Meet Mr. Bird. Made from silver and agate with brass and copper tail feathers, this clever and whimsical piece is an example of how natural stones speak to Virginie Martin.
This one is entitled Love Lift Us Up and features a Lapis-Chrysocolla Cabochon set in sterling silver. The flames are made from recycled silver integrated as is from her scrap pieces. (If that doesn’t illustrate the way our past experiences shape who we are, I don’t know what does!)
Virginie prides herself on creating for the entire spectrum: From casual to chic and for women, men, and children. Her skill and playfulness are both evident in pieces like these. How can you look at her Dachshund Earrings and not smile?
Whether hand knotted onto cords or lovingly set in a sterling silver cup, pearls figure strongly into Virginie’s work. This set of stacking rings is made to order with your choice of 8 colored pearls. The varying width and texture of the four silver bands provides an edge that balances out the softness of the pearls.
Despite English not being her first language, Virginie gamely answered our interview questions!
Curator V: How did you get your start making jewelry?
Like a lot of us women, I always loved jewelry. I was offering myself a jewel with every trip I was doing. And then I became a mother. (I’m the lucky mother of four healthy kids of 2 to 8 years old) When I had the third one, we decided as a couple to quit to have a stay at home parent. I won the lucky job to be at home but very quickly I realized how much I needed something for my mental health! Also, I wanted to show my children that I was their mother, but not only a mother. I then registered at l’École de Joaillerie de Montréal to become a jeweler and voilà!
Curator V: You live near Montreal. Can you tell us a little bit about that and how it inspires you?
I live now in a small town called Marieville near Montréal wear I used to live and work. Montréal is very energetic, peaceful and inspiring city where very old building are surrounded with contemporary ones. Culture is everywhere in Montréal. I think the fact of both langages (French and English) and their own cultural backgrounds brings a lots to it. From now you will all have noticed that my first language is not English.
But more than two languages, Montreal is multicultural. If you travel around the city, you’ll find chinese, portuguese, italian, arabic inspirations. For an artist, it is so rich.
Curator V: What are your favorite materials to work with? Why?
My favorite material are stones, all of them. I could stare at them for hours. I prefer the non conventional ones because they all have a little something unique. Like everyone of us. Small failures, weird colors, special shapes. To present these stones I need a metal. I mostly use Sterling silver for it’s relatively lower cost and nobility.
Curator V: You’ve been on Etsy since 2009. What changes have you seen over the past three years?
Even if I’ve been on Etsy since 2009, I feel like i’m a baby there. I think the site is always prettier and user friendly for the clients.
Curator V: What can we expect from you in the future?
More stones in new designs! I will also add a gold section to my store.
Win an Oxidized Sterling Silver Pendant! Organic and lovely, this one of a kind pendant comes on an oxidized silver chain. To enter, visit Virginie Martin Studio, then come back here and leave a comment with your favorite item. One winner to be chosen at random next Sunday, May 13th.
(Reading this via a feed? Here’s a direct link to the giveaway.)