My name is Jenny Pyshniak. I live on a small acreage just outside of Edmonton Alberta Canada. I have a wonderful husband of 25 years and two amazing boys. I also have 3 small shop rats that keep me company in the studio. Their names are Roxy, Rosie and Ruby and on busy studio days they often have a sparkling of silver dust on their paws and noses.
I am an accountant by training but have been very fortunate to be able to follow my passion of designing jewelry. I received my formal silversmith training at Bedrock Supply, taught by Andrea Blais. I have complemented that training with online education and lots of practice - for every piece of finished jewelry, there is often a number of rejects. My inspiration came from my grandma, Gladys Bennett.
Grandma was a very talented lady. She loved working with her hands and began making stunning Klondike hats. She then decided to follow her passion for stones and learned lapidary (the cutting and polishing of stones) at the Edmonton Lions Club. She set up a studio in her home and had it filled to the brim with rocks she had purchased on her winter trips to Phoenix as well as many stones she had collected at the Tay river, where they had a cabin. I used to love going fishing with grandma at the cabin – we often ended up coming home with not one fish, but lots of rocks!
Nature is a major inspiration for all of my jewelry design. Each piece needs to be balanced in color, size and shape. I love having contrasting complementary stones within the same piece. It is also of utmost importance to have each piece of jewelry be very comfortable and easy to wear. My favorite necklace line has no clasp. There are many aspects of my studio I love but one of my favorites is investment casting - I make sterling and argentium rings using this technique. It all starts with building wax ring trees. A mold is made of the tree, and the wax is melted out of the mold in a kiln. Then the silver is melted to a molten state and blasted into the mold using a centrifuge. You can see the before and after casting pictures below. Having the finished tree in silver is so pretty it always feels like a pity to cut the rings from the tree.
I really enjoy going to markets and meeting all of the wonderful people who share an interest in stones and supporting local hand made. A recent venture for me was forming the group Hand2Hand. We are a group of 7 local artisans supporting one another and helping grow our individual businesses. We host 2 large hand made markets per year and are very much enjoying the work we are doing together on this venture.
I am always designing new items and welcome you to contact me with any custom work you may be interested in.