Tag Archives: Jewellery

Easy to Wear Jewellery for Spring Fashion

It was a long winter in North America. Record snowfalls at Eastern ski resorts competed with the slippery streets of Vancouver and Seattle. After months of the “white stuff,” it’s time to lighten up your look with some new accessories. All it takes is a pop of colour or the sparkle of a semi-precious gemstone to transition and outfit from dull to irresistible.

Atelier - Designer Jewellery for Spring

Unique Designer Jewellery

These Canadian designers handcraft their whimsical jewellery using shiny gold, stainless steel and sterling silver. The eye-catching interest comes with how they have combined metal chains with powerful gemstones and dynamic crystals. Silk and leather create a softer touch when your outfit needs to be less formal.

Crystal Cluster Garden Pendant

Necklaces are versatile accessories

All it takes is adding a glossy chain to turn your daytime ‘at-the-office’ look into ‘time-for cocktails.’ Whether the band is made of a precious metal (gold or silver), a silk ribbon, a leather strand or a string of beads adding one of these necklaces to your jewellery box is the easiest way to transform your look. Explore the designer necklace collection here.

Watermelon Tourmaline Union Necklace

Rings matter!

Whether he gave you the band or it is a gift to yourself – you deserve it. Trust us other women notice what is on your fingers. Melanie’s Keme Jewellery Sage Leaf rings radiate a natural touch. Anastassia chooses a labradorite stone for her enchanting Aurora Ring. This semi-precious stone provides clarity, improved communication and tempers negative feelings (read more here). Colleen Poitras’s Matter Series ring in stainless steel and concrete tells everyone (without you having to) that your weekends are precious.

Aurora Ring with Labradorite stone

Think of your ears as real estate that you can accessorise with a stylish ear crawler or a pair of fashionable ear studs made with metal clay. For the perfect lightweight accessory choose a set of silk earrings by designer Morija Reeb. Using natural silk as the base material and a heat etching process, she adds several layers of natural dye to achieve the desired shades. These delicate earrings look like tiny leaves or butterfly wings (take a look here).

Metal Clay Leaf Stud Earrings

As the warmer weather approaches, expose your limbs to some natural Vitamin D and buy a bracelet to celebrate. Colleen Poitras has two bangles with sparkling gemstone charms. Katja’s Skimbaco collection combines practical and beautiful in the essential oil diffuser bracelets. Buy a designer bracelet today.

Local’s Tips on How to Spend a Weekend in Halifax

Our fashion accessory creator Katja Presnal is the founder of Skimbaco Lifestyle a brand that she initially launched in 2006 (her backstory is an interesting read). The Skimbaco ENJOY LIFE essential oil diffuser jewellery is a design collaboration with a Texas-based artist (view the full collection here).

Originally from Finland, Presnal lives an international life with her husband and three children, and they currently are living a “Skimbaco Life” in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Katja-and-gaby-in-bali @Skimbaco

Who better to ask than a lifestyle blogger for her top picks for a weekend in Halifax?

Coffee Time in Halifax:

Julien’s Patisserie Bakery & Café in the Hydrostone District is where I get our almond croissants almost every weekend. The historic Hydrostone District is not to be missed.

Julien’s Patisserie Bakery & Café
5517 Young Street
Halifax,Nova Scotia, B3K 1Z7
Canada
(902) 455-9717

In downtown Halifax, I like Pavia Cafe in the new public library. The library is my favourite architectural building here, and the top floor cafe offers views of the city. Added bonus: all of the free magazines to read while you sip your coffee.

Pavia Café
Halifax Central Library
5440 Spring Garden Road
Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J 1E9
(902) 407-4008 ext.3

Fishermans Cove Nova Scotia #VisitNovaScotia @Skimbaco

Halifax Breakfast:

My hidden gem is Armview Restaurant & Lounge; they have a sinful Morning After Poutine, and I also recommend their lobster Eggs Benny with fresh local lobster.

The Armview Restaurant & Lounge
7156 Chebucto Road
Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3L 1N4

Lunchtime on the Coast:

Morris East has the best thin crust pizzas in Halifax with options like peach and goat cheese pizza, or their speciality: Lumberjack pizza with smoked bacon, maple-brushed sausage, caramelised onions and maple syrup drizzle.

Morris East
5212 Morris Street
Halifax Nova Scotia B3J 1B4
(902) 444-7687

Lobster Roll in Halifax Nova Scotia #VisitNovaScotia @Skimbaco

Dinner in Halifax:

Five Fishermen and McKelvies should be on anyone’s fine dining list for Halifax, but my off-the-path dining suggestion is Edna on Gottingen Street. I love their laid back atmosphere and fresh local food options.

Five Fishermen
1740 Argyle Street
Halifax NS B3J-2B6
(902) 422-4421

McKelvies
1680 Lower Water Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia  B3J 2Y3
(902) 421-6161

Edna Restaurant
2053 Gottingen Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3K 3B2
(902) 431-5683

Halifax Shopping:

Don’t miss Biscuit General Store on Argyle Street for fashion and fun, and check out The Independent Mercantile Co. on Gottingen Street for home decor. The Hydrostone District also has several cute little shops.

Biscuit General Store
1661 Argyle Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J 2B5
(902) 425-5436

The Independent Mercantile Co.
2091 Gottingen Street
Halifax, NS B3K 3B2
(902) 425-8462

Don’t miss this! Iconic Nova Scotia experience:

Peggy’s Cove. I don’t know what it is, but this grand old lighthouse and the village has my heart.

Peggy's Cove Nova Scotia

Where the local’s go:

Point Pleasant Park in the south end of the Halifax peninsula is a historic 75-hectare wooded park with 39 km of easy walking trails. Go in the mornings to catch the sunrise at the beach or for afternoon walks. Dogs can run free in some parts of the park, and this is where city dog owners mingle while throwing the ball.

Images credits: All photos were provided by and published with the permission of Skimbaco

Kĕme Jewellery Creations all Fired Up by Metal Clay

Toronto native Melanie Neves works from her home-base studio, a space filled with natural light, house plants and her favourite books. Surrounded by music and a view of one of the city’s many green spaces Neves says, “It’s the perfect place to tap into my creative side.”

Melanie Neves Keme Jewellery #Handcrafted @KemeJewellery

Her interest in jewellery design has been organic; a hobby turned into a full-time pursuit that has grown in the three years since she first discovered metal clay online. “I’ve always loved working with clay, and when I found precious metal clay, jewellery was the natural progression.”

Keme Jewellery #Handcrafted @KemeJewellery

Neves shared that her lack of formal training means that there are no prescribed boundaries to her creativity and glorious artistic discoveries through trial and error. Her investment in a small kiln and a metal clay sample pack has led her to produce a line of exclusive necklaces, pendants, rings and earrings with metal clay. Much of her work is with powdered Hadar’s Clay™.

Keme Jewellery #Handcrafted @KemeJewellery

The process with precious metal clay is interesting, and quite honestly, you never really know what you’re going to pull out of the kiln. I generally use Hadar’s Clay™ (powder), but there are metal clays that come premixed and ready to go so you don’t need to worry about mixing it yourself. The majority of metal clay is 90% metal and 10% organic binder. Think of the binder as the glue that holds all the metal particles together. I prefer to use Hadar’s Clay™ because it has a long shelf life and does not dry out since it is in powder form, but it also means that I have to be careful with how much water I add to create the clay.

Keme Jewellery #Handcrafted @KemeJewellery

Can you describe the process of making a piece of metal clay jewellery?

Once you have the metal clay ready, you can mould it and shape it however you would like. Similar to regular clay, it will hold its shape. Once you have finished your creation, you have to let it dry. You can speed this process along, but you want to make sure you’re not heating things too quickly otherwise your pieces may crack and may need some repair. After your piece is completely dry, it will need to be sanded to remove any rough edges then polished, and sealed to give it more of a finished look.

What tools do you need for your work?

Oh my! You can work with a whole lot of tools or with few depending on what you’re making, but here are some of the basics:

Precious metal clay
Kiln, carbon, and firing bowl
Moulds and mould making material
Rolling pin
Clay shaping tools
Sanding pads/sanding paper
Firing torch
Polishing cloths
Sealant
Findings, necklace chains, ring mandrels

What stimulates your design work?

I often find inspiration in nature or the juxtaposition of masculine and feminine. I also get a lot of my ideas when travelling. Learning about other cultures and watching how people within those cultures interact with one another, their style and quality of life, and their fashion all peak my interest and provide inspiration for days. Being a huge history buff, I also occasionally find myself working on pieces that are reminiscent of different historical eras. But inspiration is one of those things can strike anywhere, and at any time.

The Kĕme Jewellery collection featured on Atelier is nature-based: Leaf Stud Earrings, Back to Nature Pendant, Sage Leaf Wrap Around Ring.

Keme Jewellery #Handcrafted @KemeJewellery

Tell us about your company name.

Kĕme is a slight twist on the ancient Egyptian word “khēmia”, meaning transmutation of earth. Melanie shared that she is still continuously amazed by the alchemy that takes place working with metal clay.

Perfect for gifts or your collection take a look at Melanie Neve’s full collection here.

Image Credits: all photos provided by and published with the permission of Kĕme Jewellery

Day 9 – 12 Days of Designer Christmas with Jewellery that Glitters

Give the gift of a little sparkle this year.

Metal clay creations by Toronto designer Melanie Neves:

Quilted Metal Pendant @KemeJewellery

Layered Sage Leaf Ring @KemeJewellery

Ear crawlers from Anastassia SEL:

Branch Ear Crawler #Jewellery @AnastassiaSel

Skimbaco Lifestyle earrings:

2getger-turquoise-earrings #Jewellery @Skimbaco

Bangles by Colleen Poitras:

Breath Bangle @Colpoitras

Raw, rough cut quartz necklaces by ErinLaura:

Ava necklace @erinlaura

Explore the entire jewellery collection here.

For Pinterest:

Handcrafted jewellery by Canadian Designers. Sustainable fashion.

Day 8 – 12 Days of Designer Christmas the Gift of Gemstones

Diamonds are not for everyone (well, ok they might be), but semi-precious stones make for interesting and thoughtful gifts too. Gemstones are the perfect gift because you can tailor your stone choice to best suit the receiver.

Do they need a little bit of calm and protection in their life? Choose an Amethyst from the quartz family.

Will 2017 be a big year for their work, school or other hurdles in their life? Dark and mysterious the Black Onex is believed to help with focus, dedication and retention.

Everyone can use a little luck every once in awhile. Tourmaline is a quartz stone said to bring good fortune to the wearer. For more detail on these and other stones read Turning Rocks into Beautiful Jewellery.

Our jewellery design team has been hard at work creating beautiful fashion accessories with semi-precious gemstones.

Significance bangle moonstone @ColleenPoitras

Colleen Poitras’ Significance Bangle is an excellent gift for a girlfriend, daughter, niece or any special lady. There are two bangle sizes, and you can choose from one of seven (7) stones.

Watermelon Tourmaline Union Necklace #Jewellery @AnastassiaSel

Give the gift of luck. Anastassia’s Watermelon Tourmaline Union Necklace highlights this beautiful stone with its green exterior and red interior. Or for a dose of stunning luck, her Slice of Heaven Ring with the same stone.

Collins Necklace #Jewellery @Erinlaura #MadeinCanada

Erin Johnson’s entire necklace collection wraps around rough cut gemstones. These are accessories she named after her best friends, so should be the perfect gift for yours.

Keme Jewellery #Handcrafted @KemeJewellery

The Crystal Cluster Garden Pendant created by Melanie Neves is nothing short of stunning with a Blue Apatite crystal that is meant to enhance communication, intuition, self-expression, creativity, and visualisation.

Any one of these pieces make for a perfect gift on their own or paired with an indigo silk scarf by Morija Reeb.

Gemstone jewellery, handmade and unique make for perfect, lasting gifts.

Day 5 – 12 days of Designer Christmas Jewellery

Our team of Atelier jewellery designers use a variety of metals and gemstones in their work. Inspired by their surroundings, these creators have been in their studios all year handcrafting accessories for all the ladies on your list.

Collins Necklace #Jewellery @Erinlaura #MadeinCanada

On the West Coast, Erin Johnson named her company Erinlaura, combining her name with her grandmother’s – a strong creative presence in her life. The Erinlaura necklace collection is a combination of rough cut gemstones and delicate gold chains as striking as the bays and inlets of British Columbia’s shoreline. She balances yin and yang influences in her jewellery designs.

ignite-turquoise-beads-diffuser-necklace @Skimbaco

On the other side of the country, Katja’s Skimbaco Lifestyle brand launched their initial essential oil diffuser jewellery line after experimenting strands of leather and cloth. You may not be able to travel to the shores of Bali, but this stunning collection might at least allow you to daydream.

Aurora Ring #Jewellery @AnastassiaSel

The time to buy Anastassia Selezneva runway-quality jewellery is right now before she makes good on her goal of moving to New York City. All the Anastassia Sel necklaces, ear crawlers, rings and bracelets are handcrafted with recycled sterling silver and 14k gold so that you can feel good about your sustainable purchase.

Concrete and Stainless Jewellery @ColleenPoitras

Based in Canada’s largest city, Colleen Poitras balances the demands Toronto living with her jewellery line. She works with leather, concrete and stainless steel to handcraft stunning pieces that work for the Pretty.Rocker.Chic in every girl. These pieces are guaranteed to dress-up any outfit.

Keme Jewellery Handcrafted @KemeJewellery

Kĕme Jewellery is the name of Melanie Neves brand, where she transforms metal clay into fashion accessory pieces that are inspired by the earth. Nature meets design in her sage leaf rings and wave patterned stud earrings.

Handcrafted jewellery by Canadian Designers

Explore the entire jewellery collection here.

How Designers are Turning Rocks into Beautiful Gemstone Jewellery

Classifying Gemstones

Talk about a rock-hard job! A gemologist must wade through a detailed analysis to arrive at a classification for a rock. Their conclusion after reviewing  colour, clarity, hardness and refractory qualities determines the relative value of a stone.

Even today, gemstone classification follows a methodology first invented by the Ancient Greeks. The analysis starts by dividing stones into precious and semi-precious piles. The precious gem group includes sparkling diamonds, red rubies, icy sapphires and green emeralds. The list of semi-precious stones is extensive.

The problem?

“There is no universally accepted grading system for gemstones.” (Source: Wikipedia)

Inert. Stable. Perpetual.

Powerful. Influential. Transforming

Hocus pocus?

Maybe, but there is a strong belief foundation behind the dominant properties of stones.

From the American Gem Society website:

“According to folklore and stories throughout history, many gemstones are thought to offer mystic healing to its wearer.”

For the fashion crowd here is what Elle Magazine had to say:

“Despite what you might think, touting the “healing” properties of gemstones isn’t just a fleeting Hollywood trend reserved for Miranda Kerr and um, Spencer Pratt. Gems and stones have been believed to hold metaphysical properties, alter our moods, and remedy a spectrum of ailments for thousands of years.”

Whether you are a believer or not. It could hardly hurt to add one of these fabulous gemstone jewellery pieces to your accessory collection.

The Powers of Gemstone Jewellery

Colleen Poitras’ significance bangle marks the power of gemstones by acknowledging life’s milestones and the need for a little luck around your wrist.

Significance bangle moonstone @ColleenPoitras

Erinlaura harnesses the strength of rough cut stones with dainty gold filigree to craft harmony in her pendants.

Collins Necklace #Jewellery @Erinlaura #MadeinCanada

Anastassia Sel remodels old-style ring settings with stunning non-traditional stones.

Aurora Ring #Jewellery @AnastassiaSel

Gemstone Qualities

What stone to buy? Here, are some details on a few of the semi-precious stones in their gemstone jewellery collections.

Purple Amethyst @ColleenPoitras

Amethyst is quartz. A crystal that calms the wearer and brings a closer connection to inner thoughts. The stone creates a deep awareness (especially if worn during meditation) and a sense of protection. This gemstone helps to banish negative energies. The Greeks believed the purple amethyst to be a “sobriety stone” associating its rich burgundy colour with Bacchus (god of wine). February babies this is your birthstone.

Black Onyx @ColleenPoitras

Black Onyx – Persistence and healing this is the stone to wear to that challenging client meeting. The impenetrable dark stone improves both focus, dedication and retention. Black Onyx might be a good choice to wear to your next exam or budget meeting. Perhaps a gift for a student.

Chalcedony @ColleenPoitras

Chalcedony is known as the Speaker’s Stone. The stone of someone who reflects upon the impact of their words before speaking. This light blue stone absorbs negative thoughts and energies. A nurturing stone for a friend.

Labradorite @ColleenPoitras

Labradorite this stone is bewitching and transforming. Facilitates magical powers and clear a path through the haze of memories and desires. Having trouble remembering your dreams? This stone provides clarity, improved communication and tempers negative feelings. Maybe you should get one for everyone in your office.

Moonstone @ColleenPoitras

Moonstone associated with the moon and the goddess Diana. A gemstone for the ladies, it encourages reflection and inner exploration. Moonstone is a good luck stone, offering protection and increased fertility.“ According to Hindu mythology, moonstone is made of solidified moonbeams.” (source). The adularescent nature of this stone with made it a favourite of 1960’s flower children. Moonstone continues to charm designers.  This stone is an excellent choice for the ladies on your shopping list.

Rose Quartz a bit like rosé wine this gemstone can vary from pale to dark pink. However, in this case, it has nothing to do with the length of time spent on grape skins. Prized by ancient cultures, archaeologists date rose quartz jewellery specimens from Iraq to 7000 BC. Revered for centuries, rose quartz is a healing stone. A love stone.

Rutilated quartz @ColleenPoitras

Rutilated Quartz a clear quartz peppered with Golden Rutile increases creativity and balance your energy chakras. Trouble sleeping? Worried about ageing or life’s road blocks this attractive stone will help bring clarity and centre your thoughts. This stone may even improve your love life.

Watermelon Tourmaline Union Necklace #Jewellery @AnastassiaSel

Tourmaline is a quartz stone. These crystals run the gambit of the colour spectrum from clear to black. The stone of luck, love and positive energy. A watermelon tourmaline gets its name from the green exterior and red interior, like the melon. Wearing a black tourmaline stone might just bring you more luck than playing the lottery.

Skimbaco Essential Oil Diffuser Jewelry for Easy Designer Fashion

Discover how a lifestyle choices created a successful brand and a line of essential oil diffuser jewelry.

Katja Presnal is the founder of Skimbaco a lifestyle brand that she founded in 2006. She tells us that the name is not something you will find in a dictionary. Rather it’s a combination of a Finnish slang word “skimba” for skis and “co” for Colorado.

“The company was launched while we lived in Colorado and skiing in was the way we enjoyed life to the fullest at the moment. Everyone can define their own “skimbaco” – it is like modern carpe diem of enjoying the moment despite where you are.”

katja-and-gaby-in-bali @Skimbaco

Presnal says that her family does live a “Skimbaco” and somewhat nomadic life. “Our three children were born in three different countries, and we have explored the world together. Just in the past two years, we have lived in Sweden, New York, and moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia.”

Skimbaco Lifestyle started as an online store for artisan products (closed in 2008) and a blog. Presnal’s proven creative talent landed her a job at a marketing agency, where she worked with large brands. However, she felt that she was not living the Skimbaco lifestyle and felt this was critical to growing the company. Quitting her agency job apparently worked as Skimbaco is now an online magazine and significant lifestyle brand. Presnal and her team encourage you to travel the world and embrace local culture through the glossy magazine pages.

What is it about essential oils that you feel relates to the lifestyle you are promoting in your business?

I’ve always been a huge believer in natural remedies and even only used essential oils for the labour when our second daughter was born. After visiting farms around the world and seeing how they cultivate cinnamon in Sri Lanka and aloe vera in Italy, I have always been drawn to using earth’s best for skin care, wellness and yes, even health care. I started using essential oils as part of daily wellness regimen about two years ago, and it took me by surprise what kind of difference the daily use of essential oils can contribute to your physical and mental well-being. I realised that essential oils are not just some natural remedies to be used in need, but that they can be part of your wellness regimen to keep you healthy – and happy.

enjoy-life-jewelry-lifestyle #Jewellery @Skimbaco

How did essential oils result in designing jewelry?

I started using essential oils in my favourite leather bracelets a few years ago and realised that leather diffuses the oils. The scent stays in the jewelry longer than on the skin. It became my favourite way of diffusing my oils, so I teamed up with my favourite designer DeAnna Cochran to create a designer diffuser jewelry line. The ENJOY LIFE diffuser jewelry collection by Skimbaco Lifestyle is done in partnership with DeAnna, and all of our pieces are handmade in her studio in Texas.

Can you describe the process for designing the diffuser jewelry?

First, we test different materials on how they absorb the essential oils, and we test them with several oils. It’s important that the materials diffuse the oils, but also won’t get ruined in the long-term use. A lot of our inspiration comes from our travels. The current collection is inspired by the colours of Bali, the sandy beaches and tropical ocean.

2getger-turquoise-earrings #Jewellery @Skimbaco

I try to stay on the top of today’s trends. However, I also wanted to offer pieces that are pretty timeless, that you can wear for years. We don’t follow a specific process yet, and some of our designs have even been born out of an accident. For example, our team member saw a close up picture of the 2GETHER silver hoop earrings for the first time, and she immediately commented: “I love that minimal necklace!” We were puzzled at first, but then saw it as an opportunity to create a minimal necklace and the Just ONE DROP necklace was born.

just-one-drop-turquoise-lava-bead-silver-hoop-necklace #Jewellery @Skimbaco

What materials are used in the jewelry?

We are constantly testing new materials and how the oils can be used in them. We currently use lava beads, leather, and geode crystals. Currently, most of our metals are silver.

Check-out the full Skimbaco collection of diffuser jewelry here.

Images credits: All photos were provided by and published with the permission of Katja Presnal at Skimbaco Lifestyle

The Yin and Yang of Erinlaura Designer Jewelry

For this young Vancouver designer, opposing energies create unexpected harmony in her jewelry. Erin Johnson has lived in Canada’s west coast metropolis for several years now. Originally, she moved to attend the University of British Columbia, but the city’s many attractions keep her close.

Mia Necklace #Jewellery @Erinlaura #MadeinCanada

Erin founded her company Erinlaura Jewelry three years ago, the brand is a combination of two names – her grandmother’s and her own. Erin describes her grandmother, Laura, as an influential force in her life and one who continues to provide guidance. As a young woman, Laura emigrated to Langley, British Columbia from Vieste, Italy, with her spouse and they started a family. Young and resourceful Laura made everything from scratch from pasta to blankets, from bread to clothing. Erin credits her grandmother with teaching her how to work with her hands.

“She has always taught me to be strong and never give up. She has also taught me that it is ok to fail, which is an important thing for anyone starting their own company.”

Experimenting with materials Erin designed a delicate ring for herself using rose quartz and unwittingly launched her company. She wore the ring to work (at fashion retailer Aritzia) and before she had finished her shift co-workers were placing orders for similar models.

Collins Necklace #Jewellery @Erinlaura #MadeinCanada

Each Erinlaura Jewelry piece is named after one Erin’s best friends (clearly, she has a few). Combining rough cut stones with delicate chains is the yin-yang of Erin’s work. She tells us that she is attracted to the flaws in gemstones and it is in those blemishes that she sees the beauty and the possibilities. Her base materials come from stores in Vancouver and Arizona, and her inspiration from her surroundings.

Check out some of Erin’s “friends”: Mia, Kristen and the Collins necklaces. Rough semi-precious stones wrapped in fine strands of gold.

Cali Necklace #Jewellery @Erinlaura #MadeinCanada

Before we let Erin get back to her studio, we asked her to share her favourite Vancouver haunts, and where she hopes to see someone wearing her jewelry.

#TastesofVancouver

Coffee: 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters – Start the day with the perfect raw almond milk latte.

Breakfast: Café Medina for the best brunch in town.

Lunch:  Lift for an excellent view of the water and fresh oysters too.

Dinner:  AnnaLena Restaurant for tasty share plates and even better cocktails.

Stay: Rosewood Hotel Georgia with its unbeatable central downtown location.

Classic Vancouver?: Take a walk on the Seawall.

Healthy activity?:  Quarry rock hike with a Honey’s Doughnut in Deep Cove afterwards.

Look for Anastassia Sel Designer Jewellery on New York’s Fashion Runways

Volgodonsk is unlikely to be on many travel bucket lists; a Russian city located on the Tsimlyansk Reservoir, where the nearby nuclear plant is a local employer. This town is where Canadian artist and rising star jeweller Anastassia Selezneva was born.

Anastassia Selezneva emigrated to Toronto, with her parents, when she was nine years old. Artistic activities occupied after-school hours and much of her Canadian childhood. She explains that she had limited time to “hang-out” as she experimented with ballet, piano and visual arts. Selezneva attributes these touchpoints with creative circles to her desire to attend the Etobicoke School of the Arts.

Orion Earrings #Jewellery @AnastassiaSel

However, Selezneva says that her journey to jewellery production began as an artistic outlet

“I started to fiddle and experiment with jewellery in November 2012. Wire wrapping, learning about stones, their properties, and teaching myself how to solder. I needed a creative outlet and my finance job was not giving me that.”

Black Tourmaline Union Necklace #Jewellery @AnastassiaSel

Her practical business degree, from York University (Toronto) a safe choice, but one that did not fulfil her artistic needs. Selezneva’s diversion with jewellery has led her to global fashion centres;

“Anastassia has created ‘haute couture,’ one-of-a-kind works for Toronto, Milan and New York Fashion Week runway shows.”

Selezneva is now laser focused on her business and her Anastassia Sel brand. She recently (June 2016) graduated from the George Brown College fashion studies program.

Branch Ear Crawlers #Jewellery @AnastassiaSel

“This program is intensive and not for everyone. It has very high expectations. To succeed in this program, you need to have patience and dedication to the craft. The one-year program that I took, gave me a solid foundation of the different aspects of the jewellery industry such as goldsmithing, surface finishing, gemology and technical drawing.”

Why did you move towards jewellery from other creative directions?

I remember always going through my grandma’s jewellery box and having a wild fascination with how much beauty it holds and how different jewellery can be. I think my inspiration for jewellery design came at a very early age, but it took some time to blossom into something concrete. Looking back, I cannot pinpoint the exact moment when I decided I will be a jewellery designer. It just happened naturally.

Can you explain how you choose a stone for one of your pieces?

I have always gravitated towards rough stones. I love nature and looking at raw, rough, organic forms brings me closer to it. Ideally, in my comfort zone, all of my pieces would have rough stones. However, as a designer, I have to be versatile and appeal to various clients. If I were to choose my favourite stones, it would be black kyanite and rainbow moonstone. They are polar opposites. Kyanite is rough and dark, and moonstone is light, airy and smooth. When I design, I let the materials talk to me. It depends on the piece, but I typically start my design from the stone and create the piece around it.

Vitae Necklace #Jewellery @AnastassiaSel

You work with recycled 14K gold and sterling silver. Can you share your sustainability philosophy as it relates to jewellery?

The way I see it is we as a society need to learn to reuse the resources we have to create a sustainable environment. Resources are finite, and we have to be conscious of how we recover and use it.

Cosmic Ray Ear Crawler #Jewellery @AnastassiaSel

How do you find the inspiration for your pieces?

Nature is a big part of my inspiration. The freedom that comes with the natural environment. The place that we are whole, authentic and small. In urban areas we have titles and hierarchies, in nature, we are one. Mortal. Finite.

Union Necklace #Jewellery @AnastassiaSel

What do you want someone to “feel” when they are wearing one of your pieces?

Empowered and authentic.

Topus Necklace #Jewellery @AnastassiaSel

At Atelier, we are thrilled to be able to showcase jewellery designs from this young designer, who is quite clear that she would like Anastassia Sel to be New York City-based in the future. For now, she shared a few of her version of “where the locals go” in Toronto:

Favourite restaurant in Toronto?

Bar Raval for hipster tapas and Bairrada Churrasqueira for their great patio and Portuguese food.

Favourite coffee shop in Toronto?

Balzac’s Coffee Roasters.

Favourite thing to do on a Saturday in Toronto?

I typically escape the city to a beautiful park like Algonquin, Tobermory or Hilton Falls. However, if I do stay in Toronto I usually check out what festivals are going on (Wine/Beer/Music) or go to a lively patio.

To see the exclusive Anastassia Sel collection currently available on Atelier click here.