All custom work is a collaboration, which is what makes it so interesting. When you decide to have a custom piece made for you, you have the opportunity to infuse the piece of jewellery with personal meaning. Sometimes, though the collaboration is of a different nature.
Early this year, Amanda Henderson (of Jewelust) and myself had the opportunity to make work for our friend and colleague, Emile Buenbrazo. Emile was in the Jewellery Arts program with us (at George Brown), when he decided that it really wasn’t for him. What he really wanted was to be fashion designer. Now, if you know Emile this seems like quite an obvious choice! This man has some serious style.
The added element of interest is that Emile was doing his fashion program in the Phillipines! He had initially put out a message on facebook asking if anyone was interested in making some jewellery for his runway show. Amanda and I were the two who stepped up the the plate, really without knowing what we were getting into!
We met with him early in January (when he was home for Christmas). He came prepared with a treasure trove of amulets that he had picked up in his travels, along with some ideas. Now this is where the fun began for Amanda and I. Because Emile knows us and our style well enough, we were able to come up with basic design ideas that matched his overall concept for his graduation collection. The most interesting part, for me, was that once we had collectively decided what type of jewellery an amulet was going to be turned into, Emile left it up to us how we wanted to do that!
I like making pins, so that was my main focus – turning amulets into brooches. As well, I made a couple of cuff bracelets and a three finger ring for the show. Amanda turned some amulets into necklaces, a cuff bracelet and a three finger ring. I quite enjoyed this project because the amulets were a real challenge to set. Often the castings were rather rough, and most of them were two sided.
So, here is my portion of the jewellery that went all the way to the Phillipines for Emile’s graduation run way show!
All of these pieces were made in brass, which matched the amulets – which probably were bronze. Now, we’re waiting until Emile becomes a famous clothing designer….. then we’ll make some jewellery out of gold for his shows!!