By Ben Bulmer
Joy Creations opened its doors to the public at the beginning of April, showcasing handmade jewellery, all designed and handcrafted by the store’s proprietor, Joyce Barnard.
Barnard has been designing and making jewellery for the last 12 years and has been planning to open a store for the last five. Together with her gemologist business partner, Samuel Tang, the pair has now made this a reality.
“We had this planned five years ago when we first met, but we couldn’t find a place, and we didn’t have enough resources,” says Tang. “Eventually we found a place, the time is right, so we decided, ‘you know what, let’s go ahead.’”
Barnard had previously worked designing and manufacturing jewellery back in her native South Africa, but since she started calling Ottawa home seven years ago, she’s been spending valuable time looking after her grandchild and making the stock for the store.
“We bought all the stones and things five years ago, and since then I’ve been making it at home, and looking after my grandchild,” says Barnard.
Barnard designs and makes everything by hand, specializing in necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Using silver, leather or silk in combination with gemstones and freshwater pearls, every design is different from the next. Pieces take anywhere from one to four hours to complete depending on the complexity of the design.
When it comes to inspiration Barnard’s passion for the craft is very evident. “I love the colours, I love the materials and I love putting them together,” says Barnard. “It’s like when spring comes and you see a blossom, once I’ve created something, it gives you the same feeling.”
Barnard says she chose the Glebe because she thinks the residents who live here will appreciate her work, “They enjoy art, and they like the finer things in life.” Apart from showcasing her craft at the store, Barnard has a worktop where customers can see her working meticulously, crafting her intricately detailed jewelry.
The pair also has bigger plans for the store and by the end of June hope to have turned the office into a lab for gemological services and evaluations. “If someone has bought something somewhere else and they want to check it under a microscope, we do it all in front of them. They can see the process and see it for themselves,” says Tang.
Tang describes the place as “a disaster” when they moved in. A very old carpet and a wavy floor didn’t make things easy, but now with the tatty carpet gone and new level flooring installed the store is almost complete.
All the showcases and fittings were handmade by both of them, “Nothing is bought here, everything is custom made,” says Barnard.
As well as gemological services Tang also does 3D jewellery design. The design is created using 3D computer software, which is then turned into a mold using a 3D printer. The printer builds designs layer by layer using wax and resin to create molds that then can be used to form jewellery from the metal of your choice. With such precision technology Tang has the tools to make very intricate designs, which are completely custom made and unique to the individual.
The combination of Barnard’s traditional handmade crafts and Tang’s hi-tech skills promise the pair a blossoming future in the Glebe.
Ben Bulmer is a Glebe Report “Business Buzz” writer, highlighting new businesses in the Glebe.