Every month we introduce you to one of our consignment artists. There is no salt and pepper, we reveal the rawest story on our artists' creative journey. How they met and fell in love with jewellery? What inspired them and how? What was the making process like? What are the tips on being a successfully established jewellery artist? Visit our Facebook and Instagram pages to stay up to date on our latest collections. Go to INTERVIEW ARCHIVE to read more stories.

Artist of the Month (6): Petra Luz

July 25, 2017

The Origin Story

Born and raised in Switzerland, Petra Luz had a childhood brimming with arts and crafts – paper, cardboard, textiles and colours were all staples in her home. She first became fascinated with metal work during college after an extended visit to a goldsmithing studio. One year later, she became an apprentice at that very same workshop! Upon completion of her training Petra worked in several small studios, one of which led her to Canada. She soon fell in love with Montreal and decided to stay.

Earrings - sterling silver, 18k yellow gold.

Petra believes that good design, craftsmanship and wearability are the three pillars of a strong piece of jewellery, and it shows! Her pieces stand out through their sleek geometric simplicity and excellent craftsmanship, with a heavy emphasis on finishing and texture. The mix of different textures plays an important role; polished areas interchange with matte surfaces making organic forms more abstract. Petra muses that perhaps there is a reason people give her jewellery the attribute of German design… she just can’t hide her origin!

The Work Process

Petra’s working process differs a little from piece to piece. When working with a client, understanding their desires and working out a detailed sketch are essential starting points. The goal of her design and crafting is always to create a piece that perfectly suits the owner. Often the item is for a special occasion - something unique is called for, and she becomes a part of a significant moment in their life.

Other times, Petra is working away at a new collection! In this case she might make a rough sketch to begin, or she will simply start playing with things floating around her bench. Most of her pieces are one-of-a-kind, constructed in precious metals such as 18k gold, sterling silver, or a mix of both materials. Petra especially loves the combination of pink and white gold, and at times adding gemstone accents. An incredible amount of work and attention goes into the finish of each piece!

Necklace - rubber, sterling silver, 18k pink gold, slate, citrine, smokey quartz.

The Story of a Necklace

While visiting Vancouver Island, Petra came across a beach full of oval stones in all different sizes. They had been shaped over thousands, perhaps millions of years by the movement of the water, making them almost perfectly oval. Once more, Petra was fascinated by the perfection of nature and began collecting the stones for a necklace. Back at home, she spoke with her stone cutter, but making holes in the stones was far too expensive and the project got pushed aside.

Once in a while, Petra would take the stones out, look at them, and marvel about their natural beauty… but still a solution was elusive! Another move came and with that the moment of deciding what to keep and what to get rid of. The beach stones survived the elimination process. Petra couldn’t let them go, they still spoke to her.

Eventually, the solution popped into her head – she would cut a groove around the stones, which made it possible to wrap them with silver wire and fuse them in place. This way, she could string them between black, polished granite beads. It wasn’t long before the necklace was sold!

Necklace - sterling silver, beach stones, granite beads.

The Lessons Learned

“It is the simplicity of a piece that fascinates me the most, and that is what I strive to achieve.” -Petra Luz

She finds inspiration in daily occurrences – for Petra, a walk through the city can be just as inspiring as a walk through nature. Architecture, industrial design, plants, stones or even the waves rolling onto a beach can become the origin for an idea. Suddenly, common things turn into pieces of jewellery!

Petra’s wisdom is knowing that some things will always be a mystery. She says, “after all these years working with metal is still fascinating me. There are times you are soldering the same thing ten times. You do it exactly the same way, and one out of the ten just doesn’t work! Why? You will never know.”

Thank you Petra for your delightful insights and exquisite designs! For more examples of Petra's work click here.

18Karat Studio+GalleryARTIST OF THE MONTH-LUZ