Vancouver Fashion Week 2010

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It was my second time at the Vancouver Fashion Week. I definitely was prepared much better. I had more time to make an exquisite collection, to find models and a photographer.

My new collection is devoted to the mystery of a dark forest and how ones imagination interprets these complex mysteries when it is placed in this enigmatic environment.

The colors evoke and extenuate a romantic mood: black, aged gold and shadowy brown. Bright blue, fuchsia and crystals are rarely seen together, like two hummingbirds or that first ray of light from a rising sun.

Dramatic combinations of metals and stones emphasize the essence of this new collection:

tarnished copper, antiqued brass, polished silver,
black onyx, shimmering black pearls and auroral crystals. Elegant black lace and hand-crocheted black wire netting provides a sense that the forest is about to unveil its magical wonders.

This image-evoking jewelry, which is both unique and eclectic, is created from airy webbing, metal fringe and bold elements. Necklaces and bracelets are layered, multi-chained, and feminine. Oversized earrings match the theatrics of the other pieces and complete this sophisticated statement.

I would like to thank the coordinators of the Vancouver Fashion Week for giving me an opportunity to participate in this internationally recognized fashion event. For 10 years now VFW has been showcasing emerging as well as established designers. This support brought a respectable reputation to VFW and a global interest from influential consumers and industry professionals. I am honored to be a part of this world-class show.

Vancouver Fashion Week was a great experience for me. Participating in a well organised world-class show is an inspiration on its own. Also, it helps to promote an emerging designer like myself by providing good reason to contact new buyers, and creating exposure through the press and online presence. It also gives existent clients one more reason to be proud of buying my product.

Natalia Khon,
Canadian Jewellery Designer

Pictures are made by Keith Walters

More pictures >>>

Turquoise locket

Saturday, December 25, 2010

This order came unexpectedly. A customer brought a ring and wanted to have a locket made to mach the ring’s design. He chose a stone that replicated the shape of the stone in the ring… I realized that the locket needed to be quite big… Though all other design decisions were left for me and I could use all the creativity I wished.

I really enjoyed making this custom work. An order like this is a gift for an artist. And I really hope that the girl who has received it for Christmas 2010 liked it too. I wish I could see her face… but this is not my privilege. Who knows, maybe I will get to meet her one day… I will be very happy see her wearing the locket.

Upcoming Christmas Fairs and Exhibits, 2010

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Vancouver Fashion Week, Vancouver, 3rd to 7th of November.

Creative Treasures, 10379 Ladner Trunk Road (East Delta Hall), Delta, 10th to 13th of November.

FAB FAIR, a jewelry and accessories show, Heritage Hall (3102 Main St @ 15th), Vancouver, 20th & 21st of November.

Portobello West , Rocky Mountaineer Station, 1755 Cottrell Street, Vancouver, 4th & 5th of December.

Women's Winter Faire, Heritage Hall (3102 Main St @ 15th), Vancouver, 18th and 19th of December.

Designer of the day. The Province.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Photo session!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

More pictures from Kiev Bead Festival 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

International Festival "Magic Beads 2010"

Monday, September 6, 2010

I would like to keep this event in my memory... It was a fantastic event... that I missed, alas. It took place in Ukraine and was coordinated by Yurij Shumanskij, the owner of a magazine devoted to the art of beaded jewellery called "Modnyj".

He invited three designers out of the founders of the International Association of Designers "Art-Biser" to be part of a jury. And yes, I have something to do with it, as I am among its founders too.

No way I could join the event (though a couple of people actually came from the USA to be part of jury), but I was lucky to participate in the discussions of the jury girls: Irina Belinskaya, Albina Plyanskaya and Anjelica Susoenkova. It was interesting to look at the Festival from inside, even being a half a planet away from it!

Here are a few pictures that I borrowed from Y.Shumanskij web-site:

1) In this picture you may see (left to right): I.Belinskaya (President of the International Association "Art-Biser"), A.Susoenkova, A.Polyanskaya and S.Bacileva:

2) Irina's necklace is something, isn't it? By the way, the red roses at the top of this page are made by her also:

3) S.Bacileva is teaching a free of charge (as one of the the sponsors of the "Art-Biser" association) lesson of kniting with beads:

4) This is a displey of the Internation Association "Art-Biser":

5) Models wearing jury girls' jewellery:

6) The outfit made by S.Bacileva that got the first prize:

7) Famous I.Belinskaya's necklace (thinking how to translate the name... maybe as a "Russian Phoenix" or "Fire-bird" - it is from a fairy-tale):

8) Ankars necklace made by Rina Stepnaya (one more founder of the "Art-Biser" association):

9) Necklace made by A.Polyanskaya:

I hope you enjoyed reading this report as much as I was enjoing writing it!

Natalia Khon,

Canadian Jewellery Designer.

Glass As Art (Roundhouse)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

There is going to be a very nice installation at the Roundhouse. A very large piece of art that a few artists got together to create. It is made of glass, metal and beads (and maybe something else too!).

Megan Parks, one of the artists and a friend of mine gave me this invitation with the schedule for the opening and exhibit. I think, many other people would appreciate seeing it. You do not need this invitation to go to any of these events listed.

I will go for sure!

This is how the tourists can see Vancouver city

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Autumn classes, 2010

Thursday, August 12, 2010

There is a new schedule at the MG for September and October!

These are the classes that I will be teaching there:

* Beginner Silversmithing course 8-week course, October 6 to November 24, 2010. Time: from 6.30 to 9.30 pm. Price $185.00 + tax.
(We make a pendant with a stone and a ring with a stone at this class)

* Advanced Silversmithing course 8-week course, September 7 to October 26, 2010. Time: from 6.30 to 9.30 pm. Price $195.00 + tax.
(Two main projects are: a hollow ring or a pendant and a free-shaped stone with sharp corners)

* 3D Surface Embellishments: Reticulation and Granulation 1-Saturdays class, September 11. Time: from 11 am to 5 pm. Price $95.00 + tax.
(This is a 2-day class usually, but shortened as scheduled at the last moment)

* Decorative clasps 3-day course, (3 Saturdays), October 2 to October 23, 2010. Time: from 11 am to 5 pm. Price $195.00 + tax.
(Advanced silversmithing skills are required for this class)

* Engraving 7-week course, running on Tuesday nights, November 9 to December 21, 2010. Time: from 6.30 to 9.30 pm. Price $175.00 + tax.
(No previous skills are required for this course)

* Chain Making (soldering techniques) One weekend class, September 18 & 19. Time: from 11 am to 5 pm. Price $150.00 + tax.
(No previous skills are required for this course)

To see the descriptions for the classes and the pictures visit the class page at my web-site:

My crazy pendant

Sunday, July 25, 2010

It is hard to say now how I have come up with the idea. I had this reticulated circle with the cz stones in it from my reticulation class. Small 3D elements seemed to be fun to use and I wanted to try them out some day. Also, there was a beginner class coming, where I was supposed to show a cabochon stone setting. A piece of copper had a funny edge from piercing something (who would remember now what was it?)....

I placed the elements, cut out another edge and used it for the stone setting demo in July, 2010.

When it was done, I thought it was crazy enough for somebody to actually buy it. Arnold Mikelson Festival of Arts was coming... "I will take it with me", - I told my husband.
- Nobody will buy it! How many of those have you made?
- Just one. It is nice... Why do you think nobody would want it?
- Ok, if you sell it, I will eat my.... (he thought for a few seconds about it).... I will eat my words!

He turned around and left the room, laughing. I ran after him and kept asking: "What??? What will you eat??? Eat you shirt! Eat your shoes! Do not it your words!"

He stopped and turned around. "Ok, if somebody buys it, I will take you to a nice restaurant!"
- This will work... I will eat a lobster there and you will eat your words!

After all this a piece had to be sold! And it was! Another artist bought it at the Art Festival. She asked to add the second silver dish with a stone and change the way it was hanging. She put it on her beautiful strand of gem beads... and the pendant turned into a perfect necklace! And it was perfect on her.

That was one of those experiences that remind me why I make jewellery. I will be smiling every time I think of that piece and its new lovely owner.

Does a big stone always mean "beautiful"? (5 of 5)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Finally, the size of your gem is also very important when you are evaluating it. Big crystals are rare, therefore, expensive. No woman will stay indifferent when imagines a big diamond in her wedding ring. Also, normally very pale stones (such as aquamarine) get more pronounced and deep colour when they are bigger. This is why the price per carat is higher for the bigger gems.

However, there are exceptions from this "size rule". If a precious stone has a very dark color, then the bigger it is, the darker the color is. For example, a dark-green tourmaline or a dark-blue sapphire will appear almost black. Therefore, the price per carat for such stones is not going to be great.

It is very important that the colured stones have a cut, that is the best for their size, so the colour is shown the best.

I hope, that this article helped you to look at your favourite gem from a new point of view. Use this knowledge (if it is new for you) to wisely choose a piece of jewellery with a stone for your dear people and friends.

Maria Roudakova
A jeweller from Switzerland


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Bauhaus is an art movement that was popular 1919 to 1933 in Germany. The idea was to bring together arts and mass produced goods that needed to be functional, affordable and good looking. As a result, Bauhaus style was applied mostly to interior design, furniture, industrial design and architecture.

There was a parallel movement Vkhutemas in Russia. It was a larger school, though less known outside of the Soviet Union. The ideas of Bauhaus were so influential, that we can see the results of that study till now days: buildings, furniture and appliances often have Bauhaus design that is very geometrical, simple and modern looking.

Very few pieces of jewellery made in Bauhaus design can be found. Of course, as jewellery design students we needed to get enough inspiration from industrial designs to come up with a piece of wearable art!

We watched a video and went to a library. We went through books that had visual art pictures and architecture… As always during such projects I was very excited to see other students’ works. Though learning together and constantly communicating we managed to come up with so different jewellery designs, I was always amazed!

Once, a friend of mine looked at this picture of my project and said that she liked that “key”. It was too late… it was a couple years after my graduation… Too bad, I did not make that piece into a key. That would be the exact reflection of what a Bauhaus piece of jewellery should be… something functional, yet good looking! There would be even better feedback from my teacher too… :)

How much does fashion and rareness of a stone influence its price? (4 of 5)

Friday, June 11, 2010

So, what else can make your stone attractive? Often we are intrigued by something that is not that beautiful or useful, but because it is rare. Especially if we speak of rare gems.

Synthetic emerald or ruby has the same chemical and physical characteristics as those of a natural stone. Its color and clarity is much better than those of the most of the natural stones. However, any perfect synthetic stone is much cheaper than any imperfect ingenious gem, because we can get as many of the synthetics in a lab as we like.

The thought that the mother nature needed centuries to create your natural stone (and an accident brought it to you) influences the wish to have it and therefore the price goes up.

Is your stone one of a kind? If not, maybe you have any dear memories that you recall every time you look at it? Is it given to you by a dear person? All that is very individual, but it influences the real price. This is why a piece of jewellery pre-owned by a famous person (or made by a famous jeweller) costs more, than a visually equal piece of jewellery that does not have a history behind it.

What else influences the price of a gem? Fashion. Though this is a temporary variable in the price. Whatever has been in fashion yesterday is going to be forgotten tomorrow. Only few gems are practically not touched by the fashion dictate. You can guess, that they are diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds.

Some time ago pearls were rare enough to be beyond fashion. Now the pearls are cultivated and became an "ordinary" gem.

Here is another sample of how fashion influences the price. Opaque black crystals of carbonado were used for rock drills, saws and other industrial purposes, until... somebody has made them fashionable. So, now it is being put into the most expensive pieces of jewellery together with the timeless gems.

One one small note. You probably have your own style. Do you choose your gems so they go with your style and not just for the stones that are in fashion? Remember, that your jewellery should go with your style and the places you wear them to. The proper use of your jewellery adds to its attraction and therefore to the price.

Maria Roudakova
A jeweller from Switzerland

Why it is important to know about the hardness of your stone (3 of 5)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Another important characteristic of a precious gem stone is durability. How hard and how tough is your stone? Often people think that these words are the same characteristic of durability of a stone. It is wrong.

For example, diamond is the hardest stone on the Earth. Though, it can cleave. Opposite, jade can be easily scratched, but you cannot split it.

By the way, all the minerals can be ranged in an order by their hardness. The Austrian mineralogist Friedrich Mohs has created the scale of hardness. He selected 10 common and easily obtained minerals, with quite distinctive hardness, as the comparison minerals. The harder a mineral is, the higher number it has in the scale. A harder mineral can scratch a softer mineral.

1- Talc (can be crushed with a finger nail)
2- Gypsum (can be scratched with a finger nail)
3- Calcite (can be scratched with a copper coin)
4- Fluorite (can be easily scratched with a knife)
5- Apatite (can be scratched with a knife)
6- Orthoclase feldspar (can be scratched with a file)
7- Quartz (can scratch glass)
8- Topaz
9- Corundum
10- Diamond

This is only an order of hardness, but the scale does not show how much one mineral is harder than another. Nevertheless, it is very useful to know about the hardness of your stone.

It is considered that only the gem stones with the hardness 7 or higher can be called precious, because they are durable. You might think that this is not the rule anymore in our century of plastic and other jewellery made of disposable materials, but the hardness keeps influencing the prices of the gems. Therefore, the amethyst (with its hardness 7, as it is quartz) is going always be more expensive than the violet fluorite that looks practically the same (except its hardness is 4).

Consider the hardness when you are trying to keep your gem stone jewellery in a perfect condition. Put the jewellery pieces with the gems of different hardness into the separate boxes or the harder gems will scratch the softer stones.

Maria Roudakova
A jeweller from Switzerland


Monday, May 24, 2010

Granulation is a jewelry making technique used for decorating surfaces of gold and silver jewelry. Granules are small spheres of the same metal as the pieces of jewelry, and they are attached to (preferably) pure gold or silver.

The process of attaching granules is so old that different sources ascribe it to different civilizations, such as Etruscan, Sumerian and Egyptian. It is believed that the first samples were found in Mesopotamia in the third millennium BC, and work of later dates has been found in Anatolia, Syria, Egypt, Cyprus, and Mycenaean Greece.

Sumerians were improving the technique in 2500 BC. Although granulation might have first been used by the Sumerians, it was the Etruscan who truly developed the technique' possibilities. The Etruscans really excelled in granulation. Not only was it used in the formation of patterns, but also to illustrate entire scenes.

Nevertheless, when we mention granulation we think of Egypt. Why does this happen? There is no mystery in it. Egypt produced 80% of the world gold output in ancient times. They colonized Nubia for its gold and invented mining. By the 2nd half of the 3rd millennium BC Egypt was circulating gold rings of standard weights as money. The Middle Kingdom, 2040-1730BC, marks a high point in the art of the Egyptian jeweler. Chasing, repousse, inlaying in cloisonne and granulation were used.

This is one of the most ancient techniques in jewelery history, but it has been considered modern at different times. It is modern again. These days when hand made accessories are thought after granulated jewelery is considered the top of the line. It cannot be faked. It is always one-of-a-kind. It is contemporary in design and historical in technique, making it timeless and forever fashionable.

Natalia Khon

Jewelry Designer Blog. Jewelry by Natalia Khon. Design by Pocket