Outsourcing the difficult part

Can build plane … Delivery about three months.
Donald Hall, Chief engineer, Ryan Airlines, to Charles Lindberg’s request for feasibility of the airplane later known as “The Spirit of St. Louis”

I’m a huge fan of outsourcing the parts of a creative project you cannot do — at all or within acceptable limits (time, energy, resources, etc.). I’ve routinely done it with books; I can bind a book, but it takes an awful amount of time, Lulu or Createspace are much more efficient.

Recently, I’m thinking of designing a ring. I am currently wearing one on my right middle finger and I am looking for one for my left middle finger (I love symmetry 🙂 ). While I can design a ring (I can’t draw, but sketch well enough to get my point across), I cannot forge one. But there is no need to do so — experts are readily available to do that part for you — are they?

Looking for a goldsmith I found that some goldsmiths are … rather taken aback about following another person’s design. One goldsmith was rather adamant, telling me “No. We do not work by a customer’s sketch! We only do our own designs.” Nothing wrong with following your creative callings, but I wonder whether a more open attitude wouldn’t be more … customer friendly — and better for business.

I had more luck with another goldsmith, or rather a team of goldsmiths. Not only did they strongly discourage me from my original design (the elevated chain-like design would not stand a chance and be filed off within a few months), but they also gave me tips for another design. One that I can live with and that can stand the test of time. The ring I had originally in mind cannot work, but the new design (using laser engravings) can work (will take a while until I have updated the original sketch).

So yes, I still think that it is possible to outsource the difficult part. If you want to have something forged, or sewed, or constructed, but you lack the skills, it’s no problem. Design it on paper — then look around long enough until you find the person who helps you to make your design feasible — and creates the object according to your specifications.


The ring is finished — I love it.

Original idea:


Finished Ring:


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