Earlier this week, we kicked off our list of 30 Essential Jewellery Designers. It’s not too late to nominate your favourite jewellery designer. Please let us know where you got your wedding ring or who designed that necklace that you can’t stop wearing.
Ben Burnett of Zillion Design was one of our readers who nominated Alex Henderson of Henderson Dry Goods: “Her jewellery is truly unique and stunning! Love it! She should be recognized for her great work.”
Alex was born in Calgary and raised in Saskatoon. She knew she was going to be a designer at the age of 15 and spent a lot of time day dreaming about future products she would create. Since the age of 20, she has been making and selling items ranging from shower curtains to hats to chairs.
Why did you get into jewellery design?
I went to Emily Carr for Industrial Design. My main interest at the time was in designing furniture. I liked the idea of making pieces that interact with the body, like a chair or a set of cutlery (which is furniture in the “furnishing your home” sense). I am also a bit of a perfectionist and have always loved making things with an almost obsessive degree of detail.
In third year at Emily Carr, we were required to use a laser cutter for one of our projects. The ability of the laser to achieve minute detail was immediately very exciting to me. The first thing I thought of making with a laser cutter was jewellery. It seemed like an obvious thing to make with the technology. Small, intricate, precious pieces – little treasures.
Now I like to approach almost any design project as if it were a piece of jewellery. I even call my wall mirror collection “jewellery for your walls”. I try and give all my work that sense of preciousness, fine craft, beauty and a little bit of sentimentality infused right in.
Tell us a bit about your company.
I started Henderson Dry Goods last November, although I have been making and selling one-of-a-kind and short production run pieces for over eight years. I was always either a student or working for someone else over the previous seven years and so never really got to give my work a big push. But over a year ago, I found myself in the perfect place to try and have a go at my own design company full-time and so Henderson Dry Goods was born.
I wanted to create a brand for my work that conveys that sense of sentimentality and nostalgia. Henderson Dry Goods is meant to evoke a sense of a time gone by, when things were built with great care and attention to detail and were intended to be passed along.
I call Henderson Dry Goods “an interesting assortment of things” because I want to make everything! Over time I hope that my company will make furniture, textiles, handbags… a little bit of everything and hopefully a few very unexpected things.
How would you characterize your style?
Old world meets modern. Warm, nostalgic and a bit whimsical.
Who are your clients?
My clients are a pretty broad group, but certainly primarily women. From young and old, hip to classic. My jewellery especially seems to work for a lot of different kinds of people. I attribute this to the fact that it’s all made of wood. The pieces are “statement-y” but because wood is so warm it’s not as intimidating or potentially hard to wear as big gold necklace might be.
What do you think moms should know about your jewellery?
Well… despite looking incredibly delicate my pieces are actually very robust. I have never had a single piece break. This is because I have developed a special walnut plywood that is very strong and even a tiny bit flexible. This is jewelry that will stand up to a hank from a baby and being treated less than delicately.
Where can people buy your jewellery?
In Vancouver my jewellery is available at Eugene Choo, The Block and Walrus, and Room 6 in Deep Cove. My mirrors are also available at Walrus and HomeWerx.
Henderson Dry Goods
To nominate your favourite jewellery designer, leave your comment here.