The Heirloom Series: Oma’s Ring Comes ‘Full Circle’

The Heirloom Series: Oma’s Ring Comes ‘Full Circle’

For the second post of the Heirloom Series I am so thrilled to share this beautifully written piece by a dear friend of mine, Laura Smith. I was so excited when Laura told me she had recently inherited a very special ring from her grandmother, and wanted to share the story behind the ring, and its significance to her. This is a very touching story that truly exemplifies the power of jewellery to create strong and meaningful connections between people through time, across generations, and through physical and emotional distance. Enjoy!

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Four Podcasts that Inspire

Four Podcasts that Inspire

I am a huge proponent of continuous learning, no matter how young or old you are, and no matter at what stage of life you are. It is important to keep inspired, and to be open to broadening your perspective by listening to others stories. I’ve learned so much both conceptually and intellectually, often about topics I wasn’t even aware of, over the last couple of years by listening to podcasts.

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Updates From the Bench: A Peek Into My Design Process

Updates From the Bench: A Peek Into My Design Process

 

One of the most common questions I get asked about my work is “How do you come up with your designs?”. I’m going to guess that a lot of creative people get asked this question or similar ones often. “Where do your designs originate? How do you start when faced with a blank canvas?” All valid questions, but ones for which I find it hard to come up with quick, succinct, and satisfying answers.

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Four Simple Ways to Organize Your Jewellery

Four Simple Ways to Organize Your Jewellery

Do you ever go to reach for your favourite necklace only to find it has become tangled up with another necklace? You settle for another piece despite the fact it doesn’t even match your outfit because you just don’t have time or patience to untangle the unruly necklace mess. Then you go to put on some earrings, but oh, where is the mate to this pair? 

I have been there. I have sat in a fury trying to muster every bit of sanity to keep my cool while attempting to solve the “knot puzzle” of untangling necklace chains. It’s not fun. 

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Introducing The Heirloom Series

Introducing The Heirloom Series

This is the first post in a new series on my blog called the “Heirloom Series”. In each post I will feature a piece of jewellery that has a story to tell or is part of a legacy; I want to share the significance behind those jewels that tie people and places together.

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Traces: a sculptural installation for TODO

Traces: a sculptural installation for TODO

In January, I had the opportunity to present a project I have been working on for a good six months. It’s been a while since I’ve invested so much time into research, exploration, experimentation, leading to the realization of a single project. The piece evolved quite a bit from conception to it’s culmination as a sculptural installation for a window display in Toronto. I felt like I had spent so much time with the piece, and having the chance to step back to see it out in the world was an experience that allowed me to detach from the work, and examine it critically.

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News and Updates

News and Updates

As someone who works alone, and spends long solitary hours in a studio, getting the chance to spend a few weekends at craft shows meeting clients and connecting with other makers is not just a change of scene, but also a rewarding experience that reminds me why I do what I do. The month of November has certainly been a busy one! I am very fortunate to have been accepted as a vendor at three local holiday craft shows this year. Needless to say, I have spent most of the last month in an endless loop of being glued to my work bench, walking my dog, eating, and sleeping (probably less than I should!). Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love what I do, and show season always reinforces how grateful I am to pursue my passion.

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Diversions Into Sculpture

Diversions Into Sculpture

A visit to the beach last winter presented me with scenes that stuck in my mind, and nagged at me to revisit, and to contemplate. Blistering cold winds off the water swept across and tore through the thin beach grass that had become weathered, and almost colourless. The grass parted into sweeping patterns, splaying fourth from the relentless gusts of wind. The grass was lifeless yet electrified with so much energy. It embodied visible trace's of the life it encountered, both from nature and humankind. It was ghostly, and intriguing; I clung to this image for months.

Those of you who follow me on Instagram, may have already seen how this blustery coastal scene has found its way into my work. I was really struck by the patterns of the windswept beach grass (also called marram grass), and wanted to somehow capture the essence of this through metal. 

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Laying the Foundation for Growth

Laying the Foundation for Growth

It seemed strange to me at first to feel inclined to dedicate a long post to an experience I had several years ago, but to be honest, it was such a profound one, that it is actually worthy of much more than a single blog post. I want to talk about being an artist-in-residence. 

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Being (back) here

Being (back) here

It’s been almost a year since I moved back here to Nova Scotia. Aside from leaving behind a dream job, and friends I adored in Toronto, I anticipated that the return home to Halifax after living away for almost five years would be pretty straightforward. I was convinced that packing up my tools and relocating my studio would be just like any other time I had moved while living in Toronto. It would take some time to reorganize, but I would manage to pick up right where I had left off, and in no time, would be back at my workbench. Sure, trekking all my tools back to the East Coast was not actually that complicated -but everything else was.

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How to Conquer Your To-Do List While Wishing You Were at the Beach

How to Conquer Your To-Do List While Wishing You Were at the Beach

Every year when summer finally rolls around, I find myself struggling to establish some sort of balance between soaking up some sun, and getting things done. After a long, dark winter, I feelit’s only fair to allow ourselves to get out to enjoy a sunny day! Nonetheless, letting all the work pile up because you played hooky to catch some rays is not necessarily the smartest choice either. So what is one to do?

Although I am in no way an expert on time management, and yes, I am guilty of sneaking off to the beach on a work day, I have found a few strategies to help maintain focus during the summer months.

Here are a few ideas that have helped me, and may hopefully be of help to you too!

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A Peek Behind the Scenes

A Peek Behind the Scenes

Over the past month I have been working really hard to complete a few new designs in time for the Craft Nova Scotia Designer Craft Show, at which I will be participating as a vendor this year. (Click here for details).

I love designing new pieces of jewellery. The process that leads to a finished product is always full of new discoveries, surprises, and challenges. I’m happy to say I managed to resolve a few new designs, which I will debut at the show, and thought it might be interesting to share a bit of my design journey with you.

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Suspending Creative Inhibition

Suspending Creative Inhibition

Last week, I packed my bag, and went with my dog to spend a few days with my grandparents in Fall River, Nova Scotia. My grandmother had just returned home from the hospital after having underwent brain surgery, so I decided to spend some time with her during the early days of her recovery. 

 

My grandmother is from Newfoundland; she married, and raised a family there. After her three children (one of whom is my mother) ended up settling in Nova Scotia, her and my grandfather eventually decided to relocate to NS so they could be closer to their children and grandchildren. 

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Defining "The Dream"

Defining "The Dream"

I have a friend who refers to the pursuit of one’s utmost passions as following “the dream”. “How’s the dream going?” she’ll ask. I love the way she phrases this question. It’s presented in such an ordinary way- the same way someone may casually ask, “How’s work? How’s your new dog? How’s your family?” It’s a friendly check-in.

 

“How’s the dream going?” It’s a question that makes me feel like I’m being held accountable to following through, and staying in line with my heart. It’s as if “The Dream” is something concrete, being lived currently, in the present. It’s not something totally out of the realm based in fantasy or something related to chance, like winning the lottery. The Dream is something you work for, and something you choose to do or pursue because you’re passionate about it.

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Jewellery as a Token of Memory

Jewellery as a Token of Memory

Growing up, I never wore much jewellery; I was a shy, quiet child, and any jewellery I wore was a reflection of that. Now, as a maker of jewellery, it is interesting to reflect upon my intentions and values regarding jewellery in general, and what I make. Jewellery has different meanings and values to different people; some people like to wear it, and some don’t. Most of the time, the type of jewellery I prefer to wear has little to do with fashion, and almost always had a connection to, or an association with, something important in my life. 

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Spring Market Time!

Spring Market Time!

After a long winter, it’s so nice to see the city slowly come back to life. It’s a refreshing feeling to reconnect with ourselves and our community as the sun fills the sky with light longer into the evening each day, and we eagerly climb out of hibernation.

I always enjoy selling my work at craft shows, but I am especially looking forward to participating as a vendor in one show in particular in Halifax: The Halifax Crafter’s Society Spring Market!

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From Sky to Water: Uncovering the Roots of Creative Fuel

From Sky to Water: Uncovering the Roots of Creative Fuel

Aside from designing and making jewellery, running is a big part of my life. I begin almost everyday by lacing up my sneakers, and heading out for an early morning run. There are many reasons why I have made running part of my daily routine, but the most prominent is to find clarity. Through running, I have learned how to quiet my mind and gain focus, and to achieve a sort of inner calm from being present with each stride. Over time, I came to realize how powerful an influence the surroundings of my running routes play in my creative process.

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A Winding Road

A Winding Road

When I began my fine arts education at NSCAD University in 2007, I set out to be a painter. I had long dreamed of it. For years I had romanticized the painting studios I would catch an elusive glimpse of every so often when my parents would drive down Hollis St. past the University. It was a strange feeling to eventually find myself set up at an easel in that studio I had once peered in so longingly. But my dream didn’t quite unfold the way I had imagined.

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Welcome!

Welcome!

Welcome to my new website!

The past year has been a busy one, filled with new adventures and challenges. In September of 2016 I relocated to Halifax with my partner Matt who is pursuing his Masters degree at Dalhousie University. As I am originally from Halifax, this move was both a returning “home”, and the beginning of a new and exciting chapter of my life.

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