Stuart Duncan of Wren Silverworks produces some of the finest Silver jewellery on the Pacific Northwest West Coast!
Engraved sterling silver jewellery of animals, birds, flowers and sea life – From herons, whales, cedar trees, frogs, eagles and bears to cherry blossoms.
As a child, Stuart was always drawing, deriving inspiration from the natural world around him. His ability to draw the world around him led Stuart into a career as an illustrator. He also co-owned an art gallery for a few years. In the early 90’s he apprenticed with master First Nations silver engraver Harold Alfred.
In 1997, Stuart was inspired to produce a line of jewellery that carves realistic lines onto silver. Wren Silverworks jewellery celebrates of the beauty and strength of nature and our connection to it.
Stuart also continues to draw and paint. He lives, surrounded by wildlife, on the outskirts of Victoria, B.C.
Wren Silverworks jewellery is individually engraved, each line separately carved, and each open area cut out with a jewellers saw. Every piece is handmade – an individual piece of art. On the back there is a sterling stamp, and the artist’s signature.
The first step is to create a detailed line drawing of a plant or animal. Then, the drawing is transferred onto a flat sheet of sterling silver. 22-gauge silver is used for earrings and brooches and 16 or 18-gauge silver is used for bracelets.
Next, the silver is engraved along the design lines, each line individually carved with a variety of gravers (very sharp chisel points). Using a tiny saw, the silver is cut out, following the periphery of the design as well as cutting out any pieces from inside the design (piercing). The edges are filed to a smooth finish. The piece is shaped: this involves using a hammer to bang the silver from the back into a pre-carved shaping “holes”, giving the flat silver gentle curves. If needed, any findings are soldered on, and it is then polished with a buffing wheel and tripoli (clay) compound. The silver is then washed in an ultrasonic washer, dried, polished with rouge (a finer clay) and washed again.
All earring hooks and studs, and brooch pins are sterling silver. Chains are also sterling silver. Brooch backs have a locking clasp. Brooches and earrings are made in 22 gauge silver, and bracelets in 16 gauge and 18 gauge silver.
JESSIE PHOENIX JEWELRY
My work expands the concept of jewelry as simple adornment to one that encompasses self-expression and purpose.
All things worn can have meaning. We need meaning to fulfill life and create balance, both within, and between, the individual, the community, and the natural world. Jewelry, when created and worn with intention has the ability to empower and connect us with our deeper selves.
Creating unique jewelry that encourages people’s individuality and connection to truth, nature and beauty is what guides my innovation and fuels my creative fire.
Originally from the islands of BC’s West Coast, I have now returned to my roots in the Comox Valley after some time in the city. I received my diploma in Jewelry Art and Design in 2000 and have since studied at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, as well as with local art teachers.
Jessie Phoenix Jewelry is sold in Side Street Studio, Victoria B.C., as well as at select craft shows. Along with being featured in The Georgia Straight and ELLE Canada Magazine, Jessie has also received numerous design awards including an Accessories Designer decoration at Vancouver Fashion Week.
A week ago I was talking over a cup of excellent Canterbury Coffee with John, the husband of Honica. I asked him if Honica would consider writing a short piece relating to her designs, her inspiration and basically how ‘Honica goes about creating her beautiful jewelry’.