Jewellery design is an ever-changing process for me. It began as a sort of craft when I was teaching high school art in the 80s and evolved to what I fondly call "ensemblage design." Okay, I know that ensemblage isn't really a word (I also taught English), but I've combined 'ensemble' and 'assemblage' together; assemble as a verb meaning putting pieces together to make a whole and ensemble as a noun meaning a collaboration of complementary units to give the designs a specific look or feel. In 2019, you'll be able to see three different types of collections.
In my Gilgoys collection, the base used is sterling silver or gold filled findings which are married together with various stones and crystals to create some beautiful designs. Unless otherwise specified they are one-of-a-kind creations where the beads were simply meant to go together. Easy peasy. lol
The other collections are even more personalized and are primarily made from either sterling or fine silver. The silver and I had a conversation ;) and we decided what it was we wanted to say and who else would be a great complement to the team. As with the Gilgoy collection, I have listed the types of stones used whenever possible. However, in full disclosure, some of these stones I've had for over fifteen years and I have long since lost the catalogue of what they were. Those stones I do know by name, I will list. Otherwise, I'm on a mission to identify them. Every one of these designs is a unique, one-of-a-kind piece which when put together speaks to a specific collection or theme.
There is one more type of collection that will be developed in 2019 and will become the main focus in the business moving forward. It's created from sustainable materials such as recycled silver and responsibly sourced gemstones. I have chosen to focus on using Argentium silver and reclaimed gold whenever possible. The stones are those that have been mined responsibily and can be traced back in the process to specific mines, and whenever possible to a specific miner or rockhound. I am hoping to grow this type of collection so that by 2020 it will be the most comprehensive part of the entire Gems from Paradise line of designs.
Finally, as well as sustainability, I strongly believe in social enterprise. It's important to me to donate a certain percentage of the profits from each sale to a worthy cause. I have chosen to represent two charities at present. The jewellery made will support AboutFace and Sandy's Socks will support our local SPCA.
In the meantime, feel free to look around at Gems from Paradise!