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.

Wave pattern sketches

All of my designs originate from a sketch. Not all my sketches are pen or pencil on paper, but some sort of two-dimensional mark-making is what usually begins my design process. When I moved back to Halifax last September, I was instantly struck with an obsession, and new-found appreciation for the ocean. I had admittedly taken living by the ocean for granted before leaving NS for Toronto for almost five years. Upon return, I sketched the ocean incessantly. 

In my design process, I strive to take things that inspire me, and abstract them into their simplest form, so that just the essence is what remains. As a jewellery designer and maker, I aim to create pieces that carry this essence, and present an idea that is abstracted in an aesthetically pleasing, and functional manner.

 

As the weather cooled, and autumn quickly turned to winter, my design inclinations became minimalistic, quiet, and understated. The barren feeling of the coast in the winter is conjured in my simplistic Horizon Line series. 

Halifax, NS. Winter 2017.

Horizon Line Necklace, sterling silver.

Lately, I’ve been looking to capture more movement and more light in my work, so I dug up some of my original wavy sketches from last fall, and began to dissect them. Once I achieved a form that I felt had a nice flow, I repeatedly sketched it to create a pattern, and considered it as a component for a wearable piece of jewellery.

Sketches, watercolor on paper.

 

After deciding on some rough compositions, I began to carve the forms in wax. I make most of my jewellery through an ancient technique called lost-wax casting. This technique involves creating a wax model, of which a mould is made. Once the wax is melted out of the mould, molten metal is poured into it, creating a metal replica of the original wax model. Lost wax casting is a great way to make multiple identical forms. 

Wax models

After casting, much cleaning, assembling, and polishing is done to achieve a desired finish, and completed product. At this point, I always enjoy looking back to my initial sketches, and comparing my 2D concepts to the 3D realized forms.

Initial sketch beside the casted components in sterling silver.

If you’re not in Halifax, or can’t make it to the show this weekend, I will be posting lots of images of my new designs from this series on social media, so stay tuned!

Thanks for reading! :)

Swell Bracelet, sterling silver.