Every month we introduce you to one of the Canadian artists we represent. 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.

METAMORPHOSIS - Featured Artist : Petra Luz

February 01, 2019

Petra Luz is a Montreal-based artist whos work is both simple, yet impactful in its design. Her work combines bold geometric shapes, combined with organic components to create a unique collection of wearable jewellery pieces. Her collection, as part of the METAMORPHOSIS Exhibition, looks at our most dynamic season - autumn - for inspiration, not just in the physical ways changed is expressed, but also what that change represents.

Petra Luz

Q: What is your origin story?

Growing up we always had lots of paper, card board, paint, pencils, leather, wool, wood.... I think there was nothing that wasn't around. My parents were very creative and let us experiment. They encouraged us. My mother showed us all kinds of different textile techniques: knitting, weaving, spinning, batik...... FIMO was a great hit. I made minuscule figures and moved the first time in something like jewellery: brooches in the shape of decorated flower hats.

Golden Grid Pendant - Sterling silver, 18k yellow gold, leather chord.
Overlap Ring. Sterling silver, 18k yellow gold.
Photo by John Kane Photography

Q: How did your journey as an artist and a jeweller begin?

When I tried to figure out what I wanted to do after school and into the future and I got the chance to visit a goldsmith studio for a whole week. That's where I worked for the first time with metal (not including some wire work we did at home). It was more the work with metal that attracted me, and not the jewellery. That's when and where I decided to become a goldsmith. I did my training at the same place. Different jobs finally led me to Montréal.

Petra's bench.

Q: Tell us about your work process - what materials and processes do you favour?

Working on a commissioned piece is different than working on pieces for a new collection. Both are very interesting. Most of my pieces are constructed in silver, silver and 18kt gold or 18kt gold. Sometimes I introduce cast elements. I might start with a exact drawing or it is a process while I am working on an other piece. During the work process I might have an idea and I start playing around with it.

From sketches to the real thing.

Q: What do you think makes your work unique?

They are nicely designed and crafted wearable pieces - modern and at the same time classic. Most of the pieces can be worn casually as well as dressed up and a lot of attention goes into each detail. I like the juxtoposition created when I carefully integrate found objects, such as pebble stones or rough cubes, with precious materials or faceted gemstones.

Aquamarine Cube Ring. Sterling silver, aquamarine.

Q: Where do you gather inspiration?

My daily surroundings : urban and nature. From objects around my workspace including snippets of metal, pieces in work progress...

Drawing ideas and jewellery renderings.

Q: Q: Tell us about what inspired your current collection. How does it reflect the idea of 'METAMORPHOSIS'?

This collection is inspired by my favourite season - autumn. The nights are fresh. As the mist rises with the first sunbeam the light is reflected in little drops of morning dew. With the progress of the season, the first frost magically covers the ground. The leaves are turning colour and they fall everywhere until finally the trees are all bare. That’s when we feel the cold, the darkness and the dampness. Winter with snow and ice is not far. It almost feels like the fall unites all four seasons. Maybe that’s why we often associate it with the circle of life. This body of work is a reflection of all of the above. Inspirations from nature are reduced to abstract shapes. It is a play between organic and geometrical shapes. Stone splinters and river stones set in silver and gold contrast with fine gemstones. It is an evolution from rough and unfinished to smooth, polished and faceted. Together with some colour, the circle of life is mimicked in my designs.

Sculptural Agate Necklace - Sterling silver, black agate.
Photo by John Kane Photography

Q: What artists have inspired you the most - who do you look up to?

Old masters like Benvenuto Cellini - their incredible craftsmanship long before all of the technology we have today. Janis Kerman for her creativity, persistence, generosity in sharing her knowledge and connections and her success as a businesswoman. And also all of the young people entering the world of jewellery, trying to make a living, finding their niche and starting their career.

Branch Earrings. Sterling silver, 18k white gold, lapis, peridot.

Q: What are the most valuable lessons you’ve learned from working in the industry?

Don't try to cut corners - it will always come back at you in the end.

Overlap Ring. Sterling silver, 18k yellow gold.
Linear Ring - Sterling silver, 18k yellow gold.

Q: What tips do you have for aspiring designers?

Be honest with yourself and the others.

Q: Do you have a motto, or a credo that helps keep you creative and motivated? What do you think drives you to continue to create?

More is not always better, and that starts for me in the design process. Don't overcharge a piece. And remember, quality should always come before quantity. After all these years there are still so many possibilities. The reaction of a client when they finally receive their personal piece after the designing process. The joy of making something from the first pencil mark to a final piece of jewellery - all of those things keep me inspired.

A big thank you to Petra for inspiring us with their design journey! For more examples of Petra's work click here. Petra is part of the exhibition "METAMORPHOSIS: From Raw to Refined", which runs until the end of February - click here to find out more.

18Karat Studio+GalleryARTIST OF THE MONTH-LUZ2