Friday, January 28, 2011

Jewellery maintenance

This week I want to talk about maintaining your jewellery. Every custom piece of jewellery that I make is built to last. I use a slightly heavier gauge of metal in my work and it not only gives the piece a very luxurious feel, but also makes the rings more durable and gives them more longevity. I offer free, yearly maintenance on every piece that I make. What this allows me to do is clean the gems and buff out any scratches, it also allows me to check for any wear and tear issues that could be coming up because of lifestyle or other factors. I find that a little preventative maintenance goes further than trying to solve problems after they happen.
A lot of my clients find that it's a nice anniversary tradition. They come down for a visit, drop off their rings, grab a coffee or lunch in the Distillery and then pick them up 20-30 minutes later all sparkly and polished. I love it as I get to see all the rings that I have made over the years come back, and I get to re-connect with clients and chat. The pictures to the left are of a set that I made a couple of years ago that recently came back for maintenance. With the minor scratches gone and a little clean for the diamond they look as good as the day they said
"I do"

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Distillery must see

For those of you who have never visited my studio, I am located in Toronto's Historic Distillery District - a collection of old Victorian buildings once home of the Gooderham and Worts Distillery, turned into a funky collection of shops, galleries, and restaurants. I consider myself very lucky to work in such an inspirational place, full of artists and creative people. When it first opened in 2003 there was a bit of a touristy feel to the district, but over the last couple of years the area has really come into its own, settling in and starting to feel like a community. With recent additions of new condominiums, there are more and more people calling the Distillery home, helping to foster the neighbourhood feeling.

There is also construction going on right across the street, where they are building the Athlete's Village for the Pan Am Games that Toronto is hosting in 2015. I think the plan after the games is to retrofit the buildings into condos. What that means for me, is that the city and province are fast-tracking a plan to develop the area around the distillery, and that's great news as it will bring more people, and better transit to the area, which is currently most easily accessible by car...

So that's the back-story, but my real intention with this post, and in some future posts, is to tell you about some of my favourite places and things that can be found in the Distillery. Or to put it a different way, the 3-4 things a person should do to have a great Distillery experience. Your first stop should be my studio of course, where you need to come in and get decked out in diamonds and sapphires, I mean positively dripping with gems... once you've done that, your ready for lunch!
Next stop is the Brick Street Bakery for the best sandwich ever made - the "Brick Street Club." Let me set the scene... Warm, marinated chicken breast, thick sliced bacon, chipotle mayo with a hint of spice to it, lettuce, tomato, and red onion on Brick Street's very own chibata buns... This sandwich is so good, I get a little sad when I'm half-way through and I know that it's almost over. Brick Street has a board full of sandwiches (along with breads and sweets) and there are a few close seconds - the Lamb Kofta, and the Boxing Day Sandwiches are amazing in their own right... but the Club goes to eleven on my scale of ten!!!