This interview was originally posted on the Toronto Etsy Street Team blog.
Hello! So tell us about Archerade.
Hi! My name is Sasha, and Archerade is the name of my jewellery brand. I
am a goldsmith by trade, and I personally design and handcraft each
piece in my collection. I work with precious metals (mostly sterling
silver and gold), with gemstones and diamonds for colour and sparkle.
The goldsmithing magic happens in a shared studio in the west-end of
Toronto, and pretty much every step of the process takes place in-house.
What exactly is ‘the process’?
I always start with an idea, a vague notion of shape, colour, or
pattern. I sketch a lot – on the streetcar, sitting on a park bench, at a
bar with a glass of wine; there’s a good chance you’ve seen me around
town with a pencil, bent over my sketchbook.
Once I have a solid design, I start carving the wax, and I don’t stop
until I’m satisfied. I do all of the casting myself, using the lost wax
casting technique. This involves a big torch, a hot flame, and molten
metal, all coming together with centrifugal force – definitely a
pyromaniac’s dream. Once the piece has been cast in metal, I do all of
the soldering, polishing, and stone-setting, along with any other final
How would you describe your style?
My designs have strong silhouettes, accentuated by layers of texture and
pattern that soften the lines and add depth. Because everything is done
by hand (and because I am not a machine!), each piece has a familiar,
handworked charm, that both complements and contrasts the modern
The Archerade brand has definitely evolved over the last few years, to
become more focused and cohesive. I always want to feel as though I’m
creating and curating a distinct look that feels genuine, and stays true
to my design esthetic.
What inspires you?
The world is my oyster, and I am inspired by everything! Sometimes I get
so caught up in my own thoughts that I forget to open my senses to what
surrounds me, and I need to remind myself to sit up and pay attention. I
especially enjoy architecture – I really love seeing how lines can flow
together to create shape and form.
Creating something original is always inspiring – there is so much good
energy that comes from exploring new ideas and concepts.
So is it all amazing, or do you find yourself struggling with any aspects of the business?
Over the past year or so, I have realized that I am not just a designer
or a goldsmith, I am also a small-business owner. All the work that goes
along with that title has been a real adjustment for me, and I am sure
all the other artists and creators will agree! If only there were
endless hours in the day for the solo artisan/entrepreneur…
What do you envision for the future of Archerade?
I would love to keep doing exactly what I’m doing right now, but on a
bigger scale. I am always working to increase my brand’s exposure and
visibility, and I hope to sell to a larger audience, directly through
Etsy, and also through independent boutiques around the world.
I love being in control of every facet of this business, but there just
isn’t enough time to get everything done. So the future will probably
also involve sharing the workload – a goldsmithing/business-partner in
crime could be just what I need to move forward.
In any case, Archerade has been such an amazing adventure so far, and I
am excited to see what the future – planned or unplanned – holds for me
and my brand.
Check out the other items available from Sasha in her Etsy shop! You can also find her:
Interviewed by Amanda Henderson of Jewelust on or about July 10, 2015 in Toronto.