April 24, 2012 § 2 Comments
Did you miss out on this semester’s show?
Catch up on what you didn’t see by checking out these amazing pics!
March 30, 2012 § Leave a comment
I Made It! Student Show and Sale
That’s right. It’s an event that gives students an opportunity to both exhibit and sell their work (not always in that combination).
Students work very hard over the course of their programs here at the college, and we want the world to see just how talented they are. The week preceding the show, students organize their displays, and begin the set-up process of creating this fantastic event. They then play host to over 250 guests that stroll through our halls to view their work.
Join us on Saturday, April 21st from 10am til 2pm at the Haliburton Campus! Admission is free.
Come early for the best pickings!
*Please note: If you wish to purchase any pieces from the students, it is a “cash only” event. The students DO NOT accept Interac, Visa, Mastercard, AmEx, Discover, cheque, or First Borns. (It’s possible the jewellery students might accept gold bars in trade…)
Enjoy this gallery of pics from our Dec 2011 Show & Sale!
March 19, 2012 § 2 Comments
Link by link, and stone by stone are the pieces of Susan Watson Ellis created. Not unlike the great Cathedrals, her works are epic undertakings of exquisite taste and design.
After moving to the “big city” for university, Ellis first developed her interest in jewellery after crossing paths with various street-vendors peddling handmade items to the denizens of Toronto. She worked with a self-taught jewellery-maker, learning his craft and becoming more and more intrigued with the art. Upon graduation from her degree (no connection to jewellery whatsoever!), Susan, with the help of a government employment program, created an apprenticeship for herself with a German goldsmith. This master-jeweller imparted a vast array of knowledge and gave her the skills she needed to continue on in her craft.
Over the years, Ellis has constantly been refining her technique, adding to her repertoire of skills, and attending various courses and workshops throughout North America. From chainmail halter-top to gem-encrusted evening purse, the sterling silver pieces that she creates are without peer. Her expertise in chain-making lends itself uncommonly well with the natural stones that imbue her work with colour: sparkling druzes, iridescent moonstone and labradorite, apatite, amethyst, and agate, to name but a few.
“I collect many awe inspiring gemstones,” she regales, “and spend endless hours arranging and contemplating them as finished pieces of body adornment. I try to design a range of sizes of finished works each season, in various colour groups, to enhance a range of personal styles.”
Susan’s fascination early-on with natural stones has shaped her work into a distinct and signature style. The asymmetry and uniqueness of many of the precious- and semi-precious gems breathe life into the otherwise inorganic pieces, adding both soul and character to the creations. Best of all, while diamonds may abound in identical sizes, no two druzes are alike. She carefully hand selects each stone for every piece. Occasionally, the gem inspires the art, sometimes the art determines the gem, and of course, for custom pieces, any patron can make a request.
As a well-established artist in the industry, Ellis gladly imparts her advice to those dreaming of their own jewellery studios one day: “[…] work as much as possible in your newly acquired craft. If you can’t afford to start your own business, find work in an established one where you can hone your skills. Also, join organizations like the Ontario Crafts Council and the Metal Arts Guild where you can volunteer and forge valuable connections in your chosen field.”
Susan’s exceptional talent has long since come full circle: once a student, now a teacher, and forever learning. At the Haliburton School of The Arts, we’re thrilled to have her.
For more information about Susan’s jewellery, please visit her website at www.paradigmdesignswe.com . She can be reached via phone or email at
(705) 457-3759, and email@example.com
For information on attending the Jewellery Arts program with Susan Watson Ellis and other renown instructors, please see our website at www.hsta.ca
February 28, 2012 § Leave a comment
Her jewellery journey began in 6th grade when she purchased a Fimo bead and hemp bracelet how-to book. By tenth grade, she was already selling her jewellery at a flea market just outside of Parry Sound. Before the end of high school, she’d “tried it all” – as much as any eighteen year-old can delve into… Hemp, gimp, beading, weaving… She even took a drawing and painting class here and there.
Now, a two-time graduate of HSTA’s Certificate programs, she’s begun to bring it all together: years slaving away making knotted jewellery trained her for the complex wire knots and beaded masses that she calls rings. “Almost all of the rings are one single piece of wire, woven in and out with beads, pearls, and crystal. Each ring tends to take on a life of its own. I generally let the beads and the wire dictate to me how the ring will be shaped. It makes every single one unique.”
And indeed they are. From cocktail parties to everyday fun, the bright colours and one-of-a-kind construction certainly make for a great piece. “I started off with the idea of having a ‘Champagne Collection’; you know, mostly bridal and black-tie bijoux. But, I just couldn’t resist the colours… Whether I wear it with jeans or a fancy dress, just wearing one of the rings brightens my mood.” Not that her mood needs much brightening, when she attended HSTA she was always caught with a smile on her face. Best of all, this young woman is proof positive that a particular area of study, does not dictate what medium an artist works in. Her areas of study? Blacksmithing and Photo Arts…
“Well, when I took the blacksmithing program,” she explains, “mostly it was because I’ve always been drawn to history prior to about 1900. I’m the sort of person that still seals envelopes with wax when I send letters to my friends.” She sends letters? Like in the actual mail with stamps? “As for the photography… well, I’d always wanted to take photography in high school and simply never had the chance… So I came here to remedy that.”
Today, she blends (very) small-scale metalwork with various beads into delightfully colourful, fun, fresh, and elegant jewellery. And her camera is there to document it.
Ashley can create custom jewellery to match any occasion or taste, as well as size. Each piece is individually made. She can be reached at 226-929-6871 or visit her website at www.ank-designs.com where she can be reached via email.
December 9, 2011 § Leave a comment
A piece of jewellery is evidence of the creative process. It embodies the technology, the medium, and the artist’s message in a work that can be pinpointed in time and place. As for the craft, one simply has to visit shows such as the One of a Kind, or check out a local studio tour to recognize that artisanal jewellery is one of the most successful and growing areas in craft today!
HSTA offers the Jewellery Essentials Certificate in the winter semester, where students are encouraged to explore personal style in conjunction with developing the skills and techniques to design, fabricate, and finish basic jewellery forms. The 15-week program is delivered in an intensive format, and is the equivalent to two semesters of full-time studies. Studies in design, drawing, and history for jewellers provide a strong foundation for exploring fabrication, chain making, surface decoration, casting, forming and stone setting. In this certificate, students will be exposed to, and analyze jewellery from different eras and cultures, and encouraged allow these influences to integrate into their own original studio work. Design principles will be integrated into course activity in order to help students explore the challenges of form and function.
Students will learn to use hand tools competently in order to design and construct basic jewellery forms. Through technical and exploratory exercises and practice students will develop skills in the use of the polishing machine, flex shaft, drill press and oxygen / propane torch system with which they will anneal, solder, decorate and finish their forms. There will be a special emphasis on the appropriate use of shop equipment and the health and safety procedures essential to work practices in the jewellery studio. Special attention will be paid to the appropriate use, handling, storage and disposal of chemicals.
This course will further develop and strengthen techniques used in Jewellery Fabrication I & II as well as introduce advanced techniques requiring greater skill and accuracy. Specifically, these include the use and function of hinges and skill in making tubing from sheet metal. Students will develop further understanding of metal and its working properties to apply to assignments and or projects.
Students in the Jewellery Essentials Certificate will work with sterling silver, copper and brass. The chemistry of metals will be addressed while learning about various methods and techniques. Development of technique, personal style and expression will be facilitated by individual and group critiques and keeping a studio journal.
For more information on the Glassblowing certificate and how you can apply for 2012, contact program coordinator Jennifer Bain , firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 705-457-1680 or visiting here (hsta.ca – jewellery essentials) for more information.