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.
Phil Cottell – A Suggestion for Politicians!
A short time ago Phil was asked to carve, a ‘Talking Stick’ from locally grown Yellow Cedar. This was designed by the excellent & hugely talented Coast Salish artist, Chris Paul, a member of the Tsartlip nation. Once finished the design will show the head of an Owl – expounding wisdom one can hope….
A ‘Talking Stick’ has traditionally been used by First Nations to pass around from member to member allowing only the person who is holding the stick to speak. This enables all those present at a council meeting to be heard; consensus can force the stick to move along to assure that the “long winded” don’t dominate the discussion; and the person holding the stick may allow others to interject.
And so we come to our two main suggestions: Firstly, that a ‘Talking Stick’ be part of all Provincial and Federal Government meetings and limited to a speaking time of 10 minutes. Some hope! Perhaps we could produce a list of societies, organizations, clubs, mainstream media (or specific individuals) that could benefit from the introduction of a ‘Talking Stick’….Some chance!
Secondly, that a revised form of ‘Talking Stick’ be introduced which discourages speakers from proposing the usual inane nonsense, well beloved by politicians of all parties. This could be called the B….. Stick – no; good manners prevents further discussion.
So on to Philip Cottell; Phil was born at Ladysmith, Vancouver Island. After completing a doctorate at Yale (Phil denies being a member of the Skull & Bones fraternity and so was denied the pleasure of meeting the former President of the US, Mr. George H. W. Bush) he returned to his native B.C. to take up a professorship at UBC. With time spent working in forestry and wood products research, retirement beckoned. Phil returned to the Island in 1997 and with great enthusiasm and skill began devoting his time to woodturning.
From the following images you can see shelves of various woods ‘seasoning or drying prior to being turned. Phil particularly enjoys creating beautiful as well as useful objects, utilizing salvaged wood from local trees — maple, arbutus, dogwood, cedar and others.
Phil’s subjects range from organic burl bowls, salad bowls and sculptural vessels to coloured, wall-hung plaques that take their cues from the wood grain and figure.
As with many local artists, Phil strongly believes in conservation of our resources.
Just occasionally an artist’s work is both genuinely beautiful and practical. And this is the case where Wray Parson’s work is concerned.
For over 30 years, Wray has been making magnificent tools for all needle craft artists. He originally began turning wood when making toys for his children and after an early career in corporate banking focused all of his time in developing his micro-wood-turning techniques.
For 7 years Wray worked at Coombes Emporium, Parksville and then as his reputation began to grow he started working from a new studio built in his home.
The tools that Wray crafts are acknowledged to be amongst the world’s finest. They are heritage items designed to be family heirlooms, passed from generation to generation.
Wray’s scissors are made in Italy from Italian steel and are reputed to be the best that you can find.
Using 4 woods ranging from African Zebrano (Zebra-wood) to Pacific Yew to Yellow Cedar Burl to Cocobolo Rosewood, Wray makes a range of instruments.
Needle Holders, Scissors holders (inc. scissors), Thimble holders crafted in various forms, measuring tapes that roll back into Zebra wood holder, needle holders and sewing holders that use rare earth magnets – strong enough to lift a car! Seam rippers turned in Rosewood designed to last more than one lifetime.
In addition, miniature vases in a variety of woods including Maple, Yew, Oak Burl and Laburnum are turned in Wray’s studio.
Wray lives in Qualicum Beach, B. C. Canada.
With these bright clear days Diane Piercy's fused glass window displays will bring a burst of colour to any room in your home. Diane creates a huge range of Glass Hangings from Poppies, Orca’s, Sail Boats, Owls, to even Flying Pigs!
Born and raised in Victoria, BC, glass artist Diane Piercy creates eye-catching and original fused glass art called Sassy Glass. She learned her craft and developed her own unique style on Saltspring Island, where she lived and raised her two children from 1992 to 2003.
Now, back in her Victoria studio, Diane first sketches her designs, then draws and cuts each piece of glass used in her creations. The pieces are then meticulously assembled, and finally fused, or melted in the kiln.
Diane is inspired by both the beauty and whimsy in everyday life, and she hopes her work will brighten your window and add a smile to your day!
You can more of Diane’s beautiful work (including the Flying Pig) at http://www.sidestreetstudio.com/catalog/diane-piercy-m-80174.html
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.
New! Blue Mountain Range. A lovely new Pottey range from Libby Wray of Victoria B.C.featuring a sweep of blue mountains against a soft palette of green and copper colours that will suit most decors.
Our Padraig slippers have been hand made in Vancouver, B.C. for over 30 years.
They are simply the warmest and most comfortable slippers that you can buy. Made with a two-layer sole of sheepskin for comfort and leather for wear these slippers are made to last. Strong enough for adults and teens yet soft enough for the smallest baby.
The upper is made from 100 % pure New Zealand wool which is warm yet breathable – and cool in summer! Padraig slippers conform to the shape of your feet and will stretch a little. Padraig recommend that for adults you size them snugly.
Padraig babies and kids sizes come with ties so that they can be sized with extra room for growing feet.
These slippers are hand dyed in small lots with up to four colour combinations, plus natural and solid colours. And….all of Padraig slippers are machine washable in lukewarm water on a gentle cycle – but must be air dried.
So treat yourself and your family this Fall & Winter – with the finest slippers ever made. All available at Side Street Studio