Slashpile Designs Blog
Calculator Word Bracelets March 13 2015
We have a new product for spring!
Were you ever bored enough in math or science class to type words on your calculator instead of solving the problems? perfect for the studious type and math-class delinquents alike, these bracelets let you share your calculator message with the world.
The numbers are engraved in a calculator font on a brass plate, and you can choose whichever word you want, as long as it can be spelled with upside-down numbers! The chains are brass with black enamel.
More Holiday Shopping! December 08 2014
We have been adding more exciting events to our schedule for the holidays, so here is the updated list of where we'll be! Since Slashpile jewellery pieces are all clever and meaningful, they really do make perfect holiday presents. Come visit us at these places and find the perfect gifts for everyone on your list (and don't forget to include yourself on that list!). We also think these are some pretty cool events, so even if you're done your shopping you should come by to say hello and just enjoy!
Pop-Up at Freedom Clothing
Tuesday December 16, 3:00-7:00pm
939 Bloor St W (Bloor and Ossington)
Next Tuesday, we will be having a pop-up event at Freedom Clothing Collective. Freedom Clothing is a fabulous store for local fashion, accessories, housewares and more! Stop by between 3:00 and 7:00pm, and take advantage of 15% off everything in store, including an extra wide selection of Slashpile Designs Jewellery. We will even have some one-of-a-kind samples and never-before seen pieces for sale!
Parkdale Flea Xmas Edition
Weekend of December 20 & 21
1266 Queen St W.
Parkdale Flea Market brings together some of the best and most unique products that Toronto has to offer. Featuring vendors ranging from Antiques, Vintage, Collectables, Local Artisans and Designers, the market showcases impeccable taste!
Food and drink vendors will also be available so come hungry and thirsty! Four legged friends are welcome too!
#localTOmrkt: a holiday market downtown with our city's local goods
December 22-23, 12:00-9:00pm
335 Yonge street, just north of Dundas
A month-long holiday pop-up market in a vacant lot at the shopping core of Toronto. The market will be happening in a large tented space with heating. Featuring a wide variety of local vendors and food trucks, this market offers such a unique shopping experience in a great, convenient location! We will be there on Dec 22, 23 and 24th for your last-minute holiday shopping!
If you can't make it to these events, be sure to check out our retailers or we'd love to connect with you online!
Cheers! and Happy holiday season!
Digging for crystals July 26 2014
Last week, I was hiking with a friend near Bancroft (the gemstone capital of the world) at a site we had read about that had lots of minerals (apatite, bromite, titanite, calcite...). I didn't know what most of these stones would even look like and didn't think we would actually find anything, but was super excited at the possibility. About an hour into the hike, we came across a pit that looked like people had been digging through and decided to stop and pick through the dirt. I was amazed to see that there were green apatite crystals EVERYWHERE, and collected a little bag full of them. SO exciting! This weekend, I have spent all my free time in the studio making various settings for my favourite pieces and have even gotten a few commissioned necklaces out of it :)
I can't wait to get some of the finished pieces listed on our website and in our Etsy shop!
Blythe & JP's Country Chic Wedding July 11 2014
Wedding season is in full swing, which means we're just about wrapping up our bridal projects for this summer--but there are still a few more to reveal to you later on...;)
We had the absolute pleasure and honour of making wedding bands for our good friends, Blythe and JP who live in Montreal. Since we live in different cities, the process of making the rings was pretty unique! We had a Skype meeting to discuss design directions and go over sketches and they didn't get to actually see their rings in person until the night before their wedding! Lucky for all us, they fit perfectly!
Blythe's ring features 15 pavé diamonds across the top half of a 1.5mm thick half round band. JP's ring is a simple 3mm wide band ring. Both rings are 14 karat white gold and their fingerprints are engraved on the inside of each other's ring.
Barbara & Duncan married each other all over again --with special custom rings we made for them! July 08 2014
Barbara & Duncan celebrated their tenth anniversary of their first date by marrying each other all over again with a lovely and romantic ceremony in Big Sur! Following the ceremony, they hiked 12 miles up the local mountains. We made these 18 karat white gold viking style bands for their special day. To read the full story of their second wedding, check out Duncan's blog here!
These pieces were super interesting to work on because they really used such a perfect combination of new technology and traditional jewellery techniques. We first modeled the rings in CAD, without the texture. In this step, we create a file for each ring that is sized to the customer. Each file is 3-D printed in wax and then cast in the metal of choice (18 karat white gold in this case!)
The casting comes back covered in plaster and with a sprue attached, so they require a fair amount of clean up. This is done with very simple hand tools, such as files and sandpaper. We gradually improve the finish, step by step, until we get to 600 grit sandpaper. It gets tumbled to make it shinier and then Tara then applies the texture by hand, using our flex shaft (dremel) with a round bur (like a drill bit with a round top). Each ring is then polished up to perfection!
Here are some process shots!
Save 20% on all orders until the end of May! May 07 2014
We're celebrating the launch of our new website with a sale! Receive 20% off your entire order when you enter the coupon code 321BLASTOFF from now until the end of May!
If you're in Toronto and you're looking for a Mother's Day gift, e-mail us and we can set up a pick up this week!
Start shopping our current collections here!
Slashpile Designs Virtual Shopping Tour - Made You Look December 18 2013Made You Look is the final stop in our Virtual Shopping Tour (for this year, anyway!) Located at 1338 Queen Street West, just west of Dufferin, the famous Queen West Store, established in 2001, represents over 100 local Toronto jewellery designers and has become a real hub for the jewellery community in Toronto. Attached to the shop is a large studio where 20, self employed, in-house designers make their jewellery under their own brand names. This means Made You Look Customers can browse a diverse collection of beautiful handmade work and interact with jewellers to consult about custom design and other services. Take a stroll down Queen Street West, and visit the store in Parkdale, one of Toronto’s most unique, diverse and dynamic neighbourhoods and see for yourself the wonderful array of all kinds of jewellery. They offer everything from high end jewellery in precious metals (including wedding and engagement rings) to eclectic fashion, costume and art jewellery. All jewellery in Made You Look is designed and made by local Toronto designers. Here's a video from which you can learn more about Made You Look from owner, Sarah Dougall herself! We absolutely love the store and are so proud to sell our jewellery in Made You Look. Most of our work can be found in a case on the left wall when you walk in. We used to be displayed in the South store, but both stores have been recently combined so all Made You Look jewellery can be found in one convenient location on the North side of Queen St. [gallery ids="2450,2459,2458,2453,2452,2451"]
Slashpile Designs Virtual Shopping Tour - Gallery Catalyst November 07 2013
Gallery Catalyst is very different from the other stores we sell our work in. The concept is affordable art: every piece is one of a kind, and comes in one of 3 sizes. All pieces of the same size are the same price, whether they were created by an established artist or someone fresh out of school. The idea is to make art collecting affordable and accessible to everyone. Artists featured include Dr. Seuss, Billy dee Williams and Rachel Isadora and up-and-coming artists like Johnathan Ball, Joann Côté and Adrienne Dagg.
The gallery opened in May 2013, and is a great addition to the Queen West strip. The idea was inspired by a gallery the owner visited in Paris, showcasing new and established artist equally. Each artist has their own podium display, with the 3 size options, and prices displayed on the wall. Customers can flip through the variety of paintings, prints, photos, etc, and even get them framed onsite. Slashpile Designs jewellery is displayed inside the gallery, in the cases near the counter, where there is a selection of jewellery for sale by local Toronto artists. Behind the cases are some larger pieces of art, also for sale. Gallery Catalyst also holds art openings and events, and the manager, Kelsey, was telling me about one opening where the artist actually was spontaneously struck by inspiration and actually started unwrapping her paintings and painting over them on the Gallery Catalyst is an exciting new space to check out, great for unique holiday gift ideas. Why not give someone the gift of original art?! Visit their website at http://gallerycatalyst.ca/
Slashpile Designs Virtual Shopping Tour - Flock Boutique November 04 2013http://flockboutique.ca. Flock Boutique loves Canadian handmade - which is why they carry the work of over 160 of Canada's loveliest and most unique designers! They carry dresses & accessories, jewellery (of course!) scarves, mitts, finger puppets & the cutest little alternative baby section you have ever seen. The shop is fresh and fun and the vibe is grown up, work wearable, and ethically made The ladies of Flock also offer classes in sewing, knitting, jewellery-making, and various other crafty pastimes. Christina & Bridget, the duo behind Flock, met 9 years ago around 3am outside in the Byward Market building while they were waiting in a line up to sell their goodies on Canada Day. When the skies darkened and the winds started to pick up, they tied their tents together, thinking the weight would help them out. Instead, they had created a giant sail that had the pair gripping on for dear life while being pelted with hail and watching their handmade goodies slowly making their way into the storm drain! Christina and Bridget decided to open Workshop Boutique (their first store) 6 months later and Flock Boutique 5 years after that. They must be crazy, but they've done a wonderful job on both stores! Always a pleasure to stop by and spend some time looking around whenever we are in Ottawa!! :) Both Flock and Workshop Boutiques carry a wide selection of Slashpile Designs jewellery, so make sure you check them out when you're in town! [gallery ids="2405,2404,2403,2402,2401,2400"]
New dinosaurs joined our herd! July 04 2013
Now introducing new dinosaurs to the herd! Stegosaurus and Brontosaurus (or Apatosaurus) will soon be joining T-Rex on our website and in our Etsy shop! These necklaces are a fun way to show your love of dinosaurs. Pick your favourite prehistoric beast and wear it proudly! Even more dino necklaces are in the works... Pre-order a Stegosaurus or Brontosaurus necklace by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or order a T-Rex necklace in our Etsy shop here. :)
The Passion for Fashion Award!! May 10 2013
Back in November, we went looking for grants to apply to, so we could more rapidly grow our business. Our first stop was YES (the Youth Employment Services), where we went in just to ask for advice on where to start. The receptionist (who was extremely friendly), said to come back the next day to check out a workshop series.
So we went back the next day to start the Passion for Fashion workshop series, 5 workshops on various topics to help teach youth how to get their fashion-related businesses off the ground. We happened to catch the very last session of the year, just before the launch of the Fashionista's Den competition. Using what we learned in the workshops, we decided to enter. We submitted our business plan, cover letter, Powerpoint business-pitch presentation and contest application in March (after many, many hours of writing and perfecting them!!)
We were selected as one of 12 finalists to present our businesses pitch, Dragon's Den style, to a panel of judges including financial expert and VP of YES Richard Healy, fashion stylist and editor Annie Lam, fashion designer Kendra Francis of Franke, Jessica Jensen, President of Jessica Jensen Inc., and Gail McInnes owner of Magnet Creative Management and Stylist Box. We practiced our presentation for hours in front of our dogs (they seemed to like it!)
When we did the presentation for real, we felt pretty good about it--Gail Macinnes even bought one of our 1 Carrot Diamond rings in the middle of our pitch!
One week later, we attended an awards ceremony, where the winner was to be revealed. We got to meet and mingle with all the other finalists--so many great business concepts and talented designers!
We were absolutely thrilled to be awarded 1st place in the competition!! What an honour! Second place was awarded to AEON Attire (run partially by another set of twins!) for their multipurpose accessory and third place was awarded to Masha and Co for her ready to wear women's collection.
We are so greatful for this opportunity! The prize was $1000, a membership to Toronto Fashion Incubator and 50 hours of mentorship!
Through this competition, we have already learned so much and met so many interesting and generous people who have so much wisdom to share! We could not be happier with this experience and we can't wait to see what the rest of this year has in store for us!
Thanks so much to YES, TFI, Passion For Fashion, our customers and everyone who has supported us along the way so far! Looking forward to many more years of Slashpile Designs and storytelling-jewellery to come!