I love watching custom design reality shows. I like watching the team pull various talents together, the resourcefulness, and I like to watch an idea become reality. But, I really, really, like the look into what it’s like to pull thoughts from a client’s mind, to shape those thoughts with hints of what they enjoy, to fuse everything with what will actually work, and, hopefully, create something fantastic. This is really what custom is supposed to be about – adventure. Like most adventures you embark on with a stranger, the first custom project with a new client or artist is exciting, full of possibilities and hidden expectations.
Once we are in general agreement about a concept, and I have an idea of the preferred budget, it’s time to lay out some sketches for approval. These are like mapped out suggestions for where we should go, and what we should do. The thing to remember here, is that the budget and preferred timeline are like mileage. You can go clear across Canada with enough time and money, but if it needs to be done quickly and you only have so much gas, you may have to adjust your plans to a really fun day trip.
When the design is set and the deposit has been paid, it’s time to relax. I mean it, relax! Especially if you are the client. Designers/Makers may check in if an issue pops up, or an opportunity to improve the piece, but generally, this is a waiting game until the piece get its finishing touches.
Eventually, we get to the big reveal – the breathtaking view. It is my aim for you to be blown away, where you cannot wait to tell the story of your wonderful journey to your beautiful piece. That is the goal of any custom goldsmith anywhere.
I know it doesn’t seem like it today with this amazing post (or almost post!) summer weather we’re having, but autumn is approaching, and with autumn, my mind starts to remember all my……brooches! I think they’re often an overlooked adornment, and they can be sooooo useful too, and not just in a “dress up your outfit” kind of way!
This is the first brooch I ever purchased for myself, I love the
whimsical blend of tech and more conventional jewellery components.
Made by hand, I purchased this about 25 years ago at the Cabbagetown
Fall Fair, made by a duo of women who called themselves JADS.
You can use them to jazz up a plain-ish shirt, or to pin a scarf in place as the weather gets a bit cooler, but my favourite, it to wear them on one of my many jackets (I do have alot of them!).
They can be fun and whimsical (like the ones below), or more substantial. Also, you know, once you have one, people start giving them to you!
A friend of mine gave me this one-it’s enamel on brass, I think it probably came from Fair November in Guelph.
the two on the bottom (the cat and origami) were stocking stuffers, and the tweedy one was a leaving present when I left Scotland last year (very appropos!)
This one is pretty cool, it’s silver wire and beads, with twirled paper, and I think it’s made from Architectural Digest pages–It’s a lot of fun! And orange, which I don’t wear much of, but I love!
There are lots of cool forms you can get, especially in metal. And I like them because although I don’t necessarily want huge jewellery, I do like a nice substantial metal brooch.
This is a multi-layer enamel panel that I made some years ago, it’s
about 2 inches by 1.5 inches, and it’s fairly heavy, so I sent it in a
sterling frame, making it very wearable as a decorative brooch.
A couple of examples of whimsical animals. the one on the bottom left is a little wren (although I like to think it’s a robin :), made for me by my good friend Morag Hickman, in the UK.
Although I have to admit, my all time favourite is this one:
I bought this in an auction as part of Ready, Steady Jewel, a number of years ago, which was pretty cool (and not just because I love this brooch!). A UK goldsmith called Deme Wolfe-Power made it, it’s sterling silver , cubic zirconia and leatherette. All told it’s about 3in by 4in, and it really makes a statement!
So, hopefully I’ve encouraged you to think about brooches! Come into the studio and check out our selection from our resident goldsmiths, including Helena, Vera, and Fiona. Can’t see quite what you’re looking for, but like the style of something in the studio in particular–that’s okay, we do that too!
Have a great Saturday, and I hope to see you soon!
We are more than prepared to say goodbye to the winter and welcome a warmer season full of plants and animals, but that’s not all for us here at the studio; Spring is bringing us new Goldsmiths, new awesome gemstone events (more on that will be addressed on the monthly email) and new classes.
New jewelers will be joining our family soon, and we cant wait to have their work available on the store for you.
There are also plenty of events to come, but those will be unveiled when the time is right, so I will not ruin the surprise.
Last but not least, our gemstone setting course is running and personally has me excited, after months and months of planning, sketching, writing and thinking, the course has a starting date and will be running, if you ever wanted to learn about gem setting, this is your opportunity. The course will require previous experience with jewellery, but good news, you can take fabrication courses here at the studio and be ready to take the course. go to https://jewelenvy.ca or give us a call at the studio to learn more about the courses.
I cannot believe it is already the end of June! Is everyone ready for the long weekend? Well today, I have an exciting event to share with you to prepare you for July!
The annual Toronto Outdoor Art Fair is happening on July 6th – 8th! It is Canada’s largest and longest-running contemporary outdoor art fair. This free public event showcases works by over 340
contemporary visual artists and makers, ranging in medium from painting,
photography, and mixed media to jewellery and ceramics, and attracts
115,000 visitors each year to Nathan Phillips Square.
I will also be showcasing my jewellery works for the first time at the TOAF. Please come by and check out my works!
@ Nathan Phillips Square
Friday July 6 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Saturday July 7 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Sunday July 8 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
I will be located at Booth A23 in Zone A! Hope to see you all there! Here are some of my works below.
Thank you for reading and I hope everyone will have a fantastic long weekend! Happy Canada Day!
I just came across a jewellery design house called Harem Royal, and wanted to share some of their work with you. The richness of the colours is so amazing, and softens the sharp lines and somewhat mechanical nature of the pieces. The style makes me think of steampunk insects, beautiful yet dangerous. What inspiring work! It is so refreshing to come across artists whose style is so vastly different from my own – it reminds me that this world is filled with so many talented people, and so many beautiful things.
Happy Sunday everybody!
(all images via https://athousandfacets.tumblr.com/ and www.haremroyal.com)
Saturday has come and brought the sunshine. What a lovely day out there!
But if you prefer to stay indoors and look at pretty things online, here are a few things for you😙
These are from a collection by Judith Noldin, of IN Jewellery. Her pieces are bold and eclectic, and the unique stones and accent colours she uses in her work definitely stand out from the crowd.
Here are some of my favourites:
Each stone is so unique, and the irregular shapes and colours really catch the eye. These pieces are stunning on their own, but they also look so great together – not too matchy matchy, but not not matching, you know??
These three rings contain stones found along Lake Ontario, and are set in sterling silver with either 14k or 18k gold accents. Left to right: $410 – $380 – $410
This pendant is set in sterling silver on a long snake chain. The stone is opalized wood with a small dangling citrine $540
Stop by shop this weekend and take a look at the rest of Judith’s collection on display. She is happy to do custom work as well!