I Made It! Student Show ‘n Sale

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!

EVENT – I Made It! Student Show and Sale

March 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

I Made It! Student Show and Sale

What, you ask, is a student Show and Sale? Exactly what it sounds like.

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.

The family-friendly event allows for art enthusiasts of all ages to drop in. Light refreshments keep your palette happy, and musical talent provided by Alec Morrison will keep your feet tapping!

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!

 

Artist of the Week – Instructor and Former Student, Susan Watson Ellis

March 19, 2012 § 2 Comments

Susan Watson Ellis, Paradigm Designs

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 info@paradigmdesignswe.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

Artist of the Week – Ashley Kirby

February 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

Ashley Kirby

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.

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