Thursday, March 1, 2012

Studio METHOD(E) - Made in Canada Series

Here we are with number three of our newly-named Made in Canada Series where we ask our artists, designers and makers to share with us, and you, their stories. We hope this series will let us take a peek into their creative worlds, workshops and processes.
So with no further ado, it gives us great pleasure to let you take a look at the wonderful creations of Studio METHOD(E), a jewellery studio in Quebec City, owned and run by Marie-Hélène Bélanger and Emily Lewis.
Large one of a kind necklace, as shown in our Répétitions show at La Café Bohème
We met while studying at NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, both completing our BFAs and majors in jewellery design and metal-smithing. We realised through several shared projects that aside from being close friends we have a strong affinity for working together, our strengths and weaknesses compliment each other.
Emily’s bench pin, and Marie-Hélène’s bench pin.
One of the advantages we have is that Marie-Hélène is a francophone and Emily is an anglophone (Marie is from Quebec, Emily is originally from Nova Scotia), though we are both essentially bilingual. Being a business based in Quebec City we operate locally in French, but we sell online and in boutiques like Freedom Clothing Collective throughout primarily English speaking Canada.
Emily’s bench and Marie-Hélène’s bench.
Studio METHOD(E) offers workshops, rental spaces and jewellery lines. We specialise in what we call ‘alternative techniques', which are techniques that are generally not included in ‘traditional' metal-smithing. Some are from industry, like basic acid etching and electro-etching, electro-forming and powder-coating. Others are very old, like cuttlefish bone casting and a variety of gravity casting techniques we cover in our garage casting workshop.
Cuttlefish bones, preparing for casting, metal is cast showing the button.
We try to encourage a lot of freedom and exploration in our workshops, which is exactly what we both find so exciting about exploring new techniques. For us, giving workshops isn't just about other people learning from us, but about us all learning from each other and having a good time doing it.
Our rectifier for electro-forming, crucibles & other casting materials, heating metal in a crucible.
Our first line, Circus, uses powder coating. The forms are based off of traditional jewellery, mainly from the Victorian era. We use repetitive shapes and a variety of colours to create fun and lively pieces.
Teardrop stacking earrings in orange and violet.
Large round posts in emerald.
All of the pieces are made from recuperated copper electrical wires which were heading to the garbage. We skin the wire, clean it, draw it down, form and then solder.
Copper jump rings, electrical wire, powder coating powders.
The use of recuperated metals is important to us, the mining industry has a heavy environmental impact and, even though we use some new metals in our limited edition lines, we like to reduce the use of new metal whenever possible.
Bird cage pendants in silver from one of our limited edition lines.
The pieces in Circus are all powder coated. Powder coating is an industrial technique, seen often in the automotive industry. We charge the piece, then shoot it with a fine plastic powder. The piece is then cured in an oven creating a durable plastic layer that can take far more abuse than paint. It also means that our copper pieces do not cause allergic reactions or green stains when worn on the skin.
Teardrop drop earrings in grey and matte black.
We’d like to give a huge thank you to Freedom Clothing Collective for carrying our Circus line, as well as giving us a chance to share our story.


Make sure to like their facebook page to keep up-to-date with all the new goings on at Studio METHOD(E).
 Jump ring rings in a variety of colours.