I can’t believe it’s been twelve days already! It’s been a real joy to get to know the artisans at North Vancouver’s Green Market. What was originally going to be a twelve-day feature will now be thirteen days, so stay tuned for tomorrow’s bonus feature, which will focus on clean skincare brand Studio Aroma.
Today, I’m pleased to introduce Sinful Designs
Now, I know I’ve been featuring a lot of jewelry from the Green Market, but if you comb through the posts, you will see that each artisan is very different, with their own unique style and tone. There is SO much to see at Green Market, and since I believe they curate some of the finest jewelry on the local scene, I absolutely could not finish this feature without showing the remarkable work of Lisete Cerqueira and her partner, Christine.
*All photos by Stephanie Edmonds/She’s So Eco
Above, a selection of various hand-cut and polished stone pendants from Sinful Designs.
One of the best parts of what I do is that I get to meet the makers, hear their stories and witness not only the fruits of their labour via their incredible work, but also their seemingly endless passion. Stories are so important to me. I love when I get a compliment on a ring, a hoodie, what have you, and I’m able to talk about who made it, what it’s made of, and some interesting facts about the artisan and the art.
Lisete Cerqueira’s artistry is matched by the pure love and passion she pours into her craft. Not only that, but she is truly a fascinating human with one heck of a story.
Cerqueira was born in Africa, and has lived and studied in Germany, England and Portugal. With a sculpting background nearly 25 years deep and a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree under her belt, it’s not surprising that Lisete’s jewelry truly is wearable art. Unconvinced of the career prospects that came with her sculpting skills, yet still adamant about doing something that engaged her creativity, she achieved yet another degree, this time in Graphic Design. She then juggled part-time graphic artistry with full-time teaching (art and design, of course), at a high school.
After moving to a small space in Port Moody, B.C. in 2009, Cerqueira was challenged by the space limitations. Sculpting would be too noisy and dirty, so she revisited yet another creative endeavour; photography. On one of her outdoor photography excursions, Cerqueira encountered the Lapidary Club. Her curious nature prompted her to explore, and with the members welcoming her with open arms, she discovered a new obsession.
Amazed and enchanted by all the possibilities and beauty of gemstones, it was only a couple of months before Cerqueira began studying jewelry and faceting.
” I studied with Tom Schlegel, who was so generous he allowed me to use his fully equipped studio until I had enough resources to have my own. For two years I studied with him. It was a pleasure and a challenge. I applied my old skills in metal-working and learned many new ones for setting the gemstones in unique pieces of jewellery. His wife, Lisa Elser, is a famous artist, one of the crème de la crème faceters . She taught me how to facet and, again, she too let me use her equipment. Life is opportunity and fate, and I have been most fortunate in finding the right people. People willing to help and to give. A very Canadian feature that I love and embrace.”
Above, simply stunning artistry and craftsmanship. A variety of stones and gems adorn these utterly unique rings.
It’s now been three years ago since Cerqueira began showing and selling her work. Sinful Designs has been featured at countless predominant markets and gem shows in B.C., and the line is an intriguing and beautiful collection ranging from simple yet stunning to gorgeous intricate statement pieces, with an endless array of stones, crystals, and metals. The energy around these creations is a beautiful thing- you instantly get the sense that something special is at work here and it’s immediately clear that each piece is lovingly crafted with expert eyes and creative, passionate hands.
Lisete and Christine are incredibly knowledgable about the materials they use- ask either of them about the properties and history of a certain crystal or stone, and they immediately rhyme off a wealth of information. And on the rare occasion they don’t know every tiny bit of info, they’ll whip out their Crystal Bible and go to town. Now that’s service.
Above, beautiful spinning cylindrical Jasper rings on twisted silver bands, $20 or two for $30, Green Market.
As Cerqueira so aptly puts it, “I create meaningful wearable art, where design is reduced to its essential lines, producing clean and flowing shapes. I love what I do and do it with passion, and hopefully it shows in my work.”
It DEFINITELY does.
The proof is in the pudding, so here are some of my favourite pieces. Check out the selection at Green Market (7A Lonsdale avenue, North Vancouver), and gift someone with a work of wearable art this season! And if that someone is yourself, I totally don’t blame you. This is not your average jewellery- it’s sculpted, shaped, designed, and brought to life with skill, knowledge and an insatiable love for the craft.
Oval Rhodachrosite Ring w/sterling silver band, $75
Don’t get any ideas – this is spoken for! I snapped this piece up for my sister-in-law, who loves big rings. I can’t wait to see her face when she opens it, and I will take great pleasure in telling her all about who made it.
Rhodachrosite is a rare stone, and it’s always pink because it’s a manganese based stone. Hand cut by Cerqueira and set in silver, the pretty pink stone hails from Argentina. This ring is beyond beautiful. It looks warmer or cooler pink depending on the light, but no matter what light is cast upon it, it’s a one of a kind, enchanting piece. Cerqueira has other Rhodochrosite pieces in her collection, so if you’re in love, pay her a visit!
Polychrome Jasper Ring w/sterling silver band and accents, $75, Green Market
This Polychrome Jasper stone comes from Madagascar. Polychrome Jasper is also a rather rare stone. It takes a high polish and is highly silicified. How GORGEOUS is this ring?
Various Pendants, $25, Green Market
Look at that rainbow of colours and variety of shapes. For just $25, these high quality pendants are a STEAL! The stones range from Orange Aventurine (middle row, second from left), to striped Brazilian Agate (middle row, fourth from left), and even Fireworks Obsidian from Mexico (middle row, furthest right), as well as an assortment of other pretty, hand cut stones. Affordable, unique, and beautiful!
Last but certainly not least, I am IN LOVE with the new, as yet untitled series from Sinful Designs. These gems take wearable art to a whole new level. Twists, curves, mixed metals (silver, rose and yellow gold) and an array of arresting stones dazzle in these artistic masterpieces. You simply have to see them in person! Coming soon to Green Market.
Sadly, my camera phone photos do these beauties little justice. I saw them at the Shipyards Christmas Market today and while I didn’t have my actual camera on hand, I couldn’t resist taking a few snaps with my phone. I hope to properly photograph them soon!
I leave you with a few more photos of Sinful Designs pieces at Green Market, including one of Lisete herself. She looks confident and proud, and rightly so.
With local love,
P.S. Sunday, December 20th is the last day to check out the Shipyards Christmas Market- and I HIGHLY recommend you do!