Can you tell us a bit about your creation process?
Lisa Maxwell Jewelry is hand-crafted in our Toronto studio which is located near Mount Pleasant and Eglinton. Below is the creation process I follow for each piece:
Step One: Design
My creation process begins with intuitively choosing a healing crystal that inspires me. I look for crystals that have a high aesthetic quality and also contain healing properties that resonate with the specific piece I am creating. I also make sure that the crystals I choose will be cohesive within the entire Lisa Maxwell Jewelry Collection.
Next, I decide on what type of piece I will be making (necklace, bracelet, etc). After that, I choose the type of precious metal that is best suited to match the stone. For example, vibrant gemstones like emerald or citrine pair well with gold as they are both complementary warm tones.
Step Two: Selection
Next is the process of procuring crystals to make the piece. Whenever possible, myself or a member of my team visits our suppliers in person to hand-select the highest grade stones available. Although this can be a time-consuming process, it helps us to create a more refined finished product. We also choose metals that are high quality. All of the silver we work with is sterling silver. We use mostly 14-karat gold-filled along with some 14-karat gold filled over sterling silver. It is very important that the metals are hypoallergenic, nickel-free, non-tarnish and suitable for sensitive skin. Our chains and metal components are always checked for quality and durability.
Manufacturing Before beginning the manufacturing of each piece, we set up all of the component parts that we will need to complete it. Necklaces require certain stones, metal accents, and component parts, along with the chain used to hold them together. Bracelets often need the same parts, or a durable stretch cord if we are making a beaded stretch bracelet. Earrings are a simpler process, as they use only a few gemstones per piece and only a couple of metal parts. During this process, we are attuned to sizing, making sure each component meets the specific size and scale requirements. We use specific tools for each piece: needle-nosed pliers, chain-nosed pliers, wire cutters, crimping pliers are among the tools we use most often.
Step Four: Quality Control
During the manufacturing process, my team and I are constantly checking the quality of each piece as we make them. Once a piece is finished, we give it a final appraisal to ensure its quality is impeccable. We give the piece a final polish and then set it aside to be packaged.
Citrine: Citrine is a vibrant crystal that plays into the mood and colour palette of Fall quite well. Its golden and orange tones are matched well with the colours of changing leaves. Citrine also holds the warmth of the sun, which can allow us to feel more energized as the days get shorter. This sparkly golden crystal is excellent for helping us create abundance during the harvest season.
We recommend: The Charmed with Abundance Mini Necklace
Onyx: Tapping into darker stones is a wonderful way to help us transition into the cooler months of the year, as dark gems promote a sense of reflection and groundedness. Onyx helps our energy become more rooted and can also provide us with a sense of calmness. This jet black stone can help us feel a deeper connection with the earth even when our time spent outdoors may be decreased in the cooler weather.
We recommend: The Dainty Grounded Bracelet
Hematite: Speaking of grounding stones, hematite is another great stone for helping us lean into the slower rhythm of autumn. Gun metal grey in colour, hematite can provide stability and helps us to release stress that may have been building up. With less time outdoors and increased digital activity, hematite creates a shield to protect against negative energy including electromagnetic smog from computers and cell phones.
We recommend: The Clarity Necklace
What are your layering tips?
Such a great question! I think it’s important to remember that wearing jewelry is meant to be an enjoyable experience and there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to wearing different necklace layers (in my opinion). Here are a few of my favourite tips:
#1 Start with the basics
You actually only need two necklaces to start layering. That’s right, just two! Especially if you’re new to wearing multiple layers, this is a great way to test the waters and discover your own sense of style.
#2 Mix up your lengths
This step actually makes Step One a lot easier; when you choose the right necklace lengths, it takes the guesswork out of how to layer. We follow one easy rule: leave 2 inches of space between each necklace layer to stack necklaces effortlessly. For example, a 16-inch necklace + an 18-inch necklace = a perfect layering duo. Add a 20-inch chain as the bottom layer to try wearing three necklaces at a time. You’ve got this!
#3 Choose intuitively
I don’t believe in following set “rules” about deciding which crystals to wear at the same time. Let your inner wisdom be your guide and allow yourself to be drawn to whichever gemstone necklaces you feel called to wear in the moment.
#4 Unify Your Metals
Choosing metals that match each other can be a great way to create a cohesive layered look. Silver with silver, gold with gold. Of course there are occasions where you may want to mix up your metals, and if you are feeling bold and want to give it a go, we say go ahead! I’ve recently been really loving wearing a mix of gold and silver stacking rings on one finger and think this can also work with necklaces as well.
#5 Mix and Match Necklaces
One simple way to add some style variance when laying is by wearing choosing delicate chains with bold gemstones. For example, our Charmed With Abundance Mini Necklace features a delicate citrine pendant on the Gold Cable Chain, combining a vibrant yellow gem with a dainty chain. There are so many possibilities when we begin to combine different styles of necklaces and it allows us to get multiple looks with the staple pieces in your jewelry collection.
How do you choose which pieces are right for you?
I think it’s important to choose jewelry that you feel inspired to wear. If you look at a piece of jewelry and it sparks something positive within you, listen to that feeling. Oftentimes, we know a piece of jewelry is likely for us within the first seconds of seeing it. Go with your gut and try the jewelry you feel drawn to.
Crystal jewelry can also be chosen based on the specific healing properties offered by the gemstones contained in the piece. For example, if you’re looking to enhance your intuition and find a sense of calmness, finding jewelry containing a soothing stone-like moonstone would be a great place to start. After choosing the stone, you can then narrow it down to the specific piece of jewelry you feel drawn to.
Choosing jewelry that compliments your skin tone can also be a good way to select pieces. For instance, cool complexions can be warmed up with a boldly coloured crystal or bright gold.
Advice for jewelry makers?
Be consistent; whether you’re inspired or not, show up at your workbench with a positive attitude and you’ll be surprised what can happen.
Cultivate excellent client care. Think about each piece you make with the client in mind. Not just in terms of style, but in terms of quality and longevity. Building a positive client relationship is also an integral part of creating a returning client base that will grow with you into the future.
Get involved in the jewelry-making community locally and digitally. Talk to other makers; lean on them for support and inspiration and give back to that community when you can.
Be proud of your work! Putting your creativity out into the world takes courage and it is definitely something to be celebrated.
What is your sign?
Taurus! And I know that you’re a Cancer because I’ve asked you, of course. You definitely seem to have a few of the awesome Cancer traits: intuitive and very thoughtful. Such a fun question!
*Originally published on Age of Lapin