Designer’s Sketchbook: Lorena Martinez from Gemagenta

designer's sketchbook

It’s been a long while since I’ve shared a Designer’s Sketchbook post, but the series is back! For this edition, Lorena Martinez from Gemagenta opens up her sketchbook to give us a peek at her work and process. She also shares some of her inspirations, what her creative process is like and more.

What about you? If you are a designer and are interested in being featured for Designer’s Sketchbook, I’d love to take a look at your work! Just shoot me an email.

1. Where do you get most of your inspiration from?

I find inspiration in nature, traveling, my Latin roots, dreams, music, art, movies, everyday experiences… there are so many things that boost my creativity! These various sources of inspiration are then reflected in my jewelry collections, that may go from romantic, to ethnic, to organic or to geometric. I sketch everywhere. I always carry my camera and my “Inspiration Diary” everywhere. If they don’t fit in my bag, I at least I a pen. Inspiration may arrive anytime.  However, that’s just the beginning, because developing that idea becomes a long and somewhat structured process.

3. Take us through your creative process.
Firstly,  I put all of the ideas and related info in my “Inspiration Diary”: quick and imprecise sketches, clue words, pictures, materials, etc. Then I take that idea and I start developing it in spreadsheets, generally made of recycled paper – I make many drawings, I write concepts, measurements, and sometimes I even make little dummies in board or metal, or a digital render. Finally, once the design is ready, I start crafting it and I also document all the processes and times involved in my “Workshop Diary”, where I keep all the little technical details related with the creation of each of the pieces.
4. Generally, how long until an idea comes to fruition?
Generally 2-3 months since the idea first came into being. I like to have time to assimilate and develop it. I’ve also created complete series in 3 or 4 days and some other ones are still in development from a long time ago.

5. Would you say that you come up with way more designs than you actually create or do you use most of your sketches and ideas?
I have so many more sketches than actual pieces of jewelry. Many ideas are waiting in my diaries to come alive. That’s why it’s super important to document everything, I don’t trust my memory that much.
6. How do you design? In spurts, here and there, or do you generally design a complete collection all at once?
Generally I think in small collections (like Quetzal, 199 Carats or Botanico). I like developing a concept to its max so I can offer different jewelry formats and prices.

I share part of that inspiration and development process on my blog, because I like to let potential owners know how their jewels were born, the story they tell and the symbolism they hide. I’m always looking to create pieces with an interesting and meaningful background.

7. What’s been your favorite design so see come alive?

That’s so difficult, every piece is exciting, and each one of them involved a lot of challenges, but I’d say my lost wax Succulent Pot Ring. It was the first time I sculpted something in wax with my own hands! (I have designed wax prototypes before, but only on a computer). I really enjoyed the whole process and then seeing the prototype transformed in a metal ring was amazing.


  1. Wonderful post… and so good to get a sense of how long the process is… and it has encouraged me to try and catalogue my own design process better… when someone buys something they are buying the whole story of how its made too.. reminded me to try and feature more of this on my own selling site.

  2. So glad to see this series back!

    Great post, loved seeing Lorena’s design process.

    Very cool to hear about how her ideas go from her Inspiration Diary into the Workshop Diary and that she keeps such detailed notes. It’s inspired me to change up my own process and try something a little different. And thanks for the link to her blog, I spent awhile there also, and will go back again.

Comments are closed.