Skip to content

Goldmark Jewelers Overcomes Design Challenges Using CounterSketch® Software

CounterSketch Software Blog Header

See how Cal Brockman uses CounterSketch every day to create exciting new designs

Meet Cal Brockman, owner of Goldmark Jewelers in Portland, Oregon


Finding the Right Fit

Cal Brockman began learning the basics of jewelry making in 1970. Then, in 1976, he founded his jewelry business. He’s spent the last 43 years making original one-of-a-kind jewelry for his customers. “I really enjoy what I do. But it is getting harder. Eight years ago, I was considering how I might benefit from using computer-aided design in my work,” Cal explains.

After trying out a few of the programs that were available, he immediately thought the learning process would be difficult. “I wasn’t convinced it was for me— until Stuller introduced CounterSketch software. It looked simple and elegant, and I thought it could be what I needed to cut my production time on bands and traditional style rings,” Cal says. “I tried the demos and decided to buy CounterSketch. I was determined to learn how to use it.”

Cal Brockman Goldmark Jewelers Portland Oregon Benchwork

Getting Familiar with CounterSketch

“I bought a fast, new computer, installed CounterSketch, and watched all of the training videos and just started creating! At first, it was fun to just add new components, change sizes, and change stones while a client joyfully watched their ring come to life. Then, I learned how to bend and mirror, and use polar array, too,” Cal adds. He’s become confident using these CounterSketch software features with clients. Cal attends the online CounterSketch webinars to improve his techniques and learn new things.

“With Countersketch, I can create dramatic and artistic jewelry with precision. I can create fine details that I can’t achieve using hand tools— twisting, bending, stretching and altering a component to match my vision is thrilling. It’s such a rewarding process for me.”

Cal is quick to demonstrate CounterSketch software to anyone who is interested. “I open to a portfolio whenever I think someone will enjoy seeing an idea in 3D and move it around the screen. Viewing models on a computer screen is a familiar experience for most young buyers. This enables them to participate in the creative process.”

Cal Brockman Goldmark Jewelers Portland Oregon Storefront

Growing with CounterSketch Software

“I don’t claim that it makes me feel younger,” Cal laughs, “but I am able to do things with CounterSketch that I could not imagine myself doing when I was younger. It makes me feel energized. I’ve increased accuracy in layout and precise placement of stones, resulting in some of my best work and I’m ready for more. I like being able to offer a new kind of designing tool as part of what I can do. CounterSketch stretches me as I try to improve on what I’ve done as I discover new methods.”

Cal encourages lots of practice with CounterSketch. “It does require effort if you want to use it well, but the results are stunning. I use CounterSketch every day and I look forward to seeing what the developers will add to the next release. I’ll be ready to learn how I can use the exciting new functions in the future!”


Here are five exquisite examples where Cal overcame design challenges using CounterSketch software:


Goldmark Jewelers Filigree Gallery Ring

Filigree Gallery Ring

“This ring needed open gallery sides. I achieved this by making a duplicate band in a larger finger size, then fitting it over the original and bringing in the sides to blend. Then, I filled the spaces with small-scale scrolls. Stuller’s CAM Services had to scale these design elements up until they were castable, but the overall design came out looking fine!”


Goldmark Jewelers Bold Men's Band

Bold Men’s Band

“This man’s ring was challenging to create because it needed a wide, thick top. I chose a heavy profile band with an oval and did everything I could think of to get it bulkier, flat, and thick enough for the stone. I built the white gold top from wire forms using CounterSketch and then filled under the ends with another strip of wire.”


Goldmark Jewelers Deep Profile Morganite Ring

Deep-Profile Morganite Ring

“This client wanted a Morganite center stone. I found a beautiful stone, but it had a really deep profile and the client wanted this open-strut-prong-style ring. After I got the top to fit the stone, I scaled scrolls until I could fit them into these open spaces. In the end, the ring protects the stone and looks elegant.”


Goldmark Jewelers Two Trillion-Cut Emeralds Ring

Two Trillion-Cut Emeralds Ring

“This large looking ring with two 6.5 mm trillion-cut Emeralds is a size 5, while the center Diamond is 7.0 mm. It needed to be classy and artistic, yet wearable and protective of the Emeralds. That was a tough assignment and I don’t think I would have tried to do this without CounterSketch. Getting the stones to fit required many attempts and restarts— as the Emeralds had to be placed down into the sides. The outer framing rings are opposing copies tilted to taper and blend. It looks wonderful, but it is more suited to special occasion wear.”


Goldmark Jewelers Freeform Floral Motif Ring

Freeform Floral Motif Ring

“This ring is a large collection of freeform parts that fit inside this frame and holds these stones. The client is a gardener and loves being outdoors, so she wanted an expressive, natural-feeling floral motif in a large ring with emeralds and diamonds that she could wear a lot. Looking closely, you will see underlying support wires which were to ensure a complete casting and to support the stones. It worked well on both accounts.”


Heather Kutzman

I've been with Stuller since 2013 • Before that, I ran a retail store • Lifetime jewelry lover; ears pierced at 3 months old • I love summer and own 25 pairs of flip flops • Will run for various worthy causes and food • My husband and I have three cats: Ritz, Holly, and Zeta • "Simplicity, carried to an extreme, becomes elegance" ~Jon Franklin