let’s Work Together

I’d love to help you design your perfect piece – whether you have the whole idea already mapped out, or just the tiniest inkling of what it might be. 

We can work together to design a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry that tells your story. And the best part is, we can collaborate from anywhere around the world. 

My first love is to create wedding and engagement ring designs by mixing precious metals, wood, and gemstones together. But I’m happy to consider any material or jewelry piece you’ve had your eye on.

Why Choose to Work with Me?

I pride myself on making custom jewelry design affordable, fun, and easy. 

Being skilled in both jewelry design and wood working (along with a lifelong love of getting my hands dirty in any and all diy projects), means I have a unique ability and access to tools and design techniques that most jewelers or woodworkers alone won’t have. 

Together we can utilize all the modern tools and best of craftsmanship to bring your design to life.

I believe that great design starts with closely listening and understanding my client. Not just looking at the design they want and jumping in, but thoroughly understanding the reason behind the design. 

From Sketch to Reality

Although both Allan and I love the handcrafted quality of bentwood rings, sometimes the wonders of technology are a welcome addition. 

In 2018, along with my certification in Computer Aided Jewelry Design, Northwood added a 3D wax printer to our toolbox. 

This printer can replicate my computer designed jewelry in very fine detail in wax, ready to be cast in gold for a unique and perfectly sized ring. 

Taking advantage of the perfect replication, I can now help customers from a simple sketch all the way to a final, finished piece.

a tablet shows a CAD designed custom ring from several angles

frequently asked questions:

I am happy to work with customers on any jewelry design but this service is meant for those looking to have a completely custom computer aided design created. If you’re looking to make modifications to one of our already existing styles please see ‘Customizing my Ring‘. 

If you are looking to have a fully customized jewelry piece made, whether that’s a ring, pendant, earrings or any other item, you’re in the right place. 

In cases where I feel that Northwood may not be the right company to create your design due to elements I feel would be better handled by a larger firm, I can still help you design your piece and collaborate with a jewelry house to have it made for you. 

I can work from inspiration pictures to help you create your perfect ring, but for ethical reasons I will not recreate another jewelers/designers work exactly as they have designed it. 

You’ll be working with me, Laurel Hill. I will answer your initial questions by email, and if you’d like to move ahead with a custom design I’ll have you place a deposit. Once the deposit is paid we’ll be working together exclusively up until the final decisions are made.

After your ring is in production I will have our office team take over for life-long care of your ring. 

We charge an initial deposit of $250 USD to begin working together on your design. This deposit is non-refundable unless I decide that I cannot make your ring within the budget and specifications you have. Once design work has been started the deposit cannot be refunded. 

The cost of your ring, and your budget, will be discussed in our initial meeting. While I cannot quote an exact price this early, we can decide on a target price and I will design within that price point. Costs will depend on labor, material and complexity of design. 

I will always respect my customer’s budget. If you give me a number I will let you know if I cannot design your desired ring within that target. 

My goal is to design a quality custom ring for a fair price.

 

We’ll meet from wherever and however you’re most comfortable. Initially we’ll discuss plans by email, and as we get closer to the design we can talk via phone, video chat or whatever option is best for you to finalize those little details. 

We also have a shop in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia where customers are welcome to meet with us if they are in our area. 

Great design takes time. From our initial email to the final product I would recommend having at least 12 weeks, though more complicated designs can take longer. We’ll discuss your own timeline in our initial emails. 

If you don’t have at least 12 weeks it may be best to consider going with an already designed style or something that only needs a few modifications. 

I would love to work on every design that comes my way, but there wouldn’t be enough hours in the day. My non-refundable deposit ensures I’m only working with customers that are serious about moving forward with their custom design. It also means that I have the time to really create something special for them.

Between our discussions, the rendered images and sketches, and all of the details that are handled before we even begin making your ring there shouldn’t be any doubt about whether you’ll love your design or not. 

However, since custom work is so personal we cannot accept returns on custom products. We’ll discuss your own unique situation as it pertains to your design in the initial meetings.

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.

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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