Thursday, April 05, 2012
The Artisan Group is proud to announce this week's Artist Spotlight Feature is Nathalie Girard of NG Originals!
We caught up with Nathalie and asked her a few questions about her stunning jewelry line, and her experiences so far working with TAG. Here's what she said:
- Tell us a little bit about your shoppe. I'm primarily a metalsmith and I create limited edition as well as one of a kind wearable pieces of art. I use various creative techniques to hand-make the components for my jewelry, from traditional smithing to using recycled fine silver in the form of Precious Metal Clay, and enamelling. I only use lead-free glass enamels, and I run a green studio as I recycle and/or upcycle all materials so nothing ever goes to waste. I also enjoy doing wire wrapped and chainmaille jewelry for something that is more portable, like while sitting in the backyard with my dogs on a sunny day, or while away on a road trip.
Using a wide range of techniques allows me to create unique components to suit the needs for my designs. I have a large inventory of supplies which allows me to let my creativity roam free. From time to time, I still use a few commercially-made jewelry components but that's only because I have those parts already in my inventory from when I started making jewelry, and I'm trying to use them up.
Over the years, I've dreamed up many jewelry designs, well before I started making jewelry, and I soon realized that the only way to really make my visions come true was to learn fabrication techniques, so I've taught myself traditional metalsmithing techniques, and metal clay handling as well as enamelling. I also took a local class to learn lampworking (the making of artisan glass beads), this way, I when I have a specific design idea in mind, or when a customer wants a specific custom design, I pretty much have most of the knowledge and tools to make it become reality. I like having this kind of creative freedom.
- What is your favorite piece from your shoppe and why? I have a few favourite pieces, but The Reef (necklace) stands out for me because it combines most of the techniques that I enjoy using when creating my jewelry designs: metalsmithing in the cold forged stick-links and fused fine silver oval links that make up the chain, PMC3 – Precious Metal Clay/recycled fine silver in the creation of the focal/pendant, and enamels in the pendant. I actually designed that particular necklace in my mind over 10 years ago when I lived in the Caribbean. I was not making any jewelry back then, but the design came together in my brain and it stayed in my mind all this time, waiting for the right time to come to reality. And, once I learned the necessary metal techniques and felt comfortable with my knowledge, I created the piece I had envisioned back then. That felt very empowering to me.
- When you're not handcrafting your gorgeous jewelry line, what are your hobbies? Oh boy, where to start... I think I have some type of addiction to doing things. I don't stop… OK, let's see: My first love... Cooking – I love to cook most everything from scratch, I wish I could have my own cooking show :), watching cooking shows (ha!), snuggling up with my dogs on the couch to watch movies, graphic design, photography, reading, gardening – I grow organic vegetables and fruits in my backyard, hiking/outdoors activities, kickboxing, weight lifting, and traveling. I don't have enough time to do everything, but when I can, I also enjoy knitting and doing paper crafts. When I have access to a lake or the beach: snorkelling, sailing, canoeing, fishing, beach-combing, body boarding, etc.
- What do you like best about The Artisan Group? The tremendous amount of peer support. Everyone is really dedicated to their business and very knowledgable. The combined wealth of knowledge that is available in the group is mind-blowing. Whether someone has a business question or needs feedback on the revamping of their branding, etc, there's always members available to answer and brainstorm solutions, etc. It's a top-notch group of very talented artisans. It's great to be part of such a fantastic and positive group!
The Artisan Group is an elite collective of artists who gift their handcrafted products to celebrities at Hollywood's top gift lounges.