All that glitters isn't only found in Canada's more obvious fashion destinations. Though usually closely associated with fibre-based arts, Nova Scotia's fine and contemporary jewellery scene is thriving thanks to organizations such as the Nova Scotia Centre for Craft and Design and the province's acclaimed Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD).
Graduates of the latter's Jewellery and Metalsmithing program include Parris Gordon, one half of the buzzy fashion brand Beaufille, and Dorothée Rosen. Rosen's designs, which often incorporate precious stones such as sapphire and garnet, are examples of the unique offerings from the province's community of jewellery makers. "There are a number of studio jewellers settling in the area and there is a feeling of something growing here," says Pamela Ritchie, a professor at the college.
NSCAD's Starfish Student Awards event, on April 20, will feature the work of ten student designers in various disciplines including jewellery; one student will win $5,000 for their entry and the piece will become part of the university's permanent collection. "We have a level of study called studio practice," says Ritchie. "It's here where our students find their own vocabulary that allows them to build a body of work that is unique."
Halifax isn't only home to up-and-coming makers. Founded in 1977, Fireworks Gallery, located near the city's Citadel, showcases custom work created by its in-house design team, and also that of artists including Lynda Constantine who works from a studio on the south shore of Nova Scotia. "Most artists may have to sell their work in many cities, not just Halifax," says Ritchie. "But the fact that there is a core group of artists choosing to stay is exciting."
For more information on NSCAD's event, visit www.nscad.ca.