Slashpile Designs Blog
Introducing Cassidy! May 25 2020
Well, I thought it was time to introduce this little one properly on here! Cassidy Neray Krzyzanowski was born on April 22, weighing in at 7 Lbs 3 oz. It's been over a month now, and we're having fun getting to know each other! Lemmy and Kiblet (our dog and cat) have proven themselves to be wonderful older siblings. I'm lucky to have the most supportive partner and a twin who could move in with us for the first little bit as I healed. I celebrated my first mother's day with a human child, and we're starting to figure out all our new family routines.
I'm still filling orders as they come in, and I've managed to stay on top of processing time so far! Please bear with me if it does take longer to get your pieces out. I'm working around a very new schedule, and shipping may take a little longer than usual because of Covid.
Thank you all for the love and support!
Maternity Leave March 12 2020
After having an early labour scare last weekend, I'm having to stop working a little sooner than planned. I'm not quite as prepared with everything as I would have liked, but luckily I've been stocking up on ready-made pieces for a while. I'll still be filling orders as they come in, although processing time might be a little slower than usual as I rest up and prepare for our exciting new addition. our retailers and online stores will be stocked, but I won't be taking on any new custom orders for the foreseeable future. You'll still see my work on social media (it's hard for me to completely shut off!), but the pace has slowed while I take care of myself and try to hold this baby in for a little longer :) Tune in for updates while we get ready and adjust to life with a newborn!
Happy Love Day! February 14 2020
Wishing you a happy Valentine's day to celebrate love, whether you're enjoying it with your family, friends, partner or pet!
Press Kit Update January 23 2020
We've been making a splash in the media with our Pet-Human BFF necklaces! Our media page is now updated with our downloadable 2020 press kit, which has all the details. Find it here:
Happy 2020! January 01 2020
Cheers to a fabulous 2019 and best wishes for the new decade!
Happy New Year!
Happy holidays! December 26 2019
Wishing everyone a merry Christmas, happy Chanukah and a wonderful winter!
Black Friday and Small Business Saturday November 22 2019
We're in the thick of gift-shopping season! We want to help you celebrate Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday by joining in on the online sales!
From next Friday November 29 to Monday December 2, we are offering 25% off all orders over $50. Enjoy, and happy shopping!
Holiday shipping deadlines November 17 2019
I can't believe it, but it's already time to think about holiday ordering deadlines! I have been very busy making extra stock so that I can minimize wait times before shipping. However, I usually ask for up to a week in case I need to make your piece to order. Please get in touch if you aren't sure (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Here is a list of dates that you will need to place your orders by if you want to make sure they arrive by Christmas with regular shipping:
Within Canada or USA: Order by December 16
International: Order by November 26
If you upgrade to express shipping, You have a little more time. Get in touch if you need to arrange this. Here are the deadlines for express shipping:
Within Canada or USA: Order by December 18
International: Order by Dec 2
Please keep in mind that custom or engraved orders may take a little longer, and that sometimes packages can be delayed. We are not responsible for delays caused by the postal service, but we do everything we can to get your orders to you quickly, and to help you out if there is a delay! Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.
You're invited: Carats & Clay! October 29 2019
We're excited to announce that Slashpile Designs and susanbpots are joining forces for a holiday sale!
WHEN: Saturday, November 16 11:00am - 4:00pm
WHERE: 12 Poplar Plains Crescent, Toronto (Side door Studio entrance)
Come join us to kick off the holiday season!
There will be a perfect pairing of jewellery and ceramics, as well as light refreshments for you to enjoy as you shop. Get ahead of the rush for gift-giving and get yourself ready for all the festive parties and entertaining! It will be a lovely afternoon and a wonderful way to support some independent local artists!
susanbpots is opening her workshop by popular demand for her first studio sale! Come peruse her beautiful selection of unique, and functional ceramic pieces. Visit her Instagram page to see more @susanbpots
Slashpile Designs will be celebrating 11 years of making 'jewellery to start a conversation' with some great deals and one of a kind finds!
We hope to see you there!
The Bancroft Gemboree August 06 2019
This past weekend we took a trip to the cottage to attend the Rockhound Gemboree in Bancroft. It's a 4-day festival for rockhounds (mineral collectors), jewellers, hobbyists, and anyone with an interest in gems and crystals. It was quite the spectacle. There were two buildings filled with vendors with a bit of everything from unique cut gems to giant crystals, cool fossils, even some crystal healing booths, tools and books. There was even a person at the door with tools to identify any mineral you wanted to bring in.
In addition to using stones in my work, I have always been very interested in gemstones. Courtney and I even started our very extensive collection of specimens when we were just 5 years old! Most of them are currently in a dusty box in my basement, but I have a little display in my living room of my favourites, and I change it up every so often with others collected over time.
I had a great time looking, and picked up some cool pieces to use in my work. Here are some photos of my haul :)
Pressed flowers June 28 2019
I've always loved flowers (who doesn't?!), But being able to grow them in my own garden has brought me a new kind of happiness! I've been having fun putting flowers in a press. You put the fresh flowers in, wait a couple of weeks, and then it's like opening a present when they're ready! I recently learned though, that flowers can be pressed with an iron (which appeals to my impatient side), and they actually keep their colour better. It works beautifully! Now I'm experimenting with preserving them in jewellery. Here are some of my more successful tries. I'll have some available soon for purchase!
We went viral! May 13 2019
Wow, I have had a crazy couple of weeks! Our Pet-Human BFF necklace sets were featured in a LOT of articles, and went totally viral! I'm honoured and humbled by all the support. The notes and engravings that are being added to gifts being sent are beautiful and heartwarming as well! It's so wonderful that my jewellery is being enjoyed by animal lovers and their furry best friends all over the world!
I'm extra happy that this specific piece is getting so much attention, because it means a lot to me. I'm an animal lover through and through. My mum has been running a dog-walking and boarding service for as long as I can remember, and the whole family has always been involved in the care she offers. In addition to running Slashpile Designs, I've been a part-time dog walker since 2009, and I'm so glad I get to hang out with all my dog-friends on a regular basis. I made one of these necklace sets for me and Lemmy (our retired racing greyhound) when we adopted him 3 years ago, and neither of us has taken it off since! I have also recently started caring for a family of stray cats in our backyard, and have developed a very special bond with one of them in particular. Lemmy and Kiblet are my models in the product listings, and now they're world-famous! ;)
I'm really proud of myself for being able to keep up with all the orders, but I haven't done it without support. I'm sending a special shout-out to my family and friends who recognized the need for support and encouragement during this exciting and overwhelming time (I'm so lucky to have you!). I so appreciate the rides to the post office, meals brought over, and help packing orders. I'm a one-woman show, and generally do everything myself, from making and packing jewellery pieces to photography, social media and everything in-between.
I hope everyone is loving their new necklace sets, and I'm so glad I get to be a part of celebrating the special relationship people have with their pets!
Here are links to some of the articles, if you're interested :)
Scary Mommy: https://www.scarymommy.com/bff-dog-necklace-set/
Hit! The Fox Melbourne: https://www.hit.com.au/story/you-can-now-get-matching-necklaces-for-you-your-dog-or-cat-129562
Little Things: https://www.littlethings.com/matching-dog-bff-necklaces/
Spring Birdhouses! March 26 2019
I had fun fabricating these rustic birdhouses to celebrate the official arrival of spring (still waiting for the warmer weather, although the increased daylight has already felt so great)! I'm especially happy with the birdfeeders, which are complete with a tumbled gemstone 'seed' filling! I felt like they needed to be on long necklaces, so they all hang from a 30" brass chain.
Press Kit March 18 2019
I'm pretty excited to have put up a downloadable press kit on our website! It has our newest press release introducing our Chroma line of fine jewellery, as well as company and product information and a selection of awesome photos!
Downloadable from our media page!
These new stud earrings are Out of This World! February 19 2019
The universe is huge and exciting, and I've made some new studs that explore the area outside of our planet! Mix and match these brass and silver space earrings to make your perfect pair! Find them here
Valentines preview January 29 2019
During that crazy snowstorm yesterday I decided to take advantage of the bright diffused white light (while staying indoors) and take some photos for Valentine's day! Here are some perfect gifts from the heart!
Happy New Year! December 31 2018
Regular Holiday Shipping deadlines December 01 2018
The holiday season is upon us, and we want to make sure you all get your orders on time! If you miss ordering by the following dates, you'll need to upgrade to express shipping to make sure your pieces arrive before Christmas.
Thanks so much and Happy holidays!
Slashpile is turning 10! And to celebrate, we're having a sale! November 01 2018
Big news! On November 9, Slashpile Designs is turning 10! To celebrate, we're having a huge sale! For one day only, everything on our website will be 30% off! Just enter the coupon code 10WHOLEYEARS at checkout and enjoy the discount. Help us celebrate this milestone-- 10 years in business!
It's also our 32nd birthday, so Courtney and I will be triple celebrating :)
It's flu season again! October 25 2018
Give someone the flu! (well, in jewellery form anyway!) Once you get the virus, you can't get it again, right? The virus mutates every season, and this year's flu is purple!
This cheeky sterling silver pendant is hand painted with enamel and comes on an 18" chain.
The necklace is packaged, ready for gift giving in a tin with a clear top. Inside is a black and white image of the virus under a microscope.
New Crow Necklace October 08 2018
Just in time for the witchy season, here's our newest bird necklace! In mythology and folklore, crows are often depicted as tricksters, or associated with death. They are incredibly smart birds, capable of recognizing individual humans by their facial features, and able to make and use tools!
A special backyard BBQ (Wedding!) September 30 2018
I may have been a bit distracted for the last little while, but it's for a good reason!
On September 2, we hosted our wedding! It was a beautiful, happy and colourful evening in the backyard of my childhood home. We did most of the work ourselves (from our painted shed backdrop, to paper chain decorations, a tiered rice krispy wedding cake and even building a bar out of a canoe stand!), and I can't believe how well it all worked out. It was a amazing feeling to have so many of our favourite people in one place and I am definitely still feeling the love!
Inspired by the art and science of optics, colour and light, the new Chroma collection has fine jewelry and wedding sets designed to inspire happiness and optimism. Colour and light interact in an elegant dance that impacts our moods and our lives. Bursting with bright gemstones, you can mix and match colours and metals to reflect your personality.
Shop the collection here: https://slashpiledesigns.com/collections/fine-jewellery
Coming soon: Chroma Collection June 13 2018
Inspired by the art and science of optics, colour and light, our new Chroma collection has fine jewelry and wedding sets designed to inspire happiness and optimism. Colour and light interact in an elegant dance that impacts our moods and our lives. Bursting with bright gemstones, you can mix and match colours and metals to reflect your personality.
My wardrobe is full of colours and sparkles, and I'm very rarely seen wearing socks that match. Why should wedding sets and fancy jewellery be any different? Colour makes me happy and I wanted to share that in my new line of gold and silver fine jewellery. Here are some pictures from instagram that capture some of my inspiration for this line!
Women on the Water Festival May 31 2018
We're excited to be selling our jewellery next weekend at the Women on the Water Festival in Parry Sound! Our nature-lover pieces will be available for purchase at one of the vendor tables on Saturday June 9. The event, put on by Wild Woman Expeditions, features kayaking, canoe and SUP workshops in Georgian Bay for all different skill levels. The whole weekend is run by women, for women and is in its 5th year running.
Come by our table and say hi to Roula, who will be showcasing our pieces!
Heres the link to the event page for more details: https://www.ontarioseakayakcentre.com/women-on-the-water-festival/
Sunday Crafternoons May 07 2018
For the last few months I've been spending some time weekly (usually on a Sunday) to play around with a non-work-related craft project. Sometimes it's something quick and easy like a perler bead coaster, and sometimes it's a slightly more ambitious project, such as knitting a sweater. I've decided to make the Sunday crafternoon a "thing". I now consciously set aside some time every weekend to enjoy being creative in a totally no-pressure way. I love making things-- anything and everything-- and I feel so productive when I come out with an end product. I've really been exploring my love of colour and pattern in a way that can sometimes be lacking with metalwork. And, as a bonus I've been feeling much more inspired with ideas for jewellery! Look out for some bright and fun new pieces appearing soon in my body of work :)
New Dinosaurs May 04 2018
Well, it was time to replace the mold I use to make multiples of the T-Rex necklace, so I thought it would be the perfect time to update the look of everyone's favourite dinosaur. While I was at it, I also added a new dinosaur necklace to my repertoire.
Introducing the new Tyrannosaurus Rex and the Parasaurolophus!
Australian Inspiration March 21 2018
We were lucky enough to be able to travel to Australia for the wedding of some very good friends (we even made their wedding rings)! It was a beautiful trip! We started off in the Barossa Valley, then had a few days at a beach shack (their name for a cottage), a quick visit to Adelaide, a road trip to Melbourne (with whirlwind stops in the Grampians and along Great Ocean Road), and then a couple of days in Sydney before the long flight home.
I was totally filled with inspiration by the beautiful weather, the time we had to relax, (did I say the beautiful weather?!), and all the wildlife that was totally new to me!
Here are some photos of the wedding rings we made for our friends, as well as some of the Australian backyard bird necklaces I've created since we got back to reality!
Happy 2018! January 08 2018
Wishing you all a wonderful new year!
I had a wonderfully relaxing holiday at home, full of family, friends, and non-work related crafting! Sometimes when I get a chance to re-set like that, I actually come up with new jewellery ideas that I'm really excited about! I've been playing around with many ways to make a spinning top! They're fun to make and fun to play with, so I'm working on some wearable and non-wearable designs :)
Holiday Shipping Deadlines! November 20 2017
I want to make extra sure I can get all the online orders delivered by Christmas. Please order before these dates to make sure you get your gifts on time! The above dates follow the Canada Post deadlines, plus an extra 3 business days for me to get your orders made and packed. Express shipping cost extra, so please get in touch if you are unsure (email@example.com).
Wishing everyone a happy holiday season ahead!
Dinovember November 03 2017
We have our dinosaurs and fossil rings in a show to celebrate all things dinosaur! Opening tomorrow night at the Toronto Etsy Street Team Gallery (906 Queen St West), this show runs until November 14!
Happy Halloween! October 31 2017
Happy Halloween from the Slashpile Designs team!
Fall Birdies September 13 2017
I've re-designed the backyard birds as necklaces for Fall. I'm having so much fun with the bold colours of enamel and I keep getting more detailed with my saw piercing. The pendants are made from two layers of hand-pierced silver sheet, soldered together and filled in with enamel. They hang on a 22" rolo chain. Let me know if you have any special requests for species!
These necklaces, as well as some of my bird pins will be with me next Saturday (the 23rd) at Etsy: Made In Canada!
Etsy: Made In Canada! September 02 2017
I'm very excited to be a vendor in the upcoming Etsy: Made In Canada show! It's an awesome craft market with amazing vendors and lots of cool workshops you can sign up for! It's been a long time since I've participated in a craft sale, and I am honoured to be included in this one.
I've been busy making stock for my booth, and have been working on a brand new display set-up. I can't wait to show it off!
The show takes place in the MaRS building at College and University on September 23rd. Hope to see you there!
The first 100 people to attend will receive a swag bag! I've already made my donation to the giveaways-- 100 very effective little silver polishing cloths. May they shine up your silver and keep everything looking new!
For more information, visit the show website here: https://etsy.wishpond.com/madeincanada/
West Coast Trail August 08 2017
We'd been planning this for ages, and now we've done it! The West Coast Trail is a hike on the south-west coast of Vancouver Island. The trail was originally created as an escape route for shipwrecks, and has become a destination for serious hikers.
We finished it, and we had an amazing time! It was challenging, beautiful and super fun! We climbed some scary tall ladders in the forest, jumped over surge channels on the rocky shore, dumped lots of sand out of our boots on the beach, trampled through mud puddles, and rolled under logs. We wore lots of funny matching outfits and even managed to fit in a nature-y photoshoot of our forest jewellery. I could write a lot more, but instead I'll just show you some of my favourite photos. :)
We're excited to announce that our molecule line is now available in the gift shop of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City!
We visited the museum when we were in NYC in the fall and were very impressed with the collections. Now we can't wait to go back and see our very own creations available for purchase in the shop!
Above: Our chocolate molecule necklace
Below: my favourite exhibit at the museum, the gem and mineral section
Backyard birds! March 22 2017
The first birds and flowers of the season are always a major source of inspiration for me. In early spring, there's a sense of wonder and excitement for the warmer months to come. It's a time of renewal and new beginnings. This year I am experiencing all of this with the extra emotional attachment of seeing it in my very own backyard during my first spring as a homeowner. It's such an exciting season, and an especially exciting time for us as we work on making our home and garden exactly how we want it!
In the past couple of years, I've also discovered a major interest in birding, and it seems like lots of others are interested as well. Our homemade birdhouses are going up in the backyard this weekend, and so far at our feeder, we've seen woodpeckers, cardinals, juncos and chickadees! Of course, I'm putting my interest and excitement into some spring-y jewellery and celebrating the season with my bird and binocular pins and birdhouse jewellery.
I hope you enjoy this collection! Let me know if you have any requests for bird species, and I will gladly turn them into pins :)
Bird pins will be $85 each and one of a kind Birdhouse necklaces will be $100 each. Each one is hand-drawn, saw pierced, fabricated, and painted with my own two hands!
Valentine's guide February 01 2017
Happy February! Whether you're shopping for your special someone or your best friend, here are some loveable gift ideas for Valentine's day:
Pick out one of our knitted heart necklaces for a cozy spin on the traditional Valentine's heart.
You can never go wrong with red wine, chocolate or diamonds-- same goes for the molecule versions!
Our Lost & Found rings feature reclaimed gemstones to reduce the effects of mining new stones on the environment. Visit Sub Rosa, Freedom Clothing, and Ecotique in Toronto for the best selections of rings.
Pet BFF necklaces are the perfect gift of love for anyone with a fur-baby
In the punny spirit of Valentine's day, give a 1 ct (carrot) diamond ring! Made with reclaimed diamonds, and perfectly special with a sense of humour.
Happy Valentine's Day! xoxo
Right hand ring surprise January 12 2017
When our grandmother was in palliative care 6 years ago, she showed me and Courtney two diamond rings her father had given her. She told us that "one will be here, and one will be here", pointing to each of us. Unfortunately, after she passed away, we discovered that the ring she was planning to give to me was missing from the hospital.
Yesterday, I went to drop something off at our stone setter, and Courtney told me he had something for me. I recognized it as soon as I saw it-- a beautiful ring inspired by the one that my grandmother would have given me! Turns out my whole family (and even our stone setter) was in on it as a sort of belated 30th birthday surprise! It features a diamond that was reclaimed from another one of my grandmother's rings, and was 3-d modelled and hand-finished by Courtney. It is a super special, gorgeous, sentimental right hand ring that I will always treasure!!
Growing up, Courtney and I had an extremely close relationship with our grandmother, Ruth. She was pretty inspirational, and I think we became artists/designers largely thanks to her.... but more about that in a future blog post :)
Phew! Happy New Year! January 08 2017
Phew, that holiday season was a whirlwind!
We hope everyone had wonderful festive celebrations with family and friends. Thank you for making our lead-up to Christmas, Chanukah, and the New Year so wonderfully busy! We hope everyone enjoyed their Slashpile-y gifts :)
In addition to filling orders and keeping the stores well-stocked, we also spent most of December moving our home and studio! It's been a long, but exciting process of packing, organizing, re-organizing, painting, etc. We're almost totally set up now, and are so looking forward to working away in the new space!
As we settle into 2017, we are making some changes to the structure of our business. The Courtney half of the Slashpile team is following her passion a little further into a specialized Technical Apparel Design program at the Wilson School of Design, Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Vancouver. She has already made some amazing pieces of outdoor gear, and looks forward to an exciting future in that industry. Slashpile has and always will be a collaboration between the two of us, but I, Tara, will be running the day-to day operations of the business on my own for now (well, with the help of Lemmy, the retired racing greyhound). Luckily as twins, we still speak almost everyday, so you will still see the fruits of Courtney's input and ideas in Slashpile jewellery pieces. New ventures will also bring in a new source of inspiration!
Here are just a few cool photos of her achievements so far in technical apparel!
A year in custom projects December 31 2016
Many of the custom projects we worked on this year!
This year's flu! November 16 2016
Give someone the flu for the holidays! (well, in jewellery form anyway!) Once you get the virus, you can't get it again, right? The flu microbe mutates every season, and this year it's neon pink!
These cheeky sterling silver necklaces and earrings are hand painted with neon pink enamel and dangle from sterling silver earring hooks.
The pieces are packaged, ready for gift giving in a tin with a clear top and a card where you can write who the gift is to and from. Inside is a black and white image of the virus under a microscope.
Chicken Purse October 23 2016
Most people who know Courtney and I know that we both have a pretty colourful (and sometimes slightly wacky) style. My signature is my chicken purse. Yes, that's right-- my purse is a rubber chicken, and I think it's great. I have been carrying a chicken purse for over ten years, and have gone through 7 or 8 versions, since they need to be replaced when the rubber gets old and brittle. I have named each one, and I'm always sad when they need to be replaced!
I love how something that is just part of my everyday outfit is kind of weird and funny. But when you look at it, a chicken is actually the perfect shape for a purse. I can fit so much stuff in my purse, and it makes strangers laugh wherever I go!
Fall Lost & Found Rings October 01 2016
We just launched a new collection of Lost & found Rings, featuring some of our favourite stones that were rescued from the smelter! These rings are entirely handmade, made of gold-plated sterling silver. They are beautiful and eco-friendly!
Behind the Scenes: Two Tone Wedding Band September 21 2016
We recently had the pleasure of making this lovely white gold and rose gold wedding band! The process was a bit difficult, but in the end, it came out perfectly!
The main challenge was getting the two pieces to fit together perfectly so that the solder would flow evenly to join the two pieces of metal with a perfect seam. It may be hard to tell from the photo, but the joining surface is curved, not flat!! We managed this challenge by 3d modelling the two parts and printing them in wax already in ring form. With some very meticulous hand-finishing, this meant that the surfaces would fit together with extreme accuracy. The soldering still took a while, but the result was successful!
After the two pieces were soldered together, we filed and polished them before adding the hammered texture. Another final polish and voilà!!
Geek-Chic Photoshoot! July 07 2016
Back in May we had a geek-chic styled photoshoot with all of our nerdy-awesome pieces. We are so happy with the results! Here are our wonderfully professional, super stylish and amazingly geeky photos, along with some behind-the-scenes pictures taken by me!
Photo credit: Ashlea Wessel (www.ashleawessel.com)
Model: Deanne Marsh
Hair and Make-up: Kestra Illiatovitch-Goldman (www.makeupbykestra.net)
Courtney's Adventures Down Under April 02 2016
You may or may not know that I have been travelling for the past couple of months!
Currently, I'm staying in the Barossa Valley in South Australia, working at Teusner Wines for a season of vintage. It's amazing how similar the experience has been in some ways to a tree planting season!
Vintage is the period of time in which grapes are harvested and processed for fermentation. Starting at the end of the summer (it's autumn now, here in the southern hemisphere!) And going until all the grapes are picked, crushed, juice fermented and pumped through to a tank and then to barrels. It's a very physical job with long hours while it lasts--gotta pick the fruit when it's ready! We are now through the peak of the season, with most of the Shiraz through, but we still have some later ripening varieties like Grenache and Mataro coming into the winery.
I am very much enjoying the job, and with an amazing crew of people to boot! Also looking forward to travelling all around Australia after the work is done!
Below are some photos of my time here so far!
Slashpile has a new best friend! April 02 2016
I am super excited to announce that I (Tara, half of the Slashpile team) have adopted a retired racing greyhound! His racing name was AceofSpades, but we are calling him Lemmy!
In our excitement and anticipation, we have created our very own custom 3-way dog-human BFF necklace. I thought it would be a perfect welcome home gift, since I know that we're going to be best friends!
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