Thursday, November 2, 2017

Getting lost and turquoise stories.

Lost for breakfast.

I am staring out the passenger window. I have checked the address we were given and noted that there was no directional advice from our starting point other than it would seem like we were heading to nowhere in the desert for twenty minutes until we came across a building and at that point we will have arrived. We are in search of a recommended restaurant that is off the beaten path and ten minutes into our quest we are still driving through streets lined with cream coloured adobe buildings of Santa Fe. We decide to wait out another ten minutes in this direction before we turn around. Time elapses and we realize that we are definitely going in the wrong direction. We turn around and head into what we now know is the correct path to our destination.
After an hours search, over breakfast we both agree that wandering meant that we got to see and enjoy more of the city and landscape.

Whenever I find myself anxious over being lost or discouraged that something I am making is not turning out as imagined I often bring myself back to this moment in time to use as a personal manual to deal with my frustrations. I remind myself to take things in, appreciate them and bring what I've seen and experienced to my next destination.

This experience came from a trip my dad and I took together to New Mexico. I purchased my first loose turquoises while on that trip. I was an Ontario College of Art and Design student at the time majoring in drawing and painting and I had just begun taking my first jewellery making class. For reading week that year my dad planned a trip for the two of us to New Mexico. Combining my dad's enthusiasm for Arizona's landscape and my intense love for Georgia O'Keeffe's artwork from the area. We mapped out each day before breakfast and when we came across anything of interest we would explore. The Turquoise Museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico was one of those places we stumbled upon and visited.

I often keep gems on hand until I come up with the perfect design to use them in. I include short descriptions of which collection/piece each turquoise is used in the photo captions.

Turquoise, aquamarines, sterling silver used in Wave collection statement necklace. The turquoise was from Mine #8 in Nevada and I purchased it while in New Mexico while visiting the Turquoise Museum.
Turquoise, seed pearls and resin on sterling silver. This turquoise is also from Mine #8.
Lake No. 3 by Georgia O'Keeffe
Visiting Georgia O'Keeffe at the AGO

As soon as the Georgia O'Keeffe exhibit at the AGO was announced I knew that I would need to visit. I wandered to the AGO shortly after the exhibit opened and then promptly decided to wander Chinatown instead since it was such a nice day out. In early July I tried to visit again and decided the gallery seemed too crowded and walked out before buying a ticket. A couple weeks passed and I became anxious thinking about the fact that I was about to miss the chance to see the exhibit (which ended July 30th) and finally just input July 25th as my AGO day and asked for the day off. I chose July 25th the anniversary of my dad's death to personally memorialize the 12th year of his passing. I created for myself a day to wander and enjoy my surroundings.

Thank you  

Thank you dad for being someone who wholeheartedly sat by me while I animatedly would recount an exciting new thing I learned about. I never realized my overzealous excitement can be off-putting to people. Thank you dad for always encouraging my eternal quest for knowledge and sharing a love of really taking in your surroundings. There is so much more that I’ve learned since we last talked.

Friday, May 12, 2017


Customer's old ring.
After a consult with details about ring size and width I made some sketches for the customer to choose a design from. After she decided on the design I got to work carving. I double checked my hand carved wax up next to my sketch, as you can see just above. Afterwards I casted the band and setting seperately using old gold jewellery (additional pieces along with the old ring) melted along with new gold. When incorporating old jewellery to create a new piece there are a lot of factors to consider - in general old rings tend to work well because they do not have solder joints that could degrade the karat of the gold when remelted. Even so, to ensure that the gold has the best working properties I add 50% new gold.    

Here is the new ring!