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"On the 5th of April, 2014, I proposed to the love of my life who, after recovering from her surprise, happily said ‘yes’. As we had semi-sorta discussed in the past, we both wanted a hand-crafted engagement ring and wedding band set, and set out to find someone who could translate our rough ideas into something tangible.
We looked at the web pages for various designers here in Ottawa, and settled on two. We chose these two based on their modern methods (i.e. - 3D rendering versus drawing), and booked appointments with each of them over the course of a few weeks. To be honest, we liked them both. However, there was something about Paul Richter that resonated with us.
From the outset, in addition to his professionalism and (if the photos around his workshop were anything to go by) his craftsmanship, we were both intrigued by his enthusiasm. He carefully listened to us talk about our expectations, and we could see he was already engaged (no pun intended) in the project even as he was sitting there attentively. As my fiancee and Paul talked about colour and detail, it was amusing for me to watch him getting more and more intrigued by the finer points. Once a rough outline had been settled on, he said he would start looking around for suitable stones and would do up some 3D renderings of the ideas we’d discussed. Then, if we liked those, he would progress to making a 3D wax model for us to look at. All of this, I must say, without a single dollar being placed as deposit. There were many variables that went into our decision to work with this particular Master Goldsmith but, for me, that generosity of spirit was a decisive factor.
As things progressed, two things became very evident to us both. The first was Paul’s accuracy and attention to detail. At each stage of the process, not only were we consulted well in advance, but each revision was accurate to our expectations. The 3D renderings matched the ideas discussed in every detail, and the 3D wax model matched the renderings. If any changes needed to be injected, he emailed us both and asked for our opinion. This was very much appreciated.
The second thing that became clear was that making beautiful jewellery is a passion with Paul, not just a source of income. He wants to get it right; he wants his customers to be glowingly happy with the finished product(s). This is not just a job, and that made a strong impression on us both.
Weighing all the factors, and with absolutely no hesitation, we commissioned Paul to produce the engagement ring. He will also be designing the thematically-matching wedding bands for us, when we are ready to have them made.
On the appointed day, we cleared our respective schedules, and met him at his workshop. I have little experience working with a Master Goldsmith, and noted the sights and sounds emanating from deep within - was he assembling a battleship in there? No, just polishing a ring.
The finished ring was beautiful and we were both very, very happy with it. It was exactly as described, and exactly as presented in both 3D renderings - except in one critical way. What the models cannot show, of course, is the capture of light reflected in the stones. The subtle change as the ring moves through various orientations. Through it all, Paul sat silently watching us, gauging our reaction to his craftsmanship.
At the end of this experience, I can say with complete candour that it was a pleasure working with him. He was flexible to our requirements, good-humoured throughout, and the consummate professional in all his dealings with us. And running through everything was that core of enthusiasm for the work itself - very much a pleasure to experience.
The ring itself was beautiful but, of course, everything rested on her happiness with it. Two sets of male eyes (Paul’s and my own) looked at her expectantly, and smiled when they saw her reaction. Thank you, Paul, from the both of us, for a job well done.
Technical Manager
Page updated May 23, 2014
Average Site Rating: 4.8 / 5 (97 votes)

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PBR Designs
Suite 110 - 1827 Woodward Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada  K2C 0P9