Do you have a treasured jewellery piece gathering dust at home in a drawer? Perhaps a piece that belonged to mom or grandma or a favourite aunt? It means so much to you but it’s in bad repair, or is a very a dated style, so it has been relegated to an out of the way spot. Sadly it’s a lost connection that only touches your heart when you happen to notice it when looking for something else.
Repurposing jewellery is something that comes natural to Caledon’s Joan Hamilton. Although educated and trained in the profession Joan’s real inspiration came from her own mom. “She would seek out quirky treasures in shops and then repurpose them” she explains. “I think my love of creating started then.”
Joan Hamilton is a Goldsmith and Jewellery Designer who, after working in the industry for over 20 years, moved beyond her former retail shop in Roncesvalles in Toronto and relocated in 2012 to a quiet, scenic part of Caledon.
“My husband and I are very happy here” she smiles. “We love the calmness of it.”
The talented artist received her formal training at George Brown’s Casa Loma Campus. “They have an excellent 3-year Jewellery Arts Program where you learn all aspects of jewellery-making” Joan explains. “Initially working with base metals and progressing to gold and other precious metals and gemstones”.
Of course it takes time and commitment beyond the training to practice and hone your skills and develop your own style. And Joan did just that. And her hard work, education and natural passion paid off.
“I have some lines that I do for stores and galleries such as the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) and the Art Gallery of Hamilton (AGH) but I find that more and more I am leaning to doing custom work. I consider myself a portable jeweller; I can go to clients rather than them come to me, if that’s what they prefer. I can source specific materials and stones for them and create, or recreate from family pieces, custom one-of-a-kinds that will be loved forever, often becoming family heirlooms” she says proudly.
Joan has created wedding bands, engagement rings, pieces for special gifts like anniversaries and birthdays, and as much as she works with diamonds, she really enjoys coloured stones as well. She admits to loving the opportunity to create jewellery that borders on the exotic and unique.
Whether you are seeking jewellery designed from difficult-to-source materials, or want to breath exciting new life into that family memory in the drawer, Joan Hamilton just may be that golden opportunity.