STANDARDS & PROCESS
When you buy jewelry do you know: where the gemstones come from and how they were mined; the quality of the gemstones; whether the metals are what they say they are; are the metals safe for your ears and skin; was the environment damaged in the making of the jewelry and will the maker provide fair customer service if there is a problem after purchase? Well you can say yes when you purchase from TerrAdore.
My name is Kenna and I am a Lapidarist and Silversmith. I design and create art jewelry based on unusual gemstones that I cut myself. I specialize in local and rare, single-source gemstones of exceptional value and quality. Initially, I mine or source a stone slab, identify, cut, grind and polish a cabochon. Then design and craft a setting, in silver or copper, to enhance the distinct features of the cabochon. I work with traditional techniques and hand-tools to fabricate one-of-a-kind earrings, pendants, bracelets and rings. On occasion I will collaborate with other artists and incorporate ceramics, glass or organic materials into my designs.
- I start with rough rock and mineral material that I have either dug/collected myself, or I will barter or purchase from other local rock collectors/prospectors/miners that I have known and trusted for years.
- I plan out my gemstone design to feature the pattern, colour or other unique features of the stone or based on a request. I then cut, grind and polish the stone into a cabochon. I design the setting to further highlight or enhance each stone. Oftentimes a stone will evoke a particular memory, idea or picture in my mind and then the piece has a story or meaning to me and often the purchaser too. This is why some pieces will have a title, which will be explained in the description.
- I work with various metals, primarily silver and copper. Once I sketch and plan the design, I will use techniques such as: forging (heating metal and forming it with hammers and other hand tools - similar to a Blacksmith); fold forming; etching; fine sawing; piercing; embossing; enameling; metal clay sculpting; and various patinas and texturing processes to craft the setting and complete design. I have studied with Master Goldsmiths from Canada and the U.K., and practiced these methods for many years. Similar to my gemstones, all of my silver chains are from Italy and I only use Sterling silver or Niobium for ear-wires. I seal my copper so that it will not cause any skin discoloration, unless the customer requests raw copper for health reasons. I do not use any metals from Asia due to mysterious alloys, potential hidden toxic materials and poor quality, along with ethical issues and a belief in supporting local economies where possible.
- I recognize that it is not as satisfactory to purchase art jewelry from a website as it is in person where you can try the piece on and feel the textures of the stone and metal against your skin. Clients purchase particular pieces based on an almost instant attraction that with time, develops into a loving attachment to be passed on. When I see customers in person I will often tell them the story of the stone and why I designed the setting the way I did and what, if anything, is the narrative of the piece. I often hear from loyal return customers: "I am not one for wearing jewelry but I love yours and get so many compliments". The story behind the jewelry becomes theirs to tell.
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