Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Ring A Week Exhibition This Weekend!!!!!!!

5 Artists
28 Weeks
140 One of a Kind Rings

The Onion Studio Building 1103 Union Street

On exhibit and for sale at this weekend's Eastside Culture Crawl.

Friday November 18th 5-10
Saturday November 19th 11-6
Sunday November 20th 11-6

Friday, October 28, 2011

Crackerjack and Eastside Culture Crawl

This is the time of year where I put my head down and get ready for my shows and for the Christmas season. So much to little time. I was talking to my Mom on the the phone the other night telling her how much work I had to do and she said, "You'll get it all done, you always do"....I said "No, Mother you don't understand, this might just be the year where I don't get it all done!!!!"

So - You are all invited to my shows to find out if I do manage to get it all done! If you come to these and don't see me it means I'm hiding in my bed under my covers until the end of the season and you should probably call my Mother and let her know.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Moving Me Forward in The Right Direction - Two Collaborative One of a Kind Necklaces

Sometimes things enter your life when you need them. Part of getting ready for September Shop was doing some collaboration projects with the other artist's involved. Out of this experience bloomed some pretty amazing things for me.

In the spring I started twisting wire
. I had a roll of thin steel wire sitting on a table in my apartment for months. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it. One day I picked it up and started to look at it differently. I started twisting it. I twisted through the loss I’ve experienced in this past year of my life……and I twisted into what was blooming around me……

For me art often takes me out of someplace in my head or my heart where I've been stuck. Being stuck isn't very fun. But sometimes I need to tread water in a murky place for a while before I know how to get out of it. Many of my pieces are connected to a bigger story and they often take me from one place in my life to the next. Artistic expression has a way of doing this for me. Writing, drawing, moving metal - creating something that connects itself to my heart has the ability to pull me out of something, to show me what is next, to open my eyes, to dig deeper, to love stronger, to not miss out on something amazing.

Not long after I started twisting wire, Jen Pleadwell of twofolds textiles gave me a handful of her sweet feminine silk flowers in stunning bright colours. I sat with my roll of dark steel wire and these soft vibrant flowers and something incredible started to bloom. Two One of a Kind Necklaces that are completely new for me, completely different, completely unexpected.

A beautiful surprise that moves me forward in the right direction..........

Both of these one of a kind pieces are available at September Shop. September Shop is a pop up shop for the month of September and will close on September 28th, so get there soon.

September Shop is located at 196 Kingsway, the corner of Kingsway and 10th.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Silent Auction for ArtStarts

ArtStarts envisions a society where the arts are regarded as an essential part of educating young people and a catalyst for creating innovative, engaged and contributing members of society. ArtStarts in Schools has a leadership role in transforming the way children and youth are engaged, in and through the arts, and in promoting the value of the arts in young lives.

At September Shop - Our one month pop-up shop we have done 3 collaborative projects. We are auctioning these items off in a Silent Auction for the month that we are open. 100% of the proceeds from these items will be donated to ArtStarts.

I grew up in a small town in a working class family. Although my family was filled with creativity, I didn't know that being an artist for a living was an option. I think that giving kids the opportunity to meet all types of artists and to make art is integral to making them into kind, compassionate, interesting human beings.

I would like to invite you to bid on our auction items - you can publicly bid on our facebook page, you can come into the store and bid, or you can email me your bid.

One of a Kind Silk Flowers & Blackened Steel Necklace by twofolds textiles and Patsy Kay Kolesar Design. The current bid is at $50

One of a Kind Journal and Pocket Mirror by Laura Bucci Handmade and Patsy Kay Kolesar Design. The current bid is at $45

One of a Kind Leather Neck Collar by Flightpath Designs & Bronsino. The current bid is at $50

You can come in and see these items at September Shop Tuesdays-Sundays 11-5 until September 28th. 196 Kingsway @ 10th ave.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Working in Collaboration - September Shop

I am an independent artist and business owner. I work inside my own head, I make my own decisions, I create based on what moves me.

However, for the past couple of months I have been working in collaboration with other artists. Working in collaboration has it's challenges. I have seen who I don't want to be and I have seen who I strive to be. Working in collaboration also has it's connected amazing moments. For the past few months myself and 4 other artists have been preparing for the opening of September Shop. We have faced thousands of back and forth emails, last minute curve balls and the sudden drop out of one of the artists, but what we have created is an amazing beautiful shop that I am so proud to be part of.

I am inspired by all of the hard work that each of us has put into this 1 month venture. These women are talented, dedicated, and delightfully creative. I have learned a lot from my experience working with them and I am excited to finally share the opening of September Shop with all of you. If you are in Vancouver you must come and see the beautiful space that we have created. September Shop is only open from Saturday September 3rd until Wednesday September 28th Tuesdays-Sundays 11-5. Many of the pieces that we have created for September Shop are one of a kind. You don't want to miss this one! Trust me.

September Shop Address:
196 Kingsway Vancouver BC.

September Shop features the work of:
  • Laura Bucci Handmade – image/text compositions transferred to functional fabric-based personal accessories and housewares
  • Patsy Kay Kolesar Design – art jewelry combining ancient techniques in metalsmithing with contemporary techniques in enameling
  • twofolds textiles – textile artist producing clothing and fashion accessories employing weaving, piece-dyeing, embroidery, and ceramics

Saturday, August 6, 2011

September Shop - Popping up!!!!!!

A Pop-up Shop for the month of September! How exciting. When I tell people that I am part of September Shop, which is a 1 month pop-up shop, the typical reaction is...."what's a pop-up shop?" Essentially a pop-up shop is a short term retail venture. A business pops up and opens for a short period of time - draws in a crowd, creates some buzz, sells some stuff and then closes down leaving no trace of being there behind.

When I was about 9 years old my family spent a couple of years moving into different houses while we figured out where exactly we wanted to live. Each time we would move out of a house I would find a tiny corner of my bedroom and carve into the wall "Patsy and Biscuit Kolesar lived here" (Biscuit was my childhood cat, who I found when I was 6 and brought him home, but that's another story)

There is something about the concept of a pop-up shop that reminds me of moving around when I was a kid. You take over a space, make it beautiful, make it your own, invite people into it and then you tear it down, move out and hope that you leave positive energy there for the next inhabitants. There is something warm and welcoming in the fluidity of it. It's only 1 month - You can take risks with it, try something new, and push your creative boundaries.

September Shop will feature 5 local designers - I am honored to be included in this very talented and smart group of women.

Patsy Kay Kolesar Design, Laura Bucci Handmade, twofold textiles, Flightpath Designs,and Nana Fro Textile Art.

One of the most exciting parts of this 1 month venture is that we are teaming up to do some one of a kind collaborative projects. There will be a silent auction for these pieces and you can come and bid on them throughout the month. The proceeds for them will be donated to a local charity.

I will also be launching some new designs at September Shop!!!!!!!

To stay in the know you will want to join our facebook page or you can visit our blog and sign up for our newsletter.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Slice of Artistic Sanity

The Ring a Week project has turned into a little slice of artistic sanity for me. I have to make a ring a week regardless of how chaotic and busy my life gets. I have to sit down and stay still long enough to think of a new idea. I have to stay still long enough to connect with what I'm feeling, which isn't always easy. But my jewelry designs have always been inspired by a story - by lasting love, by painful heartache, by hopeful change.

So, what have I been feeling?...........Honestly my life has become a little chaotic. I have recently opened up a new store with two other artists. We have been thrown into a fire of change and we have to figure things out. It is craziness! For all of you who have opened retail stores on your own, my deepest respect for you! Our space is only 200 square feet and there is 3 of us to share the workload.....and it really has taken over our lives. Hopefully things will smooth out a little and become calmer for us once we get all of the start up tasks figured out.......I imagine those of you who own retail stores are chuckling right now as maybe things never get calmer once you have a store - and if this is true please lie to me, as I need to think that things will be tranquil in my life once again. ;)

My rings for the past few weeks have been twisty- like my mind, with glimmers of hopeful pink pearls - like my heart.

Week 8 Ring

Week 9 Ring

Week 10 Ring

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Little Details, Little Moments......

If you know my work a little, you will know that I like lots of lovely details.

I like swirls and twists........

Silver,enamel, pearls necklace
I like colour, texture, pearls, and patterns.............

silver and pearls ring

I also like the little moments in life.........

I like the little glances, the small kisses, the fluttering feelings.

I like getting distracted while walking down the street by the deep fuchsia colour of a blooming peony.

I like the heady scent of the freshly watered marigolds that stops me in my tracks and keeps me from getting where I'm going on time.

I like to stop to pet the purring cat on the sidewalk.

I like to take a break from my run to watch 12 baby Canadian geese fall all over each other.

I take comfort in the little details and the little moments.

I have a lot of change going on in my life right now. Good change, great change, exciting change, change that scares the bejeezus out of me. So for my Week 7 ring a week I went back to what is comforting for me. This ring has lots of lovely little details. A silver ring shank that is hammer textured. I've added 24k yellow gold bits to the ring shank. Set in the tubing is a little pink felt "petal" and then stemming from the petal is silver wire dotted with pretty pink pearls.

silver and pearls ring
patsy kay kolesar design

Monday, June 20, 2011

Honey Bees, Flower Petals, and My Week 6 Ring...

There is a honey bee found in Turkey who builds a beautiful nest of flower petals to keep it's larvae nourished and protected for the winter. She flies in petals one by one from nearby fields and glues the layers together with mud, overlapping them in an exquisite loveliness. This process for the solo female honey bee can take days to complete. The result is not only a perfect protective home for it's offspring, but it is also an intricate, beautiful, colourful, magical work of art.

Ever since seeing the photo of these nests and reading about them I have been playing with flower petals. For my Week 6 Ring for the Ring a Week project I have made a little bead using pressed tulip petals and I have strung it on a square silver wire which I've then twisted and shaped to make into the ring.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Steel Wire, A Ring A Week...and What Happens Next.

What comes Next?

As an artist and business owner I never quite know what will come Next. I can write business plans and goals but they can change in an instant. Opportunities come up that I have to grab onto. Inspiration hits and a new idea and new direction unfolds. I've accepted this constant flux that my world works in and I'm always in awe of the new places that my art and business take me to.

For the past couple of weeks I have been playing with steel wire.

This is Next for me.

It is different. It is not what I expected.
It sat on my table for months.
I looked at it each day thinking about it, but not quite sure what to do with it. Then one day a few weeks ago I picked it up, I unraveled some of it and I started to see it differently. I have been twisting it, looping it, playing with it in my hands and with my pliers. I've been getting to know it. I've been letting it get to know me. I'm not sure what will come out of it exactly. But it feels right for this moment of my life and I'm willing to lean into it and see what happens Next.

Here's whats happened so far:

Week 4 Ring for my Ring A Week project.

steel wire ring
Week 4 Ring Version 2.

steel wire ring patsy kolesar

Week 5 Ring for The Ring A Week Project.

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I've fallen for these little wire wheels and I keep making them in different sizes. I'm going to try enameling some of them and turning them into a neck piece.

steel wire patsy <span class=

What is also happening Next for me is September Shop. September Shop is a Pop-up Retail venture for the month of September. It will feature my jewelry and the work of 5 other local female artists. You can join our Facebook page if you would like to stay in the know. I would love to see you at our opening Gala, it's going to be an exciting and playful September!

Friday, June 3, 2011


This is my Wedding Cake Ring. This ring was recently chosen for The 13th Biennial International Juried Enamel Exhibition.

This is a pretty big deal to me. The exhibition starts September 9th at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg TN. November 14th the exhibit travels to the Knoxville Museum of Art and then February 6th until March 23rd 2012 it will be at The Metal Museum in Memphis TN. I have always lustfully longed over the classes offered by the Arrowmont School and going to The Metal Museum in Memphis is right up there in my top 5 fantasies. I don't think I will be able to travel to all of the places that my ring will get to go to. (I can't believe that my ring will travel without me, how will it look after itself?, I think I just acquired a bit more empathy for what my Mom went through when I went to Barbados for a month when I was 19- sorry Mom) But I am hoping to go and meet up with it when it gets to Memphis next winter.

I made this ring when I was contemplating the meaning of connection. I was thinking about what it meant to connect with another person for a lifetime. I was thinking about doing it. I was thinking about weddings, and delicately decorated wedding cakes. I was thinking about all of the traditional elements of a wedding that make my skin crawl. I was thinking about all of the traditional elements of a wedding that make me cry in an instant.

Here are the links for you to check out the amazing places that my ring will visit, If anyone wants to come meet me in Memphis next February let me know. :)

Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts

Knoxville Museum of Art

The Metals Museum

Monday, May 30, 2011

Inspired. Connected. Nourished. Creative Spirit.

Inspired. Connected. Nourished. Creative Spirit.

These are my words.

These are the words that hang taped to my hallway wall above the painting that my 2 year old nephew and I created together.

These are the words that represent the way I want to feel EVERYDAY of my life which came to me via Danielle Laporte's Spark Kit.

My past 4 days were spent in Seattle at the the SNAG conference and I felt these words fill me up and take me to a place of enthralling enjoyment that I don't get to very often.

Inspired. Well, hello Lola Brooks. We listened to her speak on the first day of the conference and this really set the tone for me. She was engaging, intelligent, incredibly witty, and desperately inspiring. She also was wearing a denim pant suit and after she spoke I had to resist the urge to run up to her, tell her that I loved her and that I too own a denim pant suit.

Connected. I took the train down with 3 other jewelers. Simone Richmond, Stephanie Menard, and Brendalynn Avender. We shared a room together and we shared the experience. I don't remember the last time I giggled so much, had so much fun and so little sleep. We talked art, jewelry, geeked out on tool and stone shopping, shared our passions and dreams, analysed love and boys, and helped each other to navigate the twisted path of being an artist.

Nourished. Sharon Massey took one of my cards and told me she really liked my work. Deb Stoner took one of my cards and told me I had great images. The fact that I'm even near their radar makes me believe in possibilities and confirms that I'm moving in the right direction.

Creative Spirit. Everywhere you looked at this conference people were wearing art. Amazing, beautiful, creative, interesting, innovative, hand made art jewelry. I was submerged for 4 days with a thousand other people who all share my passion for taking risks, and trying new things.

Lola Brooks. Image taken from the American Craft Magazine article about her.

Here we are. Stephanie ($27 dollar Sandwich) Menard, Patsy (what happens at SNAG stays at SNAG) Kolesar, Simone (we love drunk Simone) Richmond, and Brenda Lynn (WTFBL?) Avender.

This ring was my favourite ring from the many amazing pieces at the Ring A Day show at the Punch Gallery. It's created by Victoria Takahashi, made of wood, mixed metals, polymer clay, dyed leather, and acorn cap.

A very sweet girl gave me this hand made patch. (I don't have her name, so if anyone knows who she was please let me know and I will give her the credit and link on my blog) I love this. This captures the feeling of my whole conference experience.

Metalsmithing IS for Lovers.

Thank-you to everyone who made my first ever SNAG conference one of the most Inspiring, Connecting, Nourishing, and Creative weekends of my life. xo -patsy.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

SNAG conference Pins

When I first started Jewelry Design school attending one of the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) conference's was put on my list of life goals. Thursday morning at 6:40am I will take a train down to Seattle with 3 jeweler friends to go to my first ever conference. I'm sort of freaking out. I'm so excited. I'm so nervous. I'm so grateful that I get to go and that I get to spend 4 days talking, thinking, and breathing all things jewelry and metal arts.

On the first night of the conference there is a meet and great "jewelers style". Which means everyone makes around 30 pins and exchanges them with each other as we meet and mingle. These are the pins that I made.....

enameled pins SNAG Conference

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Ring A Week - Week 2

Week 2 of our Ring A Week project.

Something fun and playful.

A lot of my time in my studio is now spent "producing" - making pieces to fill orders and get into more stores. I still love the process of making every piece, but I don't just get to "play" that often anymore. This Ring a Week project is giving me space to play and rekindle for me the magic that I feel when I am in a space with no creative limits.

This ring is made from sterling silver square wire, which I have blackened. I've soldered a piece of copper tubing to the ring shank and in the copper tubing is a flower that I've created using paper and pressed flower petals.

Ring a Week
Ring A week
ring a week patsy kolesar

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Ring A Week

I'm very excited about a new little jewelry project that I am a part of!

Starting this week until the Culture Crawl in November I will making "A Ring A Week". Myself and 4 other jewelry artists at The Onion Studio will be participating in this project. Our rules are:
  • We each have to make one new ring every week starting May 1st until the week of the Culture Crawl - all designs have to be one of a kind and something that we've never made before.
  • They can be made out of any materials - not just metal. They crazy, bizarre, experimental, functional or non-functional- As long as they go around your finger.
  • They all must be for sale during the Culture Crawl - This is the exciting part for all of you! I have to warn you though - that I will likely be making all of mine in my ring size, which is a 5.5 - 6.5 depending on the finger. I know this is slightly unfair, but getting to wear a new ring each week will make this project even more exciting for me. People think that I have a huge stock of personal jewelry, but I am always making jewelry for other people, so I really only keep a few pieces to wear myself. If you are my same ring size then come early to the crawl this year, cause there will be lots of pretty rings made just for you, tehehe.
The other participating jewelry artists at my studio are, Simone Richmond, Linda Read, Heather Matwe, and Jessica Taylor.

And now the unveiling of my Week 1 Ring:

"Finding Balance" - A quirky fun little ring made as a reminder that "Finding Balance" isn't as important as being able to laugh at yourself and know that you are real - flaws, neurosis, bleeding heart and all - accept it, laugh at your not so cool moments, and move on.

Ring A Week

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Embracing Change

Timing is everything........

When I display my jewelry for shows I like to share the stories behind the pieces. This past Culture Crawl I had my Love Story Necklace displayed on one of my mannequins. Pinned to her torso I had my favourite quote by Mary Oliver,

"To live in this world, you need to be able to do three things:
to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones
like your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go, to let go."

People stop and they read it, and for some people it resonates. I had one woman come up to me and say "it's nice to see a designer who gets that jewelry is all about love"

It sounds so simple, but it means so much to me. Jewelry is about love.

This afternoon when the sun was shining I took my sketchbook to the park up my street and I started sketching new jewelry designs. I just started moving the pencil and drawing what ever was hitting me....but nothing brilliant was hitting me. Then I started writing....."It's always about the emotion for me, the thought, the moment, the feeling that inspires the piece.......So where am I at today? What am I feeling?.......I'm embracing change......I'm waiting with great respect for the Cherry Blossom trees on my street to bloom........I'm being open to the possibilities......and I'm letting a little bit of hope back into my life."

After connecting with where I was at, I started sketching again....and the designs came to me.

Timing is everything......

Patsy Kolesar

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Getting Ready for the SNAG Conference

At the end of May I will be attending my first ever SNAG (Society of North American Goldsmith's) Conference. To say that I'm excited doesn't even start to describe how I'm feeling about doing this. I live, breathe, sleep, inhale, think about, talk about, love - making jewelry. To be surrounded by my peers and mentors for 4 days talking about all things jewelry art and business is going to feel incredible.

I will be a part of the trunk show which features emerging artists, which is a little scary for me but so very very exciting.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

How The Rise In Silver Prices Will Effect My Business

I've talked a lot about fear on my blog and about trying to move beyond fear.......

Lately I have been stuck in a pretty deep swamp of fear.

You see my industry is changing. When I started out in my jewelry career only 3 short years ago the cost of silver, my metal of choice, was around $18 an ounce. Today silver is at an all time high of $38 an ounce and it is only expected to continue rising in price. They are anticipating that it could get as high as $60 an ounce by the end of this year and in the next couple of years could rise as high as $250 an ounce.

I use sterling silver in every single piece of jewelry I make. Sterling silver chain, clasps, earring hooks, posts, wire, and sheet. It's all silver. Which means that every single component of my pieces has more then doubled in cost and is going to continue to rise. Which is really freaking scary.

When I talk about this in my circle,the average response is always "why don't you just raise your prices?" and yes, I will have to raise my prices. But this is a bigger issue then just raising my prices. Raising my prices to the extent that I will have to if silver prices get as high as predicted could completely change the market that I'm selling to. It could mean that my current market, my amazing customers that I have been selling to for the past number of years might no longer be able to buy my work, or will at least have to buy less often, or really think before buying. I really value my customers and my stores so thinking about them no longer being my target market is scary. I worry that this rise in silver prices will push out some of the businesses at my level in the industry if we don't prepare for it.

I feel like I need to get out of my frozen in fear state of mind and be proactive and protective of my business that I've built. So I've come up with some options and would love some feedback and thoughts from my customers, my fellow jewelers, my peers, other business owners, mentors, smart people, and Donald Trump (because I'm pretty sure he reads my blog).

Here are the options:

1. Continue growing my line as it is and increase my prices as needed.

2. Change to plated silver components in my jewelry, possibly even silver plated enameled pieces to keep my prices in the same price range they are in.

3. Explore alternative materials......base metals, fabrics..etc to try to keep costs down and prices low.

4. Create a gold line. Move higher end with my work and embrace a higher end market.

5. Move to Argentina, find a husband named Pablo and drink wine all day and all night.

If you want to share some feedback, ideas, tips, or just have a conversation with me please comment below or send me an email to

Saturday, April 2, 2011

What If The Cherry Blossom's Didn't Fully Bloom This Year?

The Cherry Blossom's on my street are about to burst into bloom. Bringing spring, new growth, and new opportunities with them. I crave this time of year. When February gets so dark and gloomy I dream of the pink cherry blossoms that will soon be on my doorstep. Other streets are already blooming. I wait with patience and respect for my street to catch up with the rest............Then I started thinking.......The cherry blossoms only get to bloom in their full pink loveliness for such a short time and then they are gone. Then their tree endures our fall, and winter. Hard months for all of us. Especially hard for me. So what if the blossoms on these trees are reluctant to bloom again to their fullest? What if they just can't do it again knowing that the winds will blow them down, some people will walk past without even looking at them, and they will all fall down again leaving the branches bare to endure the pains of winter? What if they needed more time to heal from what our extra grey winter threw at them this year? What if they just didn't feel like fully blooming again? What if they needed a little longer to protect themselves from being so open, exposed and vulnerable?

New Cherry Blossom Necklaces......made with hope.

cherry blossom necklace
enamel necklace
enamel and silver necklace

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Rejection Sucks

As a jewelry artist I face rejection regularly.

For my career I apply to shows, exhibitions, galleries, magazines, books....they all have a fee to apply ranging from $15 - $50 dollars, sometimes I email them them photos, sometimes I send them actual jewelry pieces. Then they look.............and then I wait.

I wait with the mind frame that, "It would be great......I would be so excited......I feel like this is going to happen.....I'm going to get in, accepted, loved, adored......This is the right place for me....It would be family would be so proud of me.....I would be so proud of me......I'm going to get accepted.......but if it doesn't happen I'll still be proud of me.....things will still be great......really they will...." All of these thoughts swirl inside my mind each time I send off an application for something.

And sometimes they do say Yes....which is such a lifts me up and continues to propel me higher.

You can see some of my proudest Yes moments here on my new media page.

But sometimes they say're not's not the right fit.....its so pretty but not right for us......try again next of's not you it's us....well okay they don't say that one, I say that one.

Hearing No......feels a punch in the a big doubt snowball thrown my way......No matter how many times I tell myself you need to have a thicker skin, it's not a big deal, it's all a part of learning and growing, you will try again and get in, you're amazing and talented and great things will come your matter how many of these mantras I tell myself....rejection still sucks. It really really sucks.

But everyone who has ever had a passion will understand..........The rejection isn't enough to stop me. I try something else, I try again.....I rise each time I fall.

Here is one of my favourite things to do when I hear No.....

I play this song really loud and sing along. "A Better Son or Daughter" by Rilo Kiley.

I would love to know what other people do when they hear a No and need to be uplifted.
Please feel free to share with me in my comments section or on my facebook page.