Sketch to Engagement Ring

A yet to be named designed Devotion Diamonds Chief Designer Michele Krol is working on. image: bridget shirvell
Designs are not named until they take on their final completed form as every characteristic, including characteristics in the metal castings and the completed pieces once stones are set and the piece is polished, play a part in the naming process. image: bridget shirvell
“I like architecture, I use the old-fashioned drafting method,” Michele Krol said. “I don’t consider myself an artist, I’m designer. I love water and a lot of this was done by the water.” image: bridget shirvell
Sketches adorn Devotion Diamond’s offices and Perry Sporn makes the process of deciding which designs to move forward with as collaborative as possible. image: bridget shirvell
From CAD, designs go first to a 3D print out. image: bridget shirvell
From CAD, designs go to manufacturing: first a 3D print out, then a wax model and before it’s finished production will see how it takes the stone. image: bridget shirvell
From sketch to the final ring there are often changes but the end result is still as true to possible as those first sketches Krol did by hand. image: bridget shirvell

Every creative individual has that spot. The place they go to get inspired, to get through a mental block. For the creative team that designs engagement bands for the brilliant swan crystals Devotion Diamonds has become known for, that spot is Vermont, more specifically the quiet woods surrounding Lake Champlain, which give way to sparkling water.

“You try to bring nature into it and the elements of nature and how things grow and blossom,” Devotion Diamonds Chief Designer Michele Krol said.

As lead designer Krol sketches the ideas that eventually become engagement and wedding bands. She does it all by hand with a pencil.

“Many jewelry designers design in CAD,” Devotion Diamond’s Perry Sporn said. “We don’t start there.”

Krol starts with a rough. She plays with shapes and the feel, always inspired by the Vermont landscape.

“I like architecture, I use the old-fashioned drafting method,” Krol said. “I don’t consider myself an artist, I’m a designer. I love water and a lot of this was done by the water.”

The sketches she’s ready to share adorn Devotion Diamond’s offices. There are never more than 40 engagement styles from Devotion Diamonds at any one time and only a handful of new styles created each year.

“We develop six or seven options on wedding rings,” Sporn said. “The prototyping is an incredible amount of man hours. We’ll go through sketch after sketch.”

Deciding on what sketches to move forward with is a collaborative exercise for the company. Sporn’s lake home has an open door policy and he’ll often have staff over to talk about the designs.

But nothing is a sure thing. Sketches are put in CAD engineering software to create a technical rendering and sometimes the sketch will come back and they realize it can’t be built.

“I’ve learned to compromise on some things,” Krol said. “If it comes out the way I want.”

From CAD, designs go to manufacturing: first a 3D print out, then a wax model and before it’s finished production will see how it takes the stone. There are often changes but the end result is still as true to possible as those first sketches Krol did by hand.

“I love them all,” Krol said of the designs.

Read about the science behind the Devotion Diamond sparkle in the September print edition of Long Island Pulse.