Meet the Crafters: Sheena Jewellery

November 27, 2018 | Halifax Crafters Society

We have an incredible line up of jewelers at the winter show this year. Sheena Purcell, the owner of Sheena Jewellery, will be there with stunning pieces bound to catch your eye! Sheena is originally from Cape Breton, but now lives in Montreal. She is making the trek to Halifax this weekend to return to our show (she was last here in 2015). Make sure to stop and chat with her this weekend! Not only does Sheena have incredible jewelry, but she also dances Cuban Salsa and works as a doula on the side, so she’s a full package of awesomeness you’re going to want to meet!

Tell us what you make.

I make jewelry using antique and vintage lace that I collect from around the world that are cast in silver, gold and bronze. I also make wedding and engagement rings.

Tell us about your process.

It all starts with sourcing the lace. I go to Israel every few years and go to a lot of antique markets, which are a great place to buy old lace because of the cultural diversity. A lot that I find was originally handmade in Russia or eastern Europe. Only certain types work well for casting but I only need a small piece to get a good texture or shape. I cut, shape and cast it, and then polish and finish each piece. When I am making custom wedding projects, I do a lot of wax carving. All of my wedding rings are hand carved in wax and hand engraved inside. I like being able to make thicker wedding rings that have a decent weight to them, I can create a lot of beautiful textures in the finish by using wax to start with.

What inspires you most for your creative process?

Knowing that these bits of lace that I use each hold their own story and history, and thinking of the hands that made them or the people that carried them over countries and seas. I get to immortalize that history in metal, completely transforming it into something modern and elegant. It’s all very inspiring!

How long have you been making this body of work and How did you learn your craft?

I studied jewelry design and metalsmithing at NSCAD, I graduated in 2004. After university, I went to live in Japan for a few years and I set up a studio to make jewelry part time. After I moved to Montreal I continued to work part time for a few years, but I have been running my business full time for seven years now.

What does a typical studio day look like?

I have a small studio in my basement so I don’t have to go far to work. I have three boys that I have to get ready for school in the morning so once they are out the door at 7am I start with a coffee and catching up on emails and social media. If I have orders, I work on them first and then I work on pieces for shows or the shops I sell in. At the end of the day I prepare packages to ship and go to the post office. I finish work around 4 pm.

Is there anything else you want people to know about your work?

I love a pretty piece of jewelry but I really want my work to be good quality and a practical design too, so that means no parts that poke out and hook on everything . I want my jewelry to be able to be worn for years, so I offer a lifetime warranty. If it breaks at some point, send it back to me and I will fix it for free.

Amazing! We can’t wait to see all of Sheena’s work this coming weekend at the show! Check her out on instagram and facebook @sheenajewellery