How did you get into jewelry design?
As I grew up, my pearl jewelry turned into more intricate pieces that I mainly made for people in my family. I taught myself different techniques and began to expand my knowledge with each creation. Then I went to York University for two years and sold my first pieces, which was amazing (and very surprising at the time).
In the meantime, I didn’t feel like I belonged to York and decided to get out. Shortly thereafter, I met a woman who had made an ashtray out of sterling silver in a night class at George Brown College. I couldn’t believe this was a real thing! I had thought that all jewelry was made in Mexico, since all my silver pieces were stamped “Made in Mexico”.
So I went to George Brown and fell into one of the sweetheart of my life – jewelry. It’s funny, I got accepted on my first try, but was so shocked to go to an art school that I put the letter on my bulletin board and forgot to reply in time! I had to wait a year after missing the deadline, but I came the following year and never looked back. I went full steam ahead, loving every second of it (and crying a little here and there because jewelry is sometimes heavy). I just knew it was where I should be.
When I graduated, Sarah Dougall, a classmate of mine, offered me a job. I became her right-hand man in exchange for a free bank rental. We created a space for 12 artists called Made You Look. We were busy from the moment the doors opened – it was an amazing place. 6 years later I felt a bit burned out and the opportunity arose for a studio friend and me to open our own space called Flux + Form. We have been there for 13 years and I still love it so much.