KENDRA ELIZABETH OF DEEP WINTER JEWELLERY
Tell us what role handmade plays in your life.
When I think of handmade I think of the tiny imperfections that make a piece of jewellery “art”, as opposed to “a product”. Those imperfections, whether intentional or not, are what make the jewel unique. You can feel a piece of the creator within the item.
I first realised the impact handmade can have when my brother and his fiancee asked me to make their wedding bands. Handmade is so much more personal and intimate— it’s just really special.
What is something fun, interesting and/or personal about you and your business?
My business started off in the closet. Literally. The tiny apartment I shared with my boyfriend had a malfunctioning 2nd bathroom the size of a phone-booth. I converted it into a workspace. The sink became a desk. The toilet became makeshift storage. I was constantly setting things up, putting it away, and then resetting for the next task because there wasn’t enough room to have more than one thing running at once. As I learned I collected new tools, and my need for a real space grew. Eventually I was able to get out of there and create a proper studio garage in Toronto’s east end. My new space allows me to flow.
How did you get interested in becoming a maker? What do you love about it?
I’ve always been a tinkerer and an artist. Jewellery making has sort of combined the two. I have experience in sound and graphic design, but wanted to do something that involved my hands and metals. Real, solid things. I took a basic mixed metals class, fell in love with the wax carving and silver process and everything grew from there. I literally get to play with fire! I love that.
What is it that you specialize in within the crafting/handmade goods world?
Custom and handmade silver and gold jewels. For now.
What struggles have you overcome within the world of handmade?
It took me a while to understand the game — the world of selling. Making and selling are two different things. “Pushing product” doesn’t come naturally to me. I would rather just sit in my studio all day, working away. But that’s not how things work in the real world and I’m getting more comfortable with it by the day.
Describe your artistic community. How do you think they see you?
There is an online network of jewellers and makers that I have found through social sites like Instagram, Etsy and Youtube. Since most of my learning is self-taught, this community has been huge in helping me build skills. This is where I ask questions, find links to tutorials and see images that inspire me to keep creating.
I think this community sees me as a fellow silversmith who is happy building my small business and enjoying the dull moments, aches and pains just as much as the high, happy feelings that come with pursuing your passion.
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