Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Feature: Darlene Martin of Bijouxbead

Darlene Martin is very talented and disciplined and it shows in her work, which is both unique and stunning. The necklace on the left here is titled, "Myrrh".

Darlene’s jewelry features materials such as handmade lampwork glass, handmade fine silver clasps, or semi precious stones. She gets a lot of press, including a full half hour feature on a television series about entrepreneurs. She was awarded a full scholarship at the Queen's University Executive Business School, and she was recently nominated for an Entrepreneur of the Year award in Canada.

Here is a link to Darlene’s Etsy store, Bijouxbead: http://www.bijouxbead.etsy.com/

"National Treasury Collection- Ontario"

I interviewed Darlene:

Aunt Jane: What inspirations do you have for your jewelry?

Darlene: My muse is Canada; its nature, its people, its inimitability, and the horizontal links between them. My work has a distinct aesthetic that draws from several different mediums -be it glass, metal or stone. To feel the warmth that transfers from your body to these natural elements is what first inspired me to urge people to "feel what you wear, wear what you feel". As my handmade collection of necklaces, bracelets and earrings develops, so too does my passion for incorporating Canadian-ness into my work.

Aunt Jane: Do you listen to music while you are creating, and if so what music?

Darlene: I prefer complete silence when I am working. That way, I can focus 100% on it. The tactile and visual stimulation is what brings about the titles of each piece; three hours with nothing but the piece on my mind and in my hands is what helps me come up with these titles and very good reasons for them. It reminds me of defending a thesis; I love it when customers ask me to elaborate.

Aunt Jane: What materials do you like to work with?

Darlene: I work exclusively with glass, metal and stone. I have always purchased my materials in person; and all of my suppliers are Canadian.

I asked Darlene to elaborate some more:

"Being a Canadian triple gold figure skating medalist, skating has always been big part of my life. It was a big change for me to hang up my skates after 34 years of identifying myself that way. I feel Bijouxbead has allowed me to keep the discipline and artistry pieces of my skating identity and move them forward in a new and challenging direction.

My Etsy shoppe was born of the necessity to have some kind of on line presence, although I have no expectations to sell a lot of my work there. I do enjoy the Etsy community, and have gained a wealth of knowledge from them in a very short period of time. But my work is tactile, and no matter how well I present it online, it just isn't the same as touching it. When Bijouxbead is spoken about in the media, the web activity skyrockets; and then the sales spike at the galleries, in that order. I don't think that will ever change."

"Window To My Heart"

"Have My Eyes On You"

To learn more visit Darlene’s main website: http://www.bijouxbead.com/

Next television appearance: The Slice Network, November 3, 2008 2:00pm ET.

Darlene's next exhibition will be running from November 13 through November 27 at a high end gallery in Toronto.