patsy kay kolesar

Shifting Direction by Patsy Kolesar

At the beginning of 2016 I started to plan the new work that I would make for Hammer, Cut, Stitch, Repeat.  I decided to look to part of my heritage, my Slovakian side for some inspiration. I researched Slovakian embroidery patterns. I went to the library and took out some beautiful books and I became infatuated with this tiny Slovakian town called Cicmany, where they have painted decorative stitches on all of their houses.  I found patterns I loved, I burned them into a new silk screen, and I sketched a handful of new neckpieces.

Then life took over, and I went to Europe for a two-week adventure.  I rekindled my heart connection to the Netherlands and met my new great love, Paris.  I meandered around canals, ate pannekoeken, admired colourful flower displays in windows, and was charmed by the white and blue of Delft.  I drove through old medieval villages in Belgium, waltzed through the streets of Paris, and joyfully exclaimed that I was getting boozy in Bouzy while in the Champagne region.  

tiled wall in Delft

tiled wall in Delft

Paris (sigh, swoon, heart pitter patters)

Paris (sigh, swoon, heart pitter patters)

I returned to Vancouver filled with new inspiration that I thought I could shelf while I got back to work on my original plan.  I like to follow a plan.  I started enameling and silk-screening these lovely gridded cross stitch patterns on metal and I liked the results...but i wasn't sure about them.  I kept going...and I got a little stuck. I continued again...and I became more stuck.  I pushed and then I hit a wall. I wasn't happy with the pieces I was making and I wasn't sure where to go. 

Bouzy, Champagne 

Bouzy, Champagne 

At the same time I was getting stuck creatively I was in the middle of moving to a new home after living in the same space for 12 years.  A big move for me, so it makes sense that my creative process was also moving. The move meant many trips to Home Depot and being someone who is obsessed with tools and trinkets, trips to Home Depot mean that I wander through aisles touching things and wondering how they would look turned into jewelry.  There were a few pieces I found that I couldn't leave behind.   

Street in Delft

Street in Delft

I decided that instead of shelfing my new inspiration, I needed to shelf my original plan.  My world had been so swirled around in the last few months that I needed to listen to where the pieces were landing in me. I opened my sketchbook to start drawing and a postcard that i've been carrying around with me for two years fell out.  The Guggenheim Museum covered in random patterns by artist Mukai Shüji.  This image and and the lovely curves of the building have been in my heart since visiting the Museum in 2014.  I have been sketching various pieces inspired by these shapes for the past two years, but hadn't realized them in jewelry yet.  

Mukai Shüji, Anything and Everything, 2012. 

Mukai Shüji, Anything and Everything, 2012. 

I sat in my studio one morning with my Guggenheim postcard, my Home Depot trinkets, and my images from my Europe trip in front of me and I started sketching.  I spent the next month in my studio enameling and soldering teeny tiny wires, figuring out how to get the shapes i wanted, the textures i wanted, and how to make these industrial materials work in wearable pieces.  

I'm excited by the results and happy I shifted direction. The pieces pictured below and a few more new ones will be on display and for sale at Circle Craft Gallery September 8th 2016 - October 11th 2016 for the exhibition, "Hammer, Cut, Stitch, Repeat". 

Patsy Kay Kolesar Design Long Embrace Earrings - sterling silver, vitreous enamels, white freshwater pearls. 

Patsy Kay Kolesar Design Long Embrace Earrings - sterling silver, vitreous enamels, white freshwater pearls. 

Patsy Kay Kolesar Design Long Embrace Necklace - sterling silver, 14k yellow gold, copper pipe, vitreous enamels. P

Patsy Kay Kolesar Design Long Embrace Necklace - sterling silver, 14k yellow gold, copper pipe, vitreous enamels. P

Close up details of Long Embrace Necklace 

Close up details of Long Embrace Necklace 

Culture Crawl 2014 by Patsy Kolesar

My Studio building will be open this weekend for the East Side Culture Crawl.  

The Onion Studios 1103 Union Street

November 20th - 23rd. 

 Thursday  5-10

Friday  5-10 

Saturday and Sunday 10-5 

Cherry Blossom Necklace. Sterling silver, pink freshwater pearls, copper, enamels.  

Cherry Blossom Necklace. Sterling silver, pink freshwater pearls, copper, enamels.  

Great Stuff, East Side Culture Crawl, and a Private Home Show! by Patsy Kolesar

I would love to see you at one of these amazing events that I am part of!  The Eastside Culture Crawl is my favourite weekend of the year.  I get to open my studio up and share my creative space with you!  I'm in The Onion Studio building at 1103 Union Street.  

Eastside Culture Crawl


This year I am excited to be one of 37 artists showing and selling their work at the Great Stuff show held in West Vancouver in the Ferry Building Gallery at 1414 Argyle Avenue.  Hours are Tuesday - Sunday 10-6 and Fridays 10-8

Great Stuff West Vancouver


Last but not least I am honoured to have been invited to participate in a private home show this year.  If you don't want to deal with masses of people at the regular shows then this is the perfect weekend for you.  The address for this home show is in North Vancouver, but we are not posting it online.  If you would like to know the address please email me info @ pkkdesign dot com or email Nell, who's email is below and we would be delighted to send you the address!  

Vancouver Jewellery Christmas Shows

In advance I thank-you so much for supporting small independent art businesses this holiday season!  

Medea Collection at Urbanity by Patsy Kolesar

medea necklace jewellery

To read more about the Medea Necklace please visit this page

Urbanity is located at 2412 Granville Street, Vancouver BC.  

Images of Creative Communion by Patsy Kolesar

My journey from Vancouver, BC. Canada, to the "Imagery in Jewelry" workshop at Touchstone Center for Craft in Farmington, Pennsylvania. 

I start each new year with some time for reflection and visioning.  This year I used two of my favourite tools to do this, my Desire Map book by Danielle Laporte and my Vision building worksheet from Alyson B. Stanfield.   I spent about 5 days reading, writing,  and reflecting. Giving myself space and time to really figure out what I desired.  I locked down my core desired feelings which would guide me with my vision for the year:

Abundance - I desire a full rich life filled with an abundance of love, creativity, joy, excitement, adventure, wealth, fun, laughter, passion, peace.  

Present - I desire to be where I am, feel what I feel and be open to what is in front of me at this very moment. 

Artistic - I desire bright beautiful colours, patterns, walking through trees, sitting on mountain tops, rusty metal, my ear to the ocean, dancing on the street, being authentic. 

Communion - I desire deep soulful connections with other people, real love and communication, creative communion with other artists,  artistic communion with other wild minds who say yes to things. 

I used my core desired feelings to build my vision for the year.  I wrote out my vision for each part of my life on lovely sheets of thick white paper, linked with my core desired feelings and tied up with purple satin ribbons.  They are hanging on my wall beside my desk.  For my section on "Pleasure and Adventure" I wrote: Travel to New York, go see things I haven't seen before, continue to say Yes to things. 

In March I received an email from Adam Kenney, Executive Director of Touchstone Centre for Craft.  He had a question for me about my application for the Crafthaus scholarship that I had applied for,   "Patsy, Canada? ....You're really game to make travel arrangements for this?  I think you're an excellent candidate for the workshop, but I need to be sure that you can take advantage of the opportunity.  I know that you knew what you were getting into when you applied, but I wanted to double check." 

My initial reaction to most things in life is fear and in this case it was the same.  I backed away from my computer and I thought, "Oh no..... am I nuts!? I really game to do this?.......okay well maybe I should find out exactly where Farmington is on the map" Just in case anyone else is slightly geographically un-savvy like myself - Heres a map of where I am in relation to Farmington Pennsylvania:  

I looked at the map and I saw that indeed Farmington Pennsylvania is not that close to Vancouver, hehehe ;)  But I also saw that it was very close to New York City.  I responded to Adam with "I realize it's a long way to go for a 3 day workshop, but we don't have craft centres like this in Canada and to learn from Sharon and Cortland would be an amazing opportunity.  I would find a way to get there.....I've always wanted to go to New York City, so maybe I would even combine it with a trip there.  Basically I'm game for the adventure"

I said Yes. I am honoured to be the recipient of the Touchstone Centre for Craft and Crafthous scholarship.  I will be attending the Imagery in Jewelry workshop taught by Sharon Massey and Cortland Dewitt from May 30-June 1st.  Then on June 2nd I will be taking a train to New York City.    

I am a little nuts and I am so excited for this adventure! 

I look forward to sharing it with you all!  

Friends of Carlotta Gallery Zürich, Switzerland by Patsy Kolesar

I am excited to tell you that The Medea Necklace will be part of an amazing exhibition in the Friends of Carlotta Gallery in Zürich, Switzerland!  I really couldn't think of a more perfect exhibition for this necklace to be in and I am so proud of us (Jewellery + Artists + Collaboration) and so honoured to be working with such creative, and talented artists.  

Here is some information about the exhibition:

jewelry for the lived deficits

19 . June 2014 to September 5, 2014

Despite their simple-mindedness, despots are a very diverse little group. All they want is to be loved. Or rather, they want honest and real love. By force, if need be.

However, what do dictators, megalomaniacs, wannabes and the delusional adorn themselves with? What do they use to cast their personalities in a positive light? What do fat cats, tyrants and those destined for greater things use to demonstrate that the force is with them? Do the powerful own objects of power because they are powerful? Or are they powerful because they own objects with magic powers?

What's more: What do despots treat themselves to when they're in a foul mood? Which pieces of jewellery are there to share the hours of victory with them? What do they spoil their subjects with in order to make them more eager to subdue themselves? And how must I worship these despots so that they recognize my pure love and therefore their true value?

These and other questions on how to RULE THE WORLD will be the dictating subject of the next juried jewellery exhibition at Friends of Carlotta.

Welcome to a world of lived out deficiencies and psychopaths at their best.

Here is our Artists Statement for the exhibition:

The Medea Necklace Artist Statement

Simone RichmondSu Foster and Patsy Kay Kolesar

The story of Medea is beautiful and twisted.  Medea is a powerful woman who is scorned by the one she loves most.  She is so betrayed and hurt by the man she loves that all she can see is revenge, and revenge at all costs.  She is determined to make sure that everyone who was involved in her husband’s deception pays for what they put her through.  She sees nothing but her darkest desires to make her husband feel the agony that he has made her feel.

The Medea Necklace was made for an onstage performance of the story of Medea, by the Yayoi Theatre Movement Society.  The necklace is inspired by Medea's bold fighting spirit and the bold intricate patterns on the Japanese kimono fabrics worn in the performance. 

The Yayoi Theatre Movement Society, photo by Yukiko Onley

The Medea Necklace, photo by Tanya King

© Jewellery + Artists + Collaboration

The back of The Medea Necklace, photo by Tanya King

© Jewellery + Artists + Collaboration

New Headshots by Patsy Kolesar

I have the honour of being good friends and business allies with Suzanne Rushton of Feeling Photography and Vancouver Photo Walks.  Last week Suzanne came to my studio and took some fun new headshots for me.  

Patsy Kolesar
Patsy Kolesar
Patsy Kolesar
Patsy Kolesar

After The East Side Culture Crawl by Patsy Kolesar

I'm not sure you can fully explain to anyone what it's like to be one of the artists on the Eastside Culture Crawl.  I have people ask me how it went and I try to explain how I feel afterwards, but I'm not sure I can convey the feelings.  Exhausted - yes.  Tired of hearing my own voice - for sure.....but I also feel so grateful and so filled up.  

We get thousands of people through our studio in 3 short days and get the opportunity to chat with many of them.  I get to have conversations about art, life, and love and how these things connect for me and shape my work.  I get to hear people's stories, and find out about what they do.  I get fully inspired by the creative projects that other people share with me.  I get completely moved by being told that what I do inspires them.  

I have people who come back to see me each year to see what is new.  We have families that come back each year and I get to see how the little girls have grown up.   I have sweet friends come by with hugs to share with me, even though i've had my head burried in my studio for months and haven't been able to see them.  

Some of my favourite moments of this years culture crawl:

I told a man the name of one of my pieces "My Scratched Up Heart Necklace"  He asked why no one's ever polished it for me?  He bought one and said he was going to take it home and polish it. 

Showing off our Jewellery + Artists + Collaboration pieces to people and telling them the story of how the 3 of us work together.  One of my favourite customers told me that we were on the right track and that one day these pieces would be on display in New York.  

Crouching down to be the same height as two little girls who are probably about 4 and 6 years old to have a pretty real conversation with them about art and fruit leather.  I was pretty smitten by these two so i gave them each an enamelled pin to keep. 

Adam - pictured below.  None of us knew Adam before this day but he had an incredible creative energy and the desire to be our male shirtless model for the Jewellery + Artists + Collaboration group.  How could we say no? 

A big Thank-you!  to everyone for sharing my favourite weekend of the year with me!  xo pkk

model credit: Adam Hayter 

model credit: Adam Hayter 

I Just Want To Make Art......... by Patsy Kolesar

Go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make. Good. Art.” ~Neil Gaiman

Public Art, Prague.

Public Art, Prague.

Public Art, Prague. 

Public Art, Prague. 

Public Art, Prague. Outside the Narodni Dvadlo where I watched the Onegin Ballet.  Look closely, those are point shoes! 

Public Art, Prague. Outside the Narodni Dvadlo where I watched the Onegin Ballet.  Look closely, those are point shoes! 

Jewelry Artists Collaboration with White Sparrow by Patsy Kolesar

For the past couple of months I have been working in collaboration with two other Vancouver jewelry artists Simone Richmond and Su Foster to create one of a kind jewelry for White Sparrow's Debi Wong to wear during their music concert on May 25th.  

Debi approached me back in February, saying she had this idea to invite local artists to create something that could add to her performance.  As the universe would have it at the same time I had just started meeting with Su and Simone to talk about how the three of us could do something together that highlighted art jewelry in Vancouver.  We decided that the three of us would make one of a kind jewelry for Debi to wear inspired by the theme of White Sparrows Mr Dowland's Midnight concert "In 16th century England, melancholy wasn't only a state-of-mind or an attitude that caused one to be morose and contemplative, it was an entire fashion statement.  It was fashionable to "dwell in darkness" and allow the philosophical questions of life and love to torture the soul.  Mister Dowland's Midnight guides the listener through the festive and flirtatious hours of the early eve, to the dark and lonely hour of midnight and invokes those seductive, sorrowful, and aching thoughts that only emerge between sunset and daybreak". Debi Wong  

Simone, Su, and I spent time listening to Mister Dowland's Midnight and looking at images, fabrics, clothing, and jewelry from the renaissance period.  The three of us all have rich pattern work in our individual jewelry lines.  My focus is on using contemporary silk screening techniques in enamel work, Simone's work uses a process of electro etching and embroidery with metal, and Su's focus in on the ancient technique of filagree.   We were all taken by the ornate details of this period.  We started sketching ideas..............

Flow my tears, fall from your spring exhiled forever, let me mourn where nights blackbird, her sad infamy sings there let me live forlorn.

photo (32).JPG

and fear, and grief, and pain, for my deserts are my hope, since hope is gone. 

photo (31).JPG
photo (30).JPG

Hark, you shadows that in darkness dwell, learn to contemn light. Happy they that in hell feel not the worlds despite.

John Dowland, Flow My Tears. 

"Melancholy Necklace" copper, oxidized sterling silver, vitreous enamels, fine silver, freshwater pearls. 

"Melancholy Necklace" copper, oxidized sterling silver, vitreous enamels, fine silver, freshwater pearls. 

Statement of Purpose

Melancholy Necklace

The purpose of the jewellery collaboration between Patsy Kolesar, Su Foster & Simone Richmond is to capture the essence of the melancholy period of 16th century England. Using White Sparrow’s music from “Mister Dowland’s Midnight” performance as the main source of inspiration, their choice of colours, techniques and patterns are all thoughtfully chosen & married together to enhance the pensive theme through another creative medium.

All three jewellery artists work in Vancouver & participate in the Eastside Culture Crawl which happens annually every November. Su is a graduate of the Jewellery and Small Object Design program at Kootenay School of Art in Nelson, B.C, and Simone & Patsy both graduated from the Vancouver Community College Jewellery Art & Design Program.

All three artists share a common obsession with using intricate details in their jewellery work and wanted the challenge of melding their techniques into a collective piece.  Their intention of working in collaboration is to bring more awareness and introduce new audiences to the contemporary art jewellery scene in Vancouver.