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Interview Series - Caysie Van Bebber from CvB Inspired Designs

swaye2010

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Nov 16, 2015
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1,108
Interview Series - We spoke to Caysie Van Bebber of the award winning CvB Inspired Designs about her moissanite, lab diamond and lab gemstone projects. A lot of people on this board are already familiar with her designs but I thought I would post it anyways in the fashion jewelry forum for reference since people said they enjoy reading them.

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Thank you for participating in this interview with us on r/moissanite. We are so happy to be big enough now to attract such artistic people like yourself. Your company, CVB Inspired Design, is perfectly named as we can feel the inspiration in each one of your pieces. It is a modern way to reimagine vintage design into these small pieces of art.

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Here is a little history - as told to SPG back in December. For those of you unfamiliar with Caysie’s work, she is is a two-time Spectrum Award Winner (one of the highest honors in jewelry) and well-known for her striking vintage-inspired ring designs. We spoke about how she got her start in jewelry design, what her creative process is, and her biggest sources of inspiration.

How did you get started in jewelry design?

I was a fine artist for years, working odd-jobs to support myself & my three then young children before getting “uncled-in” to the business. My uncle, who has just recently retired, had been a goldsmith for decades and his talents were quite well known in our small community in the Gold Country of California. He’d occasionally seek-out my assistance with certain designs knowing my background in the fine arts, as well as my brief stint in exploring architecture.
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”The Fisherman’ sculpture by Caysie

I believe he finally became fed up with my life as a literal starving artist & volunteered to assist me in breaking into the trade as a designer. I was thrilled at both the prospect of an actual career, and the kind and forward-thinking gesture by my sweet uncle. Within a year of beginning this incredible adventure, I had won the first of my two AGTA Spectrum Awards in bridal design.

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Caysie’s award winning 7 carat lavender sapphire design.

Where do you draw your inspiration from? Does it come from vintage pieces or do you find it in art or nature? Does some of this come from working with family?

That’s a challenging question to answer with certainty. Much of the time I simply rely on the “archives” of my brain.Of course antique & historic jewelry, art, architecture & nature contribute to & influence my general style, but I don’t actively seek out inspiration…I love when a new design comes together organically. I find that my most successful designs are ones that were rather spontaneous in origin

Your rings do have a certain old, worldly charm. How would you describe your style and how is it is reflected in your pieces?

That too is a challenge to define; I don’t really feel I have a style, though I do project a vibe, I suppose.

For me, each piece of jewelry should have the qualities of a successful piece of art—composition is critical, (naturally, there’s usually a defined focal point), with balanced visual weight, complementary angles, fluid lines, etc…details are also important, though without the “bones” of the design being correct, no amount of embellishment will elevate the design from ordinary to that of a wee piece of art.

From some of your previous moissanite projects, what has been a few of your absolute favorite’s to create for customer’s?

I love the Emily three stone ring that was recently completed, which has custom step cut shield accents and the serpent stacking ring.
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I thought the Zoe French cut blue sapphire halo with an OEC moissy at the center was a stunning piece—super Deco.

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I also loved the 8 prong Dahlia stair solitaire which was recently completed for a custom specialty cut round moissy.

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What are your favorite moissanite cuts? What cut do you suggest for the most ‘diamond like’ mossanite?

I tend toward the antique style cuts, I love chunky facets & high domes…I also love rose cuts & well cut step cuts, & the more unique cuts as well—basically if it’s a beautiful cut & performs well, it’s a favorite lol!

There still seems to be a lot of judgement from certain companies about using moissanite in their pieces. This can turn customer’s off to certain shops because of this. People also think they can’t afford to buy custom. Do you have some advice for them?

Gah, I loathe to hear this.

There is no place, imo, for this sort of “judginess” — it’s just ugly

I’ve known clients who choose moissy as a diamond alternative not because of budget, but because they love the stone material itself, and it’s ethical origins.

Budget of course is often the reason why clients choose moissy as an alternative, though this isn’t exclusively the case. Regarding commissioning a custom piece while maintaining budget parameters; I’d suggest to be realistic regarding what can & cannot be done. I recommend choosing quality over excess, but that’s just me lol

How do you feel about setting outside stones? If a consumer is not sure where to go for their loose...moissanite stones, who do you recommend from so many choices?...Once chosen, do you offer quotes with and without...moissanite melee for their rings/jewelry or...is mined/lab diamonds the only choice...for small melee?

I’m happy to design for and set outside stones, we don’t have issue with it. I honestly don’t know many moissy vendors, I use Harro Gem often…he is always Johnny on the spot when it comes to my sometimes rather complex cutting requests!! Another favorite is the August Vintage cuts from Jonathan at Distinctive Gem’s in moissanite and lab diamond.

Do you plan to launch your own moissanite or lab diamond product’s in the future?

That’s unlikely that I’ll offer stock loose stones…though I do have some signature cuts I’m working on that will likely be available to order.

This said, my niche is bespoke & custom settings…this is what I enjoy most, the process of creation. It’s super fulfilling to see a piece come to life & for my clients to say? “whoa, it’s so much better than the photos” lol


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What excites you the most about this business? Where do you see it going with moissanite & lab diamond jewelry trends in the future?

Oh despite the Old Guards’ hand wringing & attempts at degrading their reputations, moissy & lab diamonds are here to stay & I think will only continue to increase in popularity and accessibility in the future.

Times change… and attitudes, especially in a trade such as I’m in, have to change as well…or those who possess those traits, along with their antiquated attitudes, risk becoming obsolete

Where can we see IRL pictures of your work?

Most of my work is posted on my Instagram page:

[https://instagram.com/cvb.inspired....com/cvb.inspired.design?utm_medium=copy_link)

I expect my website to be launched by the end of the summer. Sales are handled through my etsy page:

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What is the best way for people to get in touch with you? Do you have a website?

DM on Instagram or text is a sure fire way to track me down!

What is a realistic timeframe for your business after the initial contact, to the finished piece with and without a CAD?

This depends entirely on the project. I’ve had complex pieces chalk full of calibre cut stones, take six months, though for a more simple piece, which the design already exists in my portfolio, you can expect 4-6 weeks AFTER the CAD is approved.

It’s a rarity that I don’t offer CADs—basically, I just can’t think of the last time I didn’t create a cad, even if for an entirely hand made piece.

So, I do not conjecture on turn around times for bespoke pieces, because concept development is most often times rather brief, though sometimes can be more lengthy, times will vary… upon approval of the concept, from hand renderings, we move to CAD. .Material production time begins upon CAD approval only

I do typically have a few weeks waiting list to begin whether concept development is required for bespoke, or going immediately to CADs for custom pieces which is of an existing design…so whichever path, bespoke or custom, the client is endeavoring upon, production times will be discussed prior to order placement.

All of Caysie’s design’s can be made with lab created gemstones and moissanite centers. She specializes in antique cuts, rose cuts and can also cut speciality side stones. Her favorite moissanite brands are Harro and the Distinctive Gem’s August Vintage pieces. Any of her diamond projects can be recreated in moissanite.

The Victorian inspired ‘Maria’ 3 stone setting

[https://www.etsy.com/listing/571034...ed-three-stone?ref=shop_home_active_83&cns=1)

The “Cascade” contoured curved band -

[https://www.etsy.com/listing/838596...curve-diamond-band?ref=shop_home_active_3)The elegant

The “Dahlia” with floral petal prongs

[https://www.etsy.com/listing/768447...ring-setting?ref=shop_home_active_9&frs=1)The

Video’s of moissanite jeweldry:


If you would like to read more about CvB Inspired and her mined stone projects, you can read the December interview from the Shinyprecious Gems sub here:

[ https://www.reddit.com/r/Shinypreciousgems/comments/jr0phe
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