Today I’m thrilled to share with you some marvelous custom pieces by Toronto-based designer Nadia Werchola along with some of her current newest designs. Myself as a ring-lover, I am obviously a fan of her rings, I truly dig her edgy and raw aesthetic.
Each collection or design begins with a unique gemstone and that’s what makes her work so unique too.
Nadia: “In terms of my background, not only did I study jewelry, but I have a degree in fine arts. I have studied painting, drawing and printmaking and art history. The funny thing is that I never did any sculpture, considering that that is what I do now…make mini, wearable sculpture!”
Nadia on her design process:
“Each piece that I make starts with a stone or stones. This is the most important part for me. I love interesting gemstones and vibrant colors and unexpected combinations of colors.
Usually, I do a few sketches for the client to choose from. I do way more sketches then I send to my clients. The next step is to hand carve or have a model made in CAD. Even if I have a CAD model made, I modify it after it is printed. I like my work to have at least a part of it to be hand done by me. Often the piece changes from the initial sketch to the wax model. Sometimes, things don’t look right in the wax, so I change it! I have been very lucky so far that most of my clients allow me to work the way I need to.”
“The emerald ring -as pictured above- was a commission from a husband to his wife. It was meant to replace her engagement ring that he purchased years ago and didn’t suit her style. He was presenting the emerald ring for their anniversary. It was supposed to be a surprise, but he couldn’t keep it a secret! He wanted something that could “choke a horse”! Those were his words! The emerald is about 4.50ct, so I think he hit his mark! His wife is someone that likes big, bold pieces that are not something that you would see anyone else wearing. The ring was made in 18k white gold with platinum prongs. It includes the emerald and black and white diamonds set both upside-down and normally. His wife totally loved it!”
Up next are pieces from a client who had inherited MANY jewelry piece from her mother and grandmother, which Nadia converted into new designs:
“She came to me with 20-30 separate pieces that we removed all of the stones from and have been working on re-using for the last few years. The first thing we did was to remove all of the stones. We had mostly diamonds, sapphires, garnets
“I then added the extra details in wax myself. The stones are set inverted and some right-side-up. There is
“The necklace for her daughter was a Christmas gift. It is 10k yellow gold with diamonds and amethysts. Again, I made a bunch of sketches and had my client choose. It was then CADed and I added details. The amethysts were set upside-down. This is a piece that is meant to be passed down.”
“This was a piece (charm, pictured above) that my client commissioned to be worn on a very thick gold chain that she had. She didn’t like the chain alone and wanted to dress it up. She had come into the shop (Made You Look) and saw one of my ready-to-wear pendants. She liked it but wanted to use some of her own stones. We took apart the pendant but kept the large
The pieces are made in brass and yellow gold plated to match her chain. She was thrilled with the final result! “
“The pieces that I am working on currently are based around gemstones from my recent trip to the Tucson gem show. As I mentioned before, I love gemstones! The more unusual the stone, cut or color, the better! I have to say, that show was a huge inspiration to me! It was amazing to see so many beautiful things and meet so many lovely people! I plan to make it a yearly trip! “
“Other then stones, I love ancient and antique jewelry. I love the fact that while other things can break or fade, jewelry is passed down from generation to generation. The scratches and dents on old jewelry add to the beauty of it. This may be why I rarely make super smooth and shiny pieces. I like to start out a bit rough I love textures, granulation. I strive to make my pieces bold, but timeless. I like to take a traditional design and make it my own. “
– as told by Nadia
Photo’s and info thanks to Nadia | Edits and collages by MoJ