Wednesday, November 17, 2010


The Inuit people still reside on the mysterious and beautiful Baffin Island located in Nunavut, Canada. A haven of natural wonders the island is a playground of sorts with such activities as skiing, kayaking, and viewing polar bears. Canada is also home to featured jewelry designer Stephen Brow.

Though currently feeling the effects of the economic downturn according to the 2009 industry overview of the U.S. Commercial Service, the estimated value of the Canadian jewelry market in 2008 was expected to be $1.7 billion.

Even though overall jewelry sales are down costume jewelry continues to thrive, and Canada has remained one of the world’s leading diamond suppliers providing high-quality, conflict-free diamonds.

Despite the gloom-and-doom of of the global economy, Canadian jewelry designers push onward cultivating an eclectic assortment of jewelry styles from the high-spirited charm jewelry of Laura Goldstein’s mashu mashu brand to the innovative stainless steel work of Karen Konzuk to the imaginative steampunk designs of Daniel Proulx.

A master goldsmith for 32 years, Brow definitely brings a high level of expertise to his craft. The low-key, straightforward look of his website has an almost earnest quality. There is no level of pretense or showiness just a channel to show great work.

Looking through Brow’s image gallery caused me to feel as though I was in his workshop. The jewelry is photographed simply under a soft light and against what appears to be impromptu backgrounds. In my mind, the naturalness of the collection pieces look like they would if you were being given a personal tour of his studio.

His Clown Pendant is a great display of textures punctuated by the rough-hewn details of a “funny face” with wild hair offset with the insinuation of garish clown make-up. His beautifully carved Elephant Pendant looks like it was rendered from buttery, creamy gold custard.

His collections are a wonderful example of old-school craftsmanship possessing that great hand fabricated look: a little imperfect yet very tactile and sensual.
Photo 1 (top right): Emerald and Diamond Pendant
Photo 2 (center): Jade and Flower Brooch
Photo 3 (bottom left): 18-Karat Tri-Color Bracelet
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