Welcome to my Toronto studio!
Compared to working out of my bedroom at my parents’ house (which I did for MANY years), school studios, and my apartment (when I started making jewelry full-time), it feels both more serious and more fun to create here. I can be super focussed; I love it, and I feel really lucky to call it my own.
When you’re working in the studio, what are you ….
Snacking on: Cliff Bars, Goldfish, DIY trail mix, cheese & crackers, apple & peanut butter, chocolate.
Wearing: Oversized dress shirts from my dad and grandfather, lab coat situations, sandals with socks, lots of navy, lately a blazer, and my grandfather’s baseball hat. I am in the process of decorating my fave pink work coat with a pin that says “Courage” and sewing this girl power hankie onto it, given to me by my friend/former boss, which is very meaningful and important. I want to wear it! I need to channel these feelings while working.
Smelling: Most of the time, I open all the windows and breathe in fresh air. I’m a simple gal. But I do love the occasional essential oil blast, beeswax candles, a dash of pine incense, rose & sea buckthorn oils/serums on my face and hands. This is reminding me to replace this candle I love and haven’t had in ages: Feu de Bois by Dyptique! :)
How do you keep the creative mojo flowing?
By listening to music. And playing is key for me; it helps me to access things I haven’t thought about yet. Also making lists, free association, zoning out, and moving… I often get ideas when I have moved away from my work and am biking, on the subway, running, or sitting in the shower. I think walking—and walking away—helps. I need mental space, capacity, and energy to be creative. Finally, keeping the studio organized lets my mojo flow because if I am distracted by loose ends, I have to address those first.
What are your studio rules?
My number one rule is: clean up!!! I am making a lot of dust in here and don’t want to leave that around. I also have safety rules when using machines, like wearing a mask while polishing, gloves, safety glasses, and sound protection when I’m cutting on the saw. I always answer important emails in the morning, when my brain is most fresh. And I try to finish one thing before starting something else.
Show us some special items or decorations.
Books: examples of inspiring art and design, or just sentimental stuff. Found objects and scraps of old material: building blocks for playing with shape/form/function. Written messages: idea lists, or this “tout est possible” (anything is possible) message that I was lucky to find. They’re inspiring because they help you continue on and believe there is more to come—or even that things have come before. My Glo Ball & colourful lights for light therapy. A picture of me doing a headstand at a family seder when I was a kid, to remind me of who I am. LOL. A note taped to the wall from my dad that says, “I <3 u!” A pic of my mom from when she modelled for me.
Favourite spot in the studio:
I like to look out the window at sunrise. It’s the best, seeing all the different shades of blue—my fave colour, if I had to choose one—then sometimes a gorgeous pink and orange sunrise, and then golden light that comes into the studio and lights everything up in a special way. It just feels very quiet and calm and soothing.
How did you find the space?
Through divine intervention! I was talking to a fellow designer/maker on the phone for the first time for advice, and I mentioned that I was looking for a space. She actually knew of one for me, in her partner’s shared industrial unit. It was pretty random and perfect timing! I’m really glad it worked out. :)
Fun(ny?) memory from the studio?
Making alien jewelry samples for a certain space TV show.
What’s just outside the door?
Other artists/designers/makers working away! Next to my building is this scrapyard/car fix-up situation, and I like to look at it because there are many scrap materials that are looking prettttty fine. I like industrial vibes because it reminds me of building things, how things are made, simpler times. I am OBSESSED with the rail path which is about a ten minute walk from my studio. It’s a gorgeous walk along the train track getting you from one point of the city to another, with the best wildflowers, interesting buildings, and graffiti which is fun to watch unfold since it’s constantly changing. It’s a treat. It also smells like a treat because the Nestle factory is right there.