Monday, 23 September 2013

Margot Tenenbaum, Fendi and the Referendum.

I recently stumbled upon a carefully crafted, illuminating article by writer and cartoonist, Tim Kreider.  Brutally beautiful and sad, Tim writes about what he calls "The Referendum", his anxieties about ageing, life choices and the "naked 3AM terror of regret".

Quite a lot of what passes itself off as a dialogue about our society consists of people trying to justify their own choices as the only right or natural ones by denouncing others’ as selfish or pathological or wrong. So it’s easy to overlook that hidden beneath all this smug certainty is a poignant insecurity, and the naked 3 A.M. terror of regret.

Fall always makes me feel nostalgic, and reflective.  Maybe it's all that extra time spent indoors, less time on sunny patios on the weekends, and more time in the studio.  And all the new relationships, new students and personalities I encounter.

One of my new students told me that she was taking my class to bring some balance to her life, something just for her, an escape.  Which got me thinking about what I was doing there (aside from the obvious income it generates), and being grateful for the opportunity to meet so many people that I would likely never had over the years if not for this small part of my life.

I've taught students who were in the middle of a divorce, suffering the loss of a parent, struggling to decide if they should leave their job, wading through the application process of applying for Canadian citizenship, recently retired and wondering what next, people becoming new parents and generally just exploring and wondering. 

You learn these things about strangers, whether you want to or not, we share our stories when we share a space's a curious mix of unrelated personalities, a tremendous social experiment, when strangers from every possible background imaginable get together to learn something new together.  And everyone has an unusual path, which I am always curious to hear's the contradictions and the wonky bits that make me happy.  It's the Margot Tenenbaum in the thrift store dress and the Fendi mink fur.

Full article here:

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Summer won't let go....

Summer?  She's a tough, one room schoolhouse, edge of a dusty town sort of lady....and she's not letting go.

It's hard to reconcile the fact that fall is right around the corner, when the temperature is set to break 34 degrees today.  My classes begin again this week, I'm having trouble envisioning any kind of textured tights or wool jackets at this point.  More likely summer dresses in class if the weather carries on this way all week. 

This week also marks a decade of teaching at George Brown, the college in Toronto where I work.  Ten years.  I'm not really sure how all of those years slipped by, or where the hundreds of students I've met over that time are now. 

I love hearing stories from people that I've worked with pursing jewellery professionally, going onto full time studies, or launching their own lines.  To celebrate ten years, I'd like to share a photographic tutorial on wax carving basics below, and am having a back to school sale in my shop over the weekend, starting Thursday, and ending on Sunday night. 

These images represent the basics of carving my bevelled, heavy mens band, which begins as a long tube of wax which I cut a section from and essentially carve the form that I want in metal.  The wax form is eventually cast into metal (gold or sterling) and then the clean up process begins (filing, emery work, polishing etc.).

Just enter "WINDMILLPUNCH" when you check out your cart in my Etsy shop, and you receive 10% off for this weekend only.  So if you've been eyeing a new pair of earrings or neckpiece for the fall, here's your chance!


Wednesday, 4 September 2013

White Wedding Wednesdays...Introducing Megan and Jason!

In the Spring I received a really thoughtful email from Megan....she is a sculputure major and York university grad who had attended a contemporary craft talk at OCAD some years ago where she was introduced to my work.  I was beyond flattered that she remember me so many years later, and chose my work to celebrate her special day.  I was honoured to be a small part in such a meaningful occassion, and created two white gold wedding bands with a millgrain edging and a smoky topaz stone flush set on the interiors of the bands.

I was pretty excited to get their interview questions back, and was very impressed to learn that they have been together since they were in grade 9!  Thanks Megan and Jason!

Where did you both meet?

He said: High school geography class
She said:
Grade nine geography class.

At what point in the relationship did you know that you wanted to get married to each other?

He said:
When did I “know?” Does one ever “know?” I still don’t “know” – even as a married man, but I think, I hope, I believe in our marriage with my mind, hands, heart, and soul. (Not “knowing” is, I think, what keeps us day by day working at our love.)

She said:
I suppose I knew after a few years into our relationship, when I could get a good sense of his character and our love for each other, that I wanted to spend the rest of my life in partnership with him. I knew I wanted to get married a little over a year ago, when I proposed to him.

How did you imagine your wedding day to be as a child or teenager?

He said:
A day of days – with love, joy, and rapturous tears (and, obviously with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as entertainment).

She said:
An intimate gathering with family and friends.

What is the trait that you admire most about the other person?

He said:
Her work ethic, passion, care for others… (wait did you mean “one”?)

She said: His compassion.

What is the quirkiest trait that you've grown to love about the other person?

He said: Her obsessive cleanliness.

She said: His obsessive tidiness.

What do you like to do on weekends, as a couple?

He said: Go to the movies, to the farmer’s market, the art gallery… and, above all, eat!

She said: Explore new areas of the city (Toronto) on foot, experiment with food recipes, and snuggle in bed.

What was your most memorable date or trip together:

He said: We travelled to the East Coast (all the way to the Rock: Newfoundland) in what was an awe-some road-trip full of beautiful sights, adventure, and memorable times with good friends.

She said: Our first weekend away together at a cottage in the Kawarthas, when we were teenagers.

What was the most memorable/surprising thing about your wedding day?

He said: My new wife’s composure and self-collectedness.

She said: I was surprised by how nervous he was – he is usually the composed one.

Also, our live band (The Elwins) was ridiculously good and we all had a blast dancing until 3am!

What does your new jewellery mean to you?

He said: It’s a symbol of our mutual love, care, and deepened responsibility for each other. We included a (philosopher’s?) stone inlaid in the inside of the ring to represent the rock, the foundation, that we’ve laid as a couple that shall serve to remind us of our affection and commitment.

She said: It is a symbol of the vows we made to each other not only on our wedding day but years ago as a young couple learning to love and grow in relationship.

It was important to us that the bands were handmade, a process that reflects the time-honoured craft tradition of jewellery making and working with people in the creation of art, and also the slow, steady, and beautiful journey of loving another individual.

What is your biggest fantasy/dream/hope as a couple?

He said: To raise a beautiful, intelligent, sharp, committed, passionate, discerning, sensitive, caring and spirited family: the work of our lives!

She said: To continue to support, challenge, and teach each other, strengthening our bond as a couple and hopefully, someday, as parents.

If you have a piece that you purchased from me to celebrate a union, marriage or anniversary I'd love to hear from me via facebook at: