Sunday, September 26, 2010

The many faces of 2010

2010 has been a year of dramatic natural events. Tuned to the media, I watched in disbelief as disaster after natural disaster unfolded as the year went by. To name but a few, there were earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, and China, a volcano eruption in Iceland, and recently, floods in Pakistan and India.

As video images of the disaster flickered across the screen and replayed themselves through my mind, I found myself deeply moved by the events. I asked myself if humans were in some way responsible for triggering this series of natural disasters. I wanted to do something, but what? I’m not a search and rescue specialist, a doctor or a billionaire, though; I’m a jeweler. So I did what jewelers do best. My first piece was a raging volcano pendant cast from silver, with a deep red coral seam and burning embers of red garnet, hung from natural wool. I next fashioned a baby volcano pendant, silver with agate and red coral, and finally, earrings made from concentric bands of hammered silver rotating around a red coral nugget that represents the heart of an eruption.

Is it right for me to say that I was “inspired” by these events? I prefer to think that I was struck by the devastation and loss of life. Through the medium of jewellery, I created works that are intended to serve as reminders to people about the dangers of human interference in nature. It was easier for me to experience nature as a child than it is for children today. I want to remind current generations to preserve nature so that the next generations will be able to experience it as I did.

To see these works and more, please come to RED, our upcoming group exhibition.

Young Kyoung Ko

Monday, September 20, 2010

A departure

As most of you know, I am usually busy making brightly coloured designs during my studio time. I usually look to marine animals, textures in nature and anything living (including the smallest of cells) for my work. I've been hoping to get back into this and revamp some designs and ideas I had started while still at NSCAD. I'm thinking sea monsters, predators and unusual specimens will inspire the body of work. I develop for an upcoming invitational exhibition I am to be part of next April. Although I will still be working on production pieces, I want to spend more time on developing a strong body of artwork for my own conceptual and artistic development, something I feel I haven't had much time to do since being in school. I make jewellery because I love to explore and to make unusual things to spark interest, and I am looking forward to taking the time to make some solid new work.

Speaking of new work, the month of August and September took a new turn when a friend's brother asked me to design and make him a wedding band. The design was fairly simple, but I knew it would be a challenge right from the get-go. I was stepping out of my usual comfort zone of choice materials (usually enamel, copper and sterling silver) for once to try for the first time
a) working in gold
b) working in wood
c) a tight schedule

The saga began with a trip to Burlington to go to the Exotic Wood store where several very knowledgable employees helped us choose the appropriate wood, which was a beautiful variety of rosewood called "Cocobolo". Of course it had to be the size of a table leg which I would then handcut the perfect little piece out of to incorporate into our white gold ring design.
Many hours and a few cracked wood ring "tests' later, the results. I am so happy with this ring and so was he! And dare I mention I look forward to working in gold again in the near future? 

And on a final note. I am pleased to have found a little used enamel kiln to start adding to my collection of equipment. It's always good to pounce on a craigslist opportunity like this when it comes up, because you never know if you will find a good deal like it again. So this is my new used kiln.  For now I'm keeping it at home until I can install a thermometer on it and fix a cracked firebrick inside, but I am very excited to at least have my very own. Next step will be finding a torch I suppose.

Thanks for reading!


Friday, September 10, 2010


"Red" is approaching! I hope everyone is as exciting as I am. You will see a lot of unique contemporary jewellery art. Here are important dates and location for you guys.
The first exhibition will take place in Distill Gallery, 55 Mill Street, Toronto starting from Sept 29th to Oct. 17th 2010. We will have an open reception in 18 Karat, 275 Dundas Street West, Toronto on Oct. 25th to Nov. 6th 2010. Everyone is invited and bring your friends. This is a good chance to meet the artists! Next, Pearson Gallery, Toronto International Airport, Nov. 23rd to Mar 31.
In the end of the September, Jewel Envy will participate in Culture Days from the Friday Sept. 24 to Sunday Sept. 26. Please come in to visit our studio and experience metal art with us.

ChiaChien Tsai

Monday, September 6, 2010

Red Show Process

The time for Red show is getting closer. I'm plannig to have 3 pieces. The ring is done and I am still working on a big necklace and a bracelet.

Work in process

All the little round discs for the necklace are ready to enamel. Still there is a lot more steps before it will be ready. 

:) Efrat