To say thank-you for such a fun jewellery filled year I'm happy to offer free shipping on all orders for the month of December! Enter the code "beloved' at check-out. Click through on the below images to shop.
I'm excited to invite you to my 6th Culture Crawl! This year marks the 20th anniversary of the crawl and our studio building has been a part of the crawl since the beginning, so it's a pretty great reason to celebrate! I will have brand new work this year and some popular favourites. We will have our pretty much famous "Seconds and Samples Sale" on the Thursday and Friday night.
At the beginning of 2016 I started to plan the new work that I would make for Hammer, Cut, Stitch, Repeat. I decided to look to part of my heritage, my Slovakian side for some inspiration. I researched Slovakian embroidery patterns. I went to the library and took out some beautiful books and I became infatuated with this tiny Slovakian town called Cicmany, where they have painted decorative stitches on all of their houses. I found patterns I loved, I burned them into a new silk screen, and I sketched a handful of new neckpieces.
Then life took over, and I went to Europe for a two-week adventure. I rekindled my heart connection to the Netherlands and met my new great love, Paris. I meandered around canals, ate pannekoeken, admired colourful flower displays in windows, and was charmed by the white and blue of Delft. I drove through old medieval villages in Belgium, waltzed through the streets of Paris, and joyfully exclaimed that I was getting boozy in Bouzy while in the Champagne region.
I returned to Vancouver filled with new inspiration that I thought I could shelf while I got back to work on my original plan. I like to follow a plan. I started enameling and silk-screening these lovely gridded cross stitch patterns on metal and I liked the results...but i wasn't sure about them. I kept going...and I got a little stuck. I continued again...and I became more stuck. I pushed and then I hit a wall. I wasn't happy with the pieces I was making and I wasn't sure where to go.
At the same time I was getting stuck creatively I was in the middle of moving to a new home after living in the same space for 12 years. A big move for me, so it makes sense that my creative process was also moving. The move meant many trips to Home Depot and being someone who is obsessed with tools and trinkets, trips to Home Depot mean that I wander through aisles touching things and wondering how they would look turned into jewelry. There were a few pieces I found that I couldn't leave behind.
I decided that instead of shelfing my new inspiration, I needed to shelf my original plan. My world had been so swirled around in the last few months that I needed to listen to where the pieces were landing in me. I opened my sketchbook to start drawing and a postcard that i've been carrying around with me for two years fell out. The Guggenheim Museum covered in random patterns by artist Mukai Shüji. This image and and the lovely curves of the building have been in my heart since visiting the Museum in 2014. I have been sketching various pieces inspired by these shapes for the past two years, but hadn't realized them in jewelry yet.
I sat in my studio one morning with my Guggenheim postcard, my Home Depot trinkets, and my images from my Europe trip in front of me and I started sketching. I spent the next month in my studio enameling and soldering teeny tiny wires, figuring out how to get the shapes i wanted, the textures i wanted, and how to make these industrial materials work in wearable pieces.
I'm excited by the results and happy I shifted direction. The pieces pictured below and a few more new ones will be on display and for sale at Circle Craft Gallery September 8th 2016 - October 11th 2016 for the exhibition, "Hammer, Cut, Stitch, Repeat".
Hammer, Cut, Stitch, Repeat - an exploration of repetition to achieve pattern and form in fine craft. With an emphasis on wearable art, Hammer, Cut, Stitch, Repeat will bring together artists working in metal, paper, and textile. Individually, each artist's practice has a focus on repeating one action over and over; something that would drive most people mad. For this group of artists, repetition becomes a vessel for creativity and it is within that place that they push themselves further to explore their craft. Hammer, Cut, Stitch, Repeat will show the work of Rachael Ashe, Nell Burns, Su Foster, Patsy Kolesar, and Simone Richmond.
September 8 - October 10
Opening Soirée Thursday September 8th 6-8pm
I spent three days in Paris in April meandering through little streets and stumbling upon little gems like the Swedish Institute. We saw a sign with a picture of some highly patterned textiles and it drew us further in to this quaint little courtyard where we had a beer and some lunch at the Swedish cafe and then went into the gallery space to see the exhibit. It was an exhibit of rag rugs - beautiful, colourful, contemporary rag rugs.
Re Rag Rug - An exhibition of 12 rugs made entirely from waste and excess fabric from the textile industry by Studio Brieditis & Evans. They spent 12 months making the rugs using 12 different textile techniques. To learn more about their amazing work and this exhibition please visit their website here.
I had the pleasure of teaching my first enamelling class last week! Teaching is something that has been on my to-do list for a couple of years now and I finally had the right opportunity to try it out. I had the honour of teaching a pretty amazing woman, Salem has a business in Ethiopia called Salem's Designs. She employ's other artisans who make jewellery, textiles, pottery, and basketry. She has a large space in Addis Ababa where people can go and watch the artists work and also purchase one of the beautiful pieces. Salem is invested in the art of handmade and in offering skill teaching and employment to artisans in Ethiopia. She's pretty inspiring to talk to and caught on to the enamelling techniques really quickly. Below is a photo of the pieces she made with me.
If you are interested in learning some enamel tricks with me please send me a message info at pkkdesign dot com and I can let you know more details.
A big Thank-You to the Eastside Culture Crawl and the thousands of Crawlers who came by our studio over 4 days! I always finish Crawl weekend feeling energized and inspired by all of the amazing people who I get to meet and chat with over the weekend. I'm so grateful that I get to be part of such an amazing, fun, and supportive group of artists in the Onion Studio building!
Here are a few photos from the weekend:
I hope you'll join me at my studio for the Eastside Culture Crawl this year!
We'll have our annual Seconds and Samples sale on the Thursday & Friday evenings!
A few more of my amazing new lifestyle photos taken by Photographer Suzanne Rushton and modelled by Actor Alison Wandzura.
I will slowly be sharing photos here from the exhibition of one-of-a-kind rings that we had in June at Visual Space Gallery. The pieces made for the exhibition were just amazing!
Andrea wanted to have a custom ring made for her for a special birthday. She loves my enamel work and loves the colour blue. I had fun combining soft edges with hard angles, a leaf for new growth and tiny 24k yellow gold details. I loved how this ring turned out!
Please leave me a message here or email me info @ pkkdesign(dot)com if you have any questions or need any further information! I hope to see you there!
A friend of mine who teaches some classes on jewellery at one of our local design colleges in Vancouver, recently brought her group of students to my studio. It was their first time being in a working studio and I had the honour of sharing some of my knowledge with them.
I graduated from jewellery college in 2007 and spent awhile developing my style and first collection, so i usually say that my actual business started in 2009. This means that i've been making jewellery for some time now. I feel like I know a lot! But I often feel like I know nothing! Making jewellery and running a jewellery business is constantly challenging and I'm always learning something new. I think this is why I love it so much. I know that I get bored easily! So I feel pretty lucky that I get to do something where I am constantly learning and growing.
One of the questions that was asked to me during this visit was "What do you wish you knew when you were just starting out?" I think I told them the story of when I lost some sales. I of course have thought of a number of things that would be more useful to tell them since that moment, so I thought I would share them here:
Tips for New Jewellery Designers:
It's going to take some time to build your business. Be patient and don't give up. If this is something that you really want, you need to have perseverance.
People are not going to buy your jewellery based only on the aesthetics of your jewellery. Many people will buy because they connect with you. Be prepared to share pieces of yourself with your customers. Be real, be honest, be authentic.
Build relationships with people. I have some amazing stores that sell my work for me and I'm so grateful for them. I don't complain about them taking a percentage of sales, because I know they work really hard! I like to know the people who own the shops that I sell my jewellery in and I like them to know me a little. This relationship is very important to me. I couldn't run my business without these amazing shop owners!
Apply for things. Honestly, you will probably never feel completely ready to do anything but just start sending out applications for shows, exhibitions, books, etc. You will get a lot of no's but you will eventually get a yes and it will feel pretty darn good.
Don't compare yourself to other jewellery artists. I think this one is tough not to do, but it's pointless. You will start having successes, you just have to keep hustling and creating.
Stay inspired! Go and look at new things! Go to art galleries, take a road trip, spend the day on a mountain. We need to stay inspired and alive in order to continue to create beautiful things for the world.
Get peer mentors. Find other creative minds to connect with over art and business. These relationships will be invaluable for you.
Please don't cast a pinecone ;)
Please feel free to add to this list in the comments below!
I'm in the process of re-vamping this website! Which means I've been spending a lot of time behind the scenes staring at my computer screen at various shades of blue!
The updated site is almost ready and until it is, here are some pretty pictures of new pieces:
I was pretty honoured to be part of this little group of artists asked to speak about our work for a Hot Talk at the Hot Art Wet City Gallery in Vancouver. The event was organized by the talented and lovely artist Rachael Ashe, who organizes monthly events at the gallery. There are seven of us who talk about our work for 5-6 minutes each all very worth listening to, but if you're in a rush, I'm third up.