Forever Mom Design Challange

February 18, 2016 

This year we wanted to do
something truly special for the moms around town and that meant working
with dads and kids to show her how much they care. After careful
consideration we selected a local family to help us with a little design
challenge in the studio.

We met with Edgar and his
kids, Olivia and Elias, to talk about what exactly this challenge would
entail for them and us. We broke it down into a few steps for the family
and for you, our readers.

1. The jewellers at Jewel
Envy want to make this year’s Mother’s Day gift special. We plan to do
this by helping the kids give her the perfect gift. But there is a
catch: the kids will be helping to design it.

2. At our
first meeting I met with the kids and their dad at their home to talk
about how the project works. In this meeting I explained various
jewellers would make a piece of jewellery for their mom based on what
they tell us she likes. Then they will get to choose the final piece to
give her as a gift this year. To help us come up with the design the
kids were asked to make a mood board. I brought over examples of small
mood boards and we talked about what could go on theirs. The answer was
really anything! It could be colour samples she likes, activities she
enjoys, and or accessories she likes. They could draw pictures, cut out
images from magazines, print images from the web, and photograph things
to add to their page. The sky would be the limit for their creativity.

These is a picture from our first meeting.

back every Friday as we update this page with the latest from the
#forevermom design challenge! We will update the kids’ progress, the
meetings, the design process of each jeweller, and a final installment
highlighting the chosen piece and why the kids picked it.

We hope to inspire your family to think ahead for Mothers Day!


February 26, 2016

This past week we met with the bright stars of this fun project and they presented their mood board to us.

was really interesting to us was the variety of images they chose and
how they explained them outlined for you briefly below.

1. she likes feathers
2. the gemstone at the bottom is to represent topaz but she does not like
yellow and orange, she likes the blue/green/purple varieties
3. her favourite colour is turquoise/blue
4. she likes plants and gardening
5. she likes creating terrariums with the layers
6. her family is very important to her
7. the tree is a puzzle as she likes nature and puzzles
8. she likes modern furniture
9. she likes music
10. she likes walking and running

Check back for next weeks installment where we will start introducing the artists and sharing some of their preliminary ideas!

March 4th, 2016

This week we meet two of the artists participating in the challenge! Each participant will answer the same 5 questions about their work and show a sneak preview of some of their ideas for the challenge.

These questions are:

1. What inspires you in your work?
2. What image were you first drawn to in the mood board?
3. What message are you trying to convey in your sketches for this piece?
4. What materials are you thinking of using?
5. What do you like best about custom work?

First up is the short intro to Alexis Kostuk's though her answers to the questions and a sneak peak at some 
ideas for the challenge.

1. I am most inspired by colour and composition. 
2. The first thing I was drawn to were the colours. They are similar to my
usual palette so I definitely wanted to incorporate them!

3. I wanted my sketches to show a range of easy to wear pieces that could
be worn daily. 

4. My chosen materials are enamels in a range of blues and sterling silver. 
5. My favourite part about creating custom work is collaborating and
drawing from a customer’s idea. If they are excited about it, I am too!

Design sneak peak…

 Next up is Gillian Batcher. Read below to see how she answered the same questions!

1. I am most inspired by architecture and colour. 
2. I really like the image with the feathers in all shapes and sizes as well as the family.

3. I am trying to capture the importance of family and how moms find a way to interweave their personal 
passions into their shared family life.
4. For this piece I am thinking about using a combination of copper and sterling silver. 
5. I like the challenge of custom work to incorporate a clients vision with my artistic aesthetic.
Design sneak peak...
March 11th, 2016 
This week the kids had a look around the store and started to imagine what we would be making for their mom

The excitement has been building that's for sure. Check back in next week to hear from the goldsmiths dreaming 
designs to make!
March 18th, 2016
This week we get a sneak peak into the creative process of Sasha Oda and Micheline Roi.
Lets start with Sasha's interview questions.

1. I take inspiration from everything around me, but I especially enjoy architecture.
2. I was drawn to the succulents and the terrariums, because I love them too.
3. I don't think I'm conveying a message per se. I'm simply creating a piece inspired by her family, and hopefully she will find her own meaning in that.
4. Sterling, copper, maybe a gemstone.

5. I enjoy custom work because I get to design in a way that isn’t as instinctive. It’s also great to present a finished piece to someone who has
helped bring it to life, it’s a very satisfying accomplishment for everyone.

And this is how she interpreted the mood board:


It's amazing to see the variation between each artist. Below is how Micheline answered the same questions.
1. So many things inspire my work but on the top of the list would have to be communication.  I know that may sound weird but I believe that personal adornment is a conversation between the person wearing the jewellery and the world. I love making pieces that say something about the wearer, something that they want to share with others, like: "This piece makes me feel beautiful; This is how I'm feeling today; and This piece is who I am!"
2. Blue! The colour blue stood out right away, (it's one of my favorite colours!) and next I noticed the silhouette of the family.  I love using and playing with line and form in my work, so I was immediately drawn to the family silhouette.
3. In my initial sketches I was experimenting with a lot of things, just riffing on all the ideas the children put in the mood board: trees, nature, family, puzzles, etc.  but then I the kept coming back to something the kids communicated about their Mom—she loves modern furniture and family is important to her. I think eventually I will distill these ideas into one idea. I will interpret "modern furniture" as the customer liking a clean simple line and most likely I will start experimenting with images of "family.
4. Staying within the customer's budget is very important. The kids have $100 dollars to spend on their Mom so I will have to think carefully about what I use in the piece. Most likely I will use sterling silver and maybe an aquamarine gemstone...
5. I think it comes back to communication.  The client has a vision for what they want their piece to represent, whether it's literal or symbolic and I love the challenge of making that come to life for them!
 Check back next week for the last 2 interviews and following that will be the big reveal of the finished pieces!

March 25th, 2016 

Today is the day we reveal the
last two designers interviews, Helena Perez
Lafaurie and Jerell Reichert, and the preview of their design ideas!
So without any more delay lets
jump right in with Helena!
1. I am most inspired with
everything in the world I see around me.
2. I like very much feathers and
I am very pleased they like them too.
3. I want Mom to feel love and
feel needed, and to love my piece
because her kids helped me to
create it.
4. I will be using sterling
5. I love custom work, I discover
so much in a client’s ideas. Their ideas open
my mind about design and
And this is how these ideas were
translated into sketches:

By this point in the challenge we
have revealed that each artist has a unique voice to bring to 
the design event. And now I
present the last mini interview with Jerell and her accompanying sketch
1. I am inspired by nature
interacting with urban structure. Trees and vines wrap themselves 
around buildings, birds take
flight – total confusion ending with perfect order. We pay little
to this which exists in our urban
environment. It is in the background but it gives us a sense of peace,
order and a connection to
2. I love mid-century modern
chairs.  It brings back feelings from my childhood. I want to create
piece of jewellery that can stand
the test of time. The nature shorts move me. 
3. My sketches show the process
of fold forming. Hammering, annealing, stretching and compressing 
metal to deliver beautiful
organic forms. Cardboard is used to make a “Marquette”.   
4. I will be using fine silver,
(.999) ,enamels for colour, pearls and gemstone beads to add pops
     of colour, and copper.
5.  Custom work is exciting as I get to be a part
of a persons dreams and 
special moments.
And now the final design in
progress reveal!

We have been revealing snippets week by week but the truth is most of the designers have already chosen a design and are busy making them for the final selection. Check in
again next week for another update. 

April 1, 2016

This is the last post before the big reveal next weekend! All of the work must be completed by next Friday and then the kids will be in with their dad on the weekend to select the piece to give to mom for Mother’s Day this year. 

This has been a fun little project for many of us and we are eagerly anticipating selection date. Everyone of course wants to have their piece chosen but I think on the whole we are really looking forward to seeing the kids faces and hear what they think about how we took their concept and ideas and turned it into jewellery. 

Check back next Friday- Sunday for the final installments from this series! 

April 9, 2016

What a whirlwind of creativity these last 6 weeks have been! All of the pieces are finished and I am really looking forward to seeing what the kids gravitate to and how they decide on the piece to take home and give to mom. So without further delay below are the interpretations of the mood board made by Olivia and Elias. If you need a quick refresher scroll to the February 26th entry to see what we were working with for inspiration.

Gradation of Blue Earrings by Alexis Kostuk
Asymmetrical Feather by Helena Perez Lafaurie
Feather Family by Gillian E. Batcher
Botanical Inspiration by Jerell Reichert
Family Portrait by Micheline Roi
Living Necklace by Sasha Oda

Check back tomorrow for the final installation where I will review the decision process and reveal the winning design.

April 10, 2016

Today will be the last entry in the Forever Mom
Design Challenge. I hope you have enjoyed learning about the steps we go
through when working on custom orders. I hope this page has helped to highlight
that as a customer you can show us anything you are inspired by and we can work
with that to turn it into a finished piece of jewellery. 

Now I will take you through each piece and how the
kids worked through if this was the best one for their mom. They are in no
particular order, I will start with how they appear in the order from
yesterday’s entry.

1. Earrings from Alexis were an immediate hit. They
loved the colour gradation.
2. Asymmetrical Feather necklace by Helena they
thought would be a good necklace for everyday wear and was different enough
from the one their mom usually wore.
3. Feather Family by Gillian was a fun
representation of each of them as a feather in the family.
4. Botanical Inspiration by Jerell hit on the
love of different types of plants and a shape she liked to wear in her
5. Family Portrait by Micheline was a good literal
interpretation of their family and in a shape she likes in her necklaces.
6. Living Necklace by Sasha had a live plant in it.
They had never even thought that was a possibility and loved the idea of
wearing the garden out of the house.
This was all great feedback for each piece but next
we had to start narrowing it down so I asked them to think about a couple
things. Do you want to give her a piece she can wear all the time or do you
want it to be for special occasions? And where on her body do you think it
should be. So this might seem like asking if they wanted to give a necklace or
earrings but it also included the idea that each of these necklaces would be
worn differently and fall at different lengths on her.
From this they ruled out Feather Family by Gillian.
They liked it but the colour wasn’t quite right for their mom. They also ruled
out the Asymmetrical Feather necklace from Helena as it wasn’t showy

Now we had a bit of a standoff on design elements.
Elias really liked the Living Necklace by Sasha and the Family Portrait by
Micheline, while Olivia really liked the Enamelled Earrings by Alexis and the
Botanical Inspiration by Jerell. To help narrow it down we looked at all four

Living necklace by Sasha was eventually ruled out
because the kids were concerned it would die if she didn’t wear it for a few
days and it didn’t get enough sunlight and water. Botanical Inspiration was
also ruled out because it was a longer piece and they thought of what
their mom wears and it’s the kids both agreed it was shorter necklaces.
Down to the final two; Family Portrait by Micheline
and Enamelled Earrings by Alexis. This negotiation required a little more
finesse and a discussion of what was important. Both the kids agreed their mom
liked to wear silver necklaces and blue earrings so both pieces seemed like
good options. Next we talked about what the gift was for, Mother’s Day, which
seemed to make the choice a little clearer for them. Since they were choosing
to give her something for being a wonderful mom and show how much they
appreciate and love her it was then clear that a gift symbolizing them as a
family seemed like the best one. And with that they chose Family Portrait by

Family Portrait by Micheline Roi

Thank you Edgar, Olivia, and Elias for
participating in the Forever Mom Design Challenge with us! We hope your mom
loves her new necklace.

We would now like to invite you our readers to
think about mother’s day and how we can take your ideas and inspiration and
make them into something truly wonderful and special for Mother’s day this
year! Drop in anytime to speak to us about turning your visions into