Jennii Kaspardlov, goldsmith and designer, creates and designs in her studio on Montreal Road and in home, displaying the fine craftsmanship of an age-old profession dating back centuries. Her newly founded business Coping Saw Jewellery at best allows for an escape from expensive mass-produced items while fighting against the rising prices of precious metals with sustainable eco-friendly materials. At worst, individuals can leave her workshops with sensual pieces displaying the sentimental charisma currently lacking in the industry—a human touch.
Coping Saw Jewellery’s workshops are accessible to anyone looking to spend four to five hours in an attentive learning environment gaining the proper fundamentals of goldsmithing. The materials are included with the cost of the classes, which range from $150 to $400 depending on the type of jewellery, and individuals take their projects home.
“ People looking for a goldsmith usually expect to see an old, fat, balding man and not a young woman with tattoos,” says Kaspardlov.
Working under a jewellery storeowner at the age of 15, Kaspardlov started learning the basic fundamentals of the jewellery-making process early on. She has studied and apprenticed in Montreal, Northern Ontario, and San Francisco learning everything from gem setting to sawing, filing, and soldering metals. She chooses to only use recycled gems and materials rather than new mining and new gold.
Her overall business model is simple: bringing the tradition and craftsmanship of goldsmithing to the general public. As mass-produced pieces flood the market, design and aesthetic take a hit as the process can all be done by machinery. According to her, store-bought items tend not to be passed down as many generations as handcrafted jewellery.
“The quality isn’t there and the sentiment isn’t there,” she says. “ I’ve been in the industry close to 10 years in different capacities and truly believe everyone is inherently crafty or artistic. “
Moving from North Vancouver, BC on Canada Day to Ottawa, ONT, Kaspardlov left the stream of steady clientele she gained working in Sparks Streets Jewellers. Her clients would buy jewellery and she would restore and evaluate their pieces. Now, she no longer wants to work with a set clientele, and instead hopes to meet new faces.
“It’s my first time launching my business publicly and not to people in the industry. I just finished making my web page and hope to meet lots of new people in this city.”
What separates Coping Saw Jewellery from its competitors are the multi-faceted elements of the business model. Kaspardlov can melt down old family heirlooms and stockpiled gems herself, but her workshops allow the client to actually join in the involvement. The experience is more about the project than the physical piece.
“Each individual’s body of work speaks to their own style and aesthetic,” says Kaspardlov.
She fears that the traditions of goldsmithing will soon vanish as machines replace human muscle. She hopes to impart her trade in order to help keep the culture alive.
Her most popular workshops are couples wanting to make their own wedding bands rather than buying them at a store. Other clients include individuals with keepsakes of one or two expensive metals, like a couple spoons from an antique silver set. These are sellers who still want the monetary gains from selling the set while keeping the memory of the inheritance. The handles can be bent and shaped to form anything from rings to pendants.
“Next time you plan on buying a piece of jewellery, consider taking a class to create an extra special gift or gift the class itself,” says Kaspardlov.