Her jewelry has great forms and detailed elements.
JEX is based in East Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada where Amanda makes everything by hand.
Q&A with JEX Designer Amanda Jex
MoJ: Tell us about what you do and what you specialize in.
Amanda: I make accessories and jewelry under the JEX label. Everything is made by hand at my studio in Vancouver, Canada. I’d say I specialize in dye techniques and metalsmithing, my preferences being kumo shibori and the ancient lost wax method of casting. I challenge myself to design or create at least one thing a day, it keeps things fresh and the gets the creativity flowing.
What is your process?
Amanda: Firstly, I will decide on a theme, and then begin exploring my world and environment with some basic guidelines as to the feeling I’m trying to convey with the collection. I normally look to my own past for little relics, photographs, diary entries and objects that have had a lasting impression on me or make me feel a certain way. While traveling I’ll also try to find objects that strike me as unique or beautiful within other cultures or things that seem to hold lasting emotive qualities.
Once I’ve sourced a sufficient amount of items & ideas, I attempt to elevate them in such a way that they may evoke these sorts of lasting impressions for others, it kind of snowballs from there. Sketches are translated into carved wax & then cast into a final metal form that I hand finish and detail.
Just like any kid I’d make dried play-dough pendants that then evolved into copper wire sculptures, and fiddling around in my Dad’s work shop provoked him to build me a beading loom. Once I hit the mandatory Sears catalogue age of 9+ I got a rock tumbler… It all just naturally evolved from there.I graduated from a Liberal Arts high school and then went traveling in South America, which really changed my perceptions of what I wanted to do with my life. I felt the need to take my home sewing and jewelry making to the next level, so I decided to move from my home in Edmonton, Alberta to Vancouver where I had been accepted into Vancouver College’s Fashion Arts program. Once I finished that I figured “why pigeon hole myself?” and enrolled into Metalsmithing.Without that initial support from my family and community to get out there and hit the ground running creatively, I couldn’t imagine where I’d be.
It’s been a pretty amazing journey.
What do you want your customers to take away when they buy your pieces?
Amanda: Well, I am fortunate enough to spend my days doing what I love most; giving people a snapshot of the way that I experience the world through my work. I like to think I’m making something that my customers can create a bond with, that act as a sort of personal talisman.
Ultimately, making a lasting impact is my motivation; to make something that isn’t expendable in a disposable world.
Pendulum necklace, one of MoJ’s favorites!
[All photos via hellojex.com / collage by MoJ]