It was my friend Tash’s birthday this past weekend, and instead of doing the usual dinner and drinks, she decided that she wanted to do a jewelry workshop. Tash has been a long time fan of the jewelry store Anice, which offers a variety of different jewelry workshops. Anice opened it’s first store in Kensington market, and just recently opened a second location on Ossington, which is where we had our workshop. They are SUCH a good idea for something like a birthday because you get to take something away from the experience and actually learn how to make basic jewelry! I would definitely recommend doing this for a birthday, or even a bachelorette. You can make such beautiful pieces that will last and actually look like they’ve been professionally crafted!
We started off by being introduced to our instructor, Martha, who was a huge help and was able to do a wire wrap in literally seconds! She explained each of the tools to us, and then had us try wire wrapping with some practice chain and beads. We learned the basic wire wrapping technique and the hand positions for how you hold the pliers.
After we learnt a few things, it was time to take a browse around the store and decide what we wanted to make, and which materials we wanted to use. For mine, I knew that I wanted something with turquoise (it is my fav colour after all) and I thought that it would look really nice with a gold chain. I also wanted to add a bit more visual interest, so I chose some very tiny turquoise beads to string on the one side, along with a beautiful pointed oval shaped piece of gold that I strung on the other side of the necklace to give it a bit of an asymmetrical look.
Once we had picked out some materials, Martha had a chat with each of us about what exactly we wanted to do. We then picked our chains, and she had each of us stand in front of a mirror there to gauge the exact length that we wanted our chains to be. For Laura, who made a bracelet, Martha just measured the length of her wrist.
Then the real work started! With guidance from Martha, we all put together our own pieces! There was even another girl, Katie who also works at Anice, and she was able to stamp letters onto Joselyn and Laura’s pieces. We did a number of wire wraps and I was really impressed with how well everyones came out, especially since they provided us with some wine for the workshop ;)
Overall, we were all really happy with what we made, and very proud of ourselves for actually making something that looks like you could have bought it in the store! It was also a great time to sit down and chat, while being productive at the same time. Most importantly though, Tash had a great time and got exactly what she wanted for her birthday :)
Here’s a look at how all of our pieces came out looking:
Tash has wanted a tassel necklace for a long time, and has been looking for one, so the jewelry workshop was the perfect opportunity for her to create a custom one! She was even able to do some wire wraps on the chain and insert some small opals, which are her birthstone. Also, the bead that attaches the chain to the rest of the necklace is an African Trade bead - so cool!
For Laura, she wanted to make a bracelet for herself. She chose some Persian turquoise for the front of the bracelet, and then chose another small turquoise bead for the back. She completed the back by having Katie stamp an “L” onto the small circular plaque that she attached to the back. It came out so cute, and ever so subtly personalized.
We also learned that turquoise ranges in colour based on the location that it originates from, which is why Laura’s is a more green turquoise, and mine is more on the blue side. Ben, our friend and boyfriend to Tash, didn’t want to be left out of the jewel fun, so he attempted to try on Laura’s bracelet as well.
Joselyn also made a necklace, and got it stamped the same way that Laura did. She wanted to get “loved” stamped on the necklace, but they only had the “V” of a larger set of stamps. Joselyn decided to go for it anyways, and I think the resulting word came out really cool looking! It looks more organic and has a more custom look to it that way. She also chose to do some beaded wire wraps along the length of her chain and chose emerald, peridot, opal and clear beads. Her necklace was done with silver hardware and also came out looking oh-so-pretty.
Lastly, for my necklace, I chose to do it in a “Y style” I believe it was called, as I was immediately inspired by a similar necklace that Martha showed us as an example. I ended up trying my necklace on just about when it was done, and found that it was way too short. I was super worried, but Martha was able to fix it literally in a heartbeat by adding some more gold chain using wire wraps and tiny gold beads that matched another portion of my necklace. It came out looking very delicate and turned out to be exactly what I wanted!
Typically, the workshop is 2 hours long, but we went over by about 30 minutes, but they were really cool about it and let us finish our pieces without feeling rushed in the slightest!
After that, we headed back to Tash’s place where Ben had set up the apartment with candles everywhere, along with champagne and the cake that I made. It was the perfect end to the night, and a great way to celebrate a birthday with friends :)