Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Alexandra Jay, Goldsmith

We were happy to interview Alexandra Jay of Alex Jay Jewellery at Zahara Jewellery, where she teaches hands on jewellery workshops. A beautiful setting for her to tell us more about herself and her work. Here's what we learned. 

Q: Why did you choose jewellery?
A: Jewellery chose me! I've always loved it - my best birthday ever was my 12th, when I could finally get my ears pierced (I can still picture those sparkly studs!). I already had loads of earrings waiting in the wings as I had been collecting them for years, spending my hard earned babysitting and allowance money on pretty little studs! As I got older, I worked in jewellery stores, learning more about stones, metals and designers while my love continued to grow! I eventually realized that becoming a jewellery designer and goldsmith was a real option for me, so I jumped right in and never looked back!

Q: Where did you learn your craft? 

A: George Brown College in Toronto

Q: List three words that describe you as an artist.
A: Thoughtful, minimal, pragmatic.

Q: What else inspires your work?
A: Classic jewellery and the women in my life inspire my designs.

Q: How do you usually choose materials for your pieces?
A: I’m very practical in that respect: I only use materials that will withstand the test of time. 

Q: What is your most precious tool?
A: My hands. 

Q: If you could invite a few people (living or dead) to your studio for a day, who would you ask and why?
A: Hmm… My first thought is Neko Case. Not just because I'm totally obsessed with her music and would grab any opportunity to meet her, but more so because she's such a part of my studio already: she fills the space with her big voice everyday! When I think more deeply, I would want my grandparents to spend some time chilling in the studio with me. My grandfathers provided a lot of financial support for me throughout school and in the first stages of my business, and my grandmothers inspire my jewellery designs. They all passed away before I set up my own studio, so I would be honored to show them what their help, support and inspiration has amounted to. I'd also just love to see them again, have a tea or vodka soda and share some laughs!

Q: What part of Ottawa and surrounding areas do you call home?
A: Je suis Quebecoise - I am most at home in Hull, Aylmer and on Lac Heney.

Q: As a Canadian Designer, has Canadian culture or environment influenced your work?
A: I’m sure it has, though not consciously. I am most influenced by women I know and love - most of them are Canadian so there must be a link there. 

Q: Describe a technique you use in your work.
A: In my production work I mainly carve models in wax which are then molded so they can be cast multiple times in metal. 

Q: Why is the Ottawa Jewellery Collective important to you?
A: I love community, friends, people, colleagues! The collective is the perfect way to share, learn, grow, and enjoy jewellery together!

Q: What do jewellery and a good party have in common?
A: I wanna be knee deep in both!

Q: Where can we find your work?
A: Zahara Jewellery, Flock, and Workshop Boutique in Ottawa; Kehla Design and Tin Barn Market in Almonte; Bullets and Bones Jewelry Co. Merickville; Freedom Clothing Collective, Toronto; and at alexjay.ca

Connect with Alex Jay on 
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/AlexJayJewellery, Instagram: @alexjayjewellery, Twittter: @ajayjewellery and her website alexjay.ca

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