I used to work in Upstate New York and one of the places I stayed/visited was Corning. A pretty town renowned for it’s glassmaking past and present (hint on where Corningware comes from), there is a beautiful museum of glass to visit as well as many studios and boutiques that specialize in the trade. So when I saw Nicole Valentine Studio, I was delighted to find out through her home in Victoria,  she has brought the beauty of glasswork to the west coast.

The thing I love about glasswork jewellery is every piece is individual as each creation can yield a different array of colors and patterns. The colors can be bold and striking or soft and subtle. Personally I am crushing on the stackable penny charms which would make a great personailzed gift or the focal bead pendants that come in some amazing colors. I had the chance to ask Nicole about her creations and what inspired her when she is designing:

Q: Your Bio indicates you’ve been creating your designs since 2003, what drew you to work with glass in the first place?

A: I was making jewelry for about three years prior using lampwork beads, and I started thinking it’d be a fun medium to try. I’ll admit I struggled with it a lot in the beginning but the perseverance was worth it. I’m now hooked on glass! Working in metal makes it possible for me to fabricate findings and settings so 100% of the piece is my own work, something I really enjoy being able to do.

Q: You listed one of your passions to be breeding & training horses, what breed and for what purpose?

A: We don’t breed anymore but had 15 horses at one time. I ran a full school horse string and we had several in for training at any given time. We specialized in problem horses and as we both got older we started to realize it really takes a toll on your body (duh!). Now we are down to three Geldings, all quarter horses. My husband competes professionally in saddle bronc and steer wrestling so one of our horses is his pro steer wrestling horse, the other two are just pleasure horses.

Q: What has been your most current inspiration for your designs?

A: Currently I’m feeling a forest- green kinda vibe going on in my work. I’ve been running a lot this year and my usual trail takes me through some pretty forested area’s I think thats affecting my work a bit.

Q: What has been your favorite piece you’ve created to-date?

A: That’s a hard one. I think it’s a silver key I made the beginning of this year. I’m also really enjoying the penny charms I’ve been making. They are a smaller way to offer up some really different items.

Below are some of C&C’s favourite pieces from Nicole’s Studio, check out the links to her store here or her wonderful blog as well! You can also contact Nicole for more information at nvalentine@shaw.ca.